Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Watford Lodge No: 404
On the 28th September 1829 nine brethren residing at Watford petitioned the Grand Master to form a new lodge because the nearest lodge was then in Uxbridge. It was consecrated at the Spread Eagle Tavern, Watford. The lodge was originally called Bamborough because the first master came from that village in Northumberland, but in 1833 the name was changed to Watford Lodge. The number was originally 851 but it changed to 580 in 1832 and then to 404 in 1863, when Grand Lodge consolidated the Lodge numbering.
The lodge was consecrated on 13th November 1829 and currently meets at the Masonic Hall, in Watford. The original banner presented to mark the 50th anniversary after consecration in 1879 by Bro.George Lake had become worn and was preserved. Unfortunately at the time of writing its whereabouts is unknown but it is reported that it was in a very poor condition and a very detailed inventory, made in 1980, did not mention the banner. It has to be assumed that it was disposed of.
A new banner (above) was presented by Bro. James Underhill and dedicated on 1st November 1929 at the Centenary Meeting. It was re-dedicated on the 12th November 2004 following refurbishment. The banner is a simple representation of the Hart of Hertfordshire with a "Patee fichee" or Poignard placed between the antlers above its head. A Poignard being a long, lightweight thrusting knife with a continuously tapering, acutely pointed blade and crossguard, historically worn by the upper class, noblemen, or the knighthood.