In the latest of several daredevil feats by the Buckinghamshire Provincial Executive Team, their Deputy Provincial Grand Master Hugh Douglas-Smith, along with Assistant Provincial Grand Master Phil Blacklaw, were convinced to abseil down the old Northamptonshire Lift Tower to raise money for the Bucks Masonic 2021 Festival

The lift tower stands a daunting 420 feet high and it was with some reservations that the intrepid duo ascended to its summit.

Indeed, Hugh readily admits to a cunning plan to avoid the adventure by attempting to eat enough to make himself too heavy for the ropes, thus preventing his participation. Fortunately though, the ropes have been upgraded and will allow those of a much greater size than Hugh to take part!

Meanwhile, Phil had taken the precaution of not telling his nearest and dearest of his planned descent so they received a lovely surprise on the day.

On a lovely June afternoon both men arrived unscathed at the foot of the tower having completed their daring challenge and, so far, raised over £2,500 for the 2021 Charity Festival.   

You can still donate here.

Over 500 Buckinghamshire Freemasons were present at Freemasons' Hall on 9th February 2018, where John Clark was installed as the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Buckinghamshire

The Installation was conducted by the United Grand Lodge of England's Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence and the visiting Officers of Grand Lodge.

John Clark then Invested Hugh Douglas Smith as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and reappointed Graham Dearing and Phil Blacklaw as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters. Tony Robinson recited the Obligation and was also invested as Assistant Provincial Grand Master.

Alongside over 500 Buckinghamshire Freemasons, brethren from many other Provinces were also in attendance and following the ceremony enjoyed a banquet in the Grand Connaught Rooms.

Both the Deputy Grand Master and the new Provincial Grand Master thanked all those present for their attendance and delighted everyone with amusing speeches.

John Clark then presented Jonathan Spence with a pair of magnificent gold cuff links, replicating the Hall Stone Jewel.

During the ceremony, John Clark was also wearing the Hall Stone Jewel around his neck, with Buckinghamshire the only Province in possession of the gold and coloured enamel jewel on a dark blue collarette. This distinctive jewel was given to Buckinghamshire and the Districts of Japan (now defunct) and Burma (in abeyance) in recognition that every one of their lodges contributed an average in excess of five hundred guineas (£525.00) to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund.

This fund went towards establishing a memorial to the brethren who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War, which resulted in the erection of UGLE's current headquarters at Freemasons' Hall.

It is why Buckinghamshire is known as the only Hall Stone Province in English Freemasonry, and can boast the unique distinction of being the sole and proud wearer of such a jewel. Read more about the Hall Stone Jewels here.

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