The loss of regularity in our Masonic doings at this time is a great sadness, thankfully assuaged by the charity endeavours of our many enterprising Brethren who exemplify, in our name, our core principles.
Just before the coronavirus lockdown, on the 17th March 2020, two significant Provincial happenings marked that day for those keen on our Masonic history. (i) The instruction from the Grand Master suspending all Lodge and Chapter meetings for 4 months. (ii) The installation of two commemorative plaques on our Provincial H.Q. at the Grange, Derby.
The significance of the Grand Master’s instruction is that the internal developments of the Grange, being already time-tabled and well under way was also suspended. The Plaques being part of the ongoing development are in place but for now stand-alone objects. The two Plaques are to commemorate two significant aspects of the Grange’s history. This remarkable building during its 200 year presence has been a Family Home, Wartime Planning Facility, Residential Training School and now a Freemasons Hall.
The Blue Plaque
Provincial Grand Lodge & Rolls Royce Plaque
This Plaque is sited within the Grange entrance area leading toward the corridor. It acknowledges the valuable contribution to the war effort made by Rolls-Royce within this building. RR purchased the Grange in 1939 for use as a development facility for the Merlin Engine. There was a desperate need during the period 1939-49 to develop the RR Merlin as it was the UK’s best option against the power and might of the Luftwaffe despite its known lack of power compared to the German units. The pioneering work pursued in Derby under the guidance of Stanley Hooker with the re-design of the super charger significantly changed the engine. The modified Merlin coupled with R.J. Mitchell’s Spitfire proved to be more than a match for the enemy as it conquered the skies during the Battle of Britain. Being continually updated and improved this Derby designed engine changed the balance of the war as Merlin powered both aircraft and tanks thus making an impact in every theatre of war in Europe and beyond.
The Mostyn Suite To Be Renamed
The Merlin Engine is very kindly donated by:
W. Bro Malcolm Prentice PPGPursuivent ( Provincial Heritage Officer )