Freemasonry began to flourish in Long Eaton from 1887. Over the years it searched for a permanent home. In 1954 the Long Eaton Freemasons’ Hall opened its doors. While around 450 members currently use the facility; it is now the meeting place of many other local organisations and has become a popular wedding venue, offering both wedding service and reception under one roof.
The hall also is the home of the Long Eaton Masonic Benevolent Association (LEMBA), which donates thousands of pounds every year to local causes.
For over 50 years, since 1887, The Fairfield Lodge, No. 2224, met at The Pavilion Hotel, Long Eaton. In 1920 they were joined by the Fairfield Chapter, followed by The Harrington Lodge No. 5098, in 1929 and the Trivona Mark Lodge in March 1943.
Unfortunately the landlords of The Pavilion Hotel required the premises for other purposes and “notice to quit” was served in 1944.
The only accommodation available at that time was at the Queen’s Hotel, Long Eaton, and the 4 Lodges moved in on June 1st, 1945. The premises consisted of a small upstairs room, used for a Temple and an Ostlers room over the stables across the yard for a dining room. The Temple had a seating capacity of an absolute limit of 100, but only 50 able to dine in the Ostlers Room.
These limited facilities naturally turned the brethren’s thoughts to a “place of our own” With this end in view on April 25th, 1945, The Long Eaton Masonic Hall Committee held its first meeting at “The Blue Bell” Hotel, Long Eaton.
The first financial appeal was launched in 1945 and brought in quickly £681 17s. The membership of the Lodges and Chapter also contributed by increasing their annual subscriptions by 10/6d. Other methods of raising money were planned which proved very lucrative.
It was not until the autumn of 1952 that something very promising in the way of premises was found by Wor. Bro. Nelson Sutton, P.M., of the Fairfield Lodge, who had discovered an old Victorian villa, built about 1886, situated in a very select neighbourhood, standing in its own grounds, of 2/3 of an acre of lawns and gardens. A perfect setting for a Masonic Hall, with plenty of scope for conversions, extensions and capacity for a spacious car park—aptly, it was named “Cleve Lodge.” An offer of £3,500 for the whole of the estate was made and accepted by the vendors.