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Ward died on 10th April 1946, afterwhich, one of the houses and the Hall was purchased by Donald Forrester, who, at the age of 33, had been Initiated into Elstree Lodge No.3092 on 16th June, 1938, served as Master in 1945, and in that same year, was Exalted into the resident, Elstree Chapter No.3092. Forrester was a Founding Member of the aforementioned Barham Lodge No.6004, and Member of five other Lodges and two further Chapters, including the resident Caishowe Chapter No.7536 of which he was also a Founding Member in May 1960. Forrester was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1953, Assistant Provincial Grand Master from 1965 to 1974 and Deputy Provincial Grand Master from 1975 to 1985. In Grand Lodge, Forrester was appointed to Assistant Grand Director Ceremonies in 1934, Past Junior Grand Deacon in 1967, and Past Grand Sword Bearer in 1975. In 1939, Forrester was recognised in the Royal Arch being appointed to Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah and to Past Grand Standard Bearer in Supreme Grand Chapter. It is not known if Forrester was active in any other Masonic Order.
By the end of 1958, two further Lodges had been consecrated and started to meet at the Hall, and the members of the then four resident Lodges (Elstree, Barham, Radlett and Caishowe) and Elstree Chapter, formed the Masonic Hall (Radlett) Limited Company to purchase the Hall from Forrester, who contributed half of the value himself; although this is the subject of another story! Forrester was also known for his philanthropy and following his death, 25th February,1985, his wife Gwyneth established the Donald Forrester Trust in 1986. The Gwyneth Forrester Trust, was later established in 2000 following her death in 1999. The Forrester Trusts continue to this day and each aims donate somewhere in the region of £500K per year to many good causes, including a regular donation to the Association of Friends of Prince Michael of Kent Court, who support the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Home in Watford.
Harold Ward's name appears on a board, outside and above the double doors at the end of the Dining Room, and a framed photograph of Ward clothed in his Provisional Grand Treasurer regalia hangs in the Boardroom which is also named in his honour. Donald Forrester's portrait hangs inside and above the same set of double doors at the end of the Dining Room, and is the only portrait of a Deputy Provincial Grand Master known to be hanging in a Masonic centre in Hertfordshire.
The Masonic Hall (Radlett) Limited continues to manage the centre to this day through
a Board of volunteer Governors. Over the years, the building has been extended and
improved, and now hosts around 25 Craft Lodges and 30 other Units from the appended
Orders who meet throughout the year on regular bases. In addition to the main Temple
which is used for regular meetings, ceremonies and rehearsals, there are also four
rehearsal rooms, a boardroom for committee meetings, a lounge bar, kitchen, and a
dining room which comfortably seats up to 70 diners. The bar and dining facilities
are available for hire for private functions. -
On the 24th day of June, which celebrates the birthday of St John the Baptist, in 1717 four London based Lodges met at the Goose & Gridiron Ale House in St Paul's Yard to form the world's first ever Grand Lodge, electing Anthony Sayer as the first Grand Master; and so began the formal regularisation of Freemasonry. On Sunday 25th June, 2017, as part of the Tercentenary Celebrations, the Masonic Hall hosted an event entitled 'BEHIND CLOSED DOORS' where members of the general public were invited into the Hall and were given a guided tour of the building and an appreciation on the history of Freemasonry. The Governors extend their appreciation to all those who assisted in general, and to the many visitors that attended in particular.
Harold Hunter Ward was a Scottish Freemason residing at The Poplars, Elstree who,
in 1905 and at the age of 39, joined Elstree Lodge No.3092 from St. Vincent, Sandyford
Lodge No.553 SC. He served as Elstree Lodge's Master in 1911 and was appointed to
Provincial Grand Treasurer for the year 1916-
At some point between 1920 and 1938, an unadopted road, The Rose Walk, was established between the two houses nearer to Cobden Hill, and these became No.1 and No.2 The Rose Walk, with the Masonic Hall becoming No.3.
Ward received further recognition of his services to Freemasonry in 1934 with his appointed to Past Grand Standard Bearer in Grand Lodge; and in the Royal Arch, Ward was apppointed to Past Provincial Third Grand Principle and to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in Supreme Grand Chapter in 1939. It is not known if Ward was active in any other Masonic Order.
The Furniture Trades Provident and Benevolent Association (later renamed the Furniture
Trades Benevolent Association) was formed in 1903. Shortly after its formation, it
established a Cottage Village and Orphanage at Cobden Hill, Radlett, Hertfordshire
to 'maintain and educate the orphan and necessitous children' of its members. The
establishment was officially opened on 22nd July, 1905, by the Association's President,
Samuel James Waring, who later to become the 1st Baron Waring, and it comprised of
two, late 19th century, semi-