As part of our 150th Anniversary celebrations the General Committee decided to have the frieze, which runs from the East along the South wall to the West on one side of the Lodge and from the East along the North wall to the West on the other side, cleaned and restored. The brethren were in agreement with this suggestion when it was put to the Lodge meeting. Mr. Steven Craig a local art restorer was engaged to undertake this work during the summer of 2013.
History of the Frieze
Over the years the story was told that two brothers used to go upstairs into the Lodge with a bottle of whisky and over a period of time painted the frieze that is part of Lodge 424's heritage. However this was all hearsay and no evidence was ever produced to say that it was two blood brothers or two brethren of the Lodge, never mind a name or names being mentioned. However during the cleaning process by Mr Craig a name and date was uncovered on the frieze in the corner of the South wall next to the Lodge library.
Brother James Hill
The name is a Brother James Hill, who according to the Lodge records was a painter to trade and lived at Rosevale Street. He was Initiated into the Lodge on the 31st March 1904, he was Passed on the 21st April 1904, Raised on the 19th May 1904 and received his Mark on 30th June 1904. The date on the frieze is the 12th July 1907. We can only assume that this was the date that the frieze was finished.
Bill Oliver, Treasurer and myself have gone through the Lodge minute books leading up to and after the date on the frieze, but can find no reference whatsoever regarding this magnificent piece of our Lodge history.
We are grateful to Mr Craig for the care and skill he has exercised in the restoration which after over a 100 years was inevitably less than straight forward.
Extract from a brief history of the Lodge by By Brother James Brown PM 2013