Ruddington is playing its part in celebrating an interesting tercentenary in Nottinghamshire this year.
It was back on 4 June 1717 that four Freemasons’ lodges in London got together to create the original Grand Lodge. Now, 300 years on, Nottinghamshire Masons are putting on a “Community Fun Day” in Nottingham’s Old Market Square to mark the milestone. It’s taking place on Saturday 17 June, from 10am to 5pm. The event is a celebration partly aimed at “demystifying” Freemasonry – and letting the general public know of the many local causes which benefit from their continuous, but often little-publicised fundraising efforts.
So what exactly are Ruddington’s connections with the Freemasons? There have been quite a few in recent years, including a grant for our local youth football club, Ruddington Colts, from the Masonic Charitable Fund a few years ago. This enabled them to purchase some large billboards, which make the club more self-sufficient as it can sell advertising space to local businesses.
In 2014 and 2015, the Nottinghamshire Mark Masons organised two family fun days at GCRN featuring a variety of stalls, activities and entertainments. All proceeds from both these events were donated to local charities. And Ruddington resident Graham Riche organises a popular Valentine’s Lunch every year, which for several years was held at Ruddington Grange Golf Club, in aid of the Masons’ “Teddies for Loving Care” (TLC) initiative. TLC Nottinghamshire provides teddies and other soft toys to our local paediatric A&E departments and wards, bringing comfort to countless local children over the years.
Graham will be largely responsible for coordinating “Fun for all Ages”, set to be the focal point of the Community Fun Day on 17 June. Family-friendly attractions will include a fairground with traditional stalls, a Teddy Bears’ Picnic with lots of giveaways for the kids, a story teller, street entertainers, Thoresby Colliery Band and a graffiti artist. The Nottingham-Brewery-sponsored “Knights of Nottingham” – who you may have seen around Ruddington – will be making an appearance on horseback, complete with full jousting regalia!
The Fun Day will also feature lots of food and drink options, plus a main stage with live entertainment and interviews with Nottinghamshire sporting personalities, conducted by local radio presenters – including Ruddington’s very own Graham Wright
The Freemasons’ work in the community will be showcased by a “Charity Village” featuring several local organisations and charities that have benefited from masonic charitable donations. There’ll also be a masonic “Big Tent” displaying information about Freemasonry, with members on hand to answer any questions. For full details of all the attractions on offer, please visit www.nottinghamshiremasons.co.uk/tercentenary.
Graham Wright via Ruddington.info and Faye Stenson