The winter of 1962/63 was one of the coldest on record lasting from early December to the end of February. The summons in Ashley Hill’s archive is printed with the original intended date for the consecration, Wednesday 5th December 1962. Because of the extreme cold and heavy snow (there were eight foot snow drifts in Kent) the original plans had to be changed in the interests of getting everyone together.
The lodge was consecrated by RW Bro Lt-Col R H Ingham Clark, Provincial Grand Master, at The Masonic Hall, High Town Road, Maidenhead. He was assisted by his Deputy, W Bro Brigadier Edwin Flavell DSO MC TD DL PGSwdB and other members of the Provincial Executive. Afterwards everyone dined in style on smoked salmon, turtle consommé, guinea fowl, fruit salad, Welsh rarebit savoury, wines and coffee.
The sponsoring lodge was Ellington Lodge No. 1566 and five of the twenty Founders and First Officers were Past Masters of that lodge. The first Master was W Bro John Jones JP PPGSuptWks; he was managing director of J M Jones a large building contractor in the Maidenhead area. The founding secretary, W Bro Philip Kinsey PDGPurs (EA), a retired solicitor, was a Past Master of The Lodge of St George No. 1152 (Singapore) and Old Millhillian Lodge No. 5752.
The lodge was so named because the Founders lived within sight of the high wooded area known as Ashley Hill, and this is depicted on the lodge emblem and on the banner. The Founders wished to attract members of mature personal and business standing like themselves, who would not feel the need for prolonged proceedings either in the lodge or at the festive board.
Keen brethren, in the early days, started a class of instruction not only to maintain the founders’ particular procedures, but also to encourage the brethren to mix freely and informally. These classes of instruction continue to this day, being held fortnightly on alternate Wednesdays.
In 1982 the lodge moved to Linden Hall in Kiln Green, which was in sight of Ashley Hill. When Linden Hall closed in 1985 the lodge moved to The Berkshire Masonic Centre, Sindlesham, where we continue to meet today.