Yorkshire North & East Ridings Freemasons

Alfie Middlehurst: The man who would be a Mason

In the first of a series of articles about Freemasons in the Province, we meet Bro Alfie Middlehurst of Denison Lodge No 1248.

middlehurstAlfie, Centre, with his colleagues Trevor Spokes* Senior Process Engineer / Commissioning Manager on his right and Soroush Kander Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Engineer on site in the Isle of Wight

Early reading of Rudyard Kipling’s “The man who would be King” began an early interest in freemasonry for Bro Alfie Middlehurst who was Initiated into Denison Lodge on May 25th 2022.

Alfie tells us:

“My interest did begin when I read the “Man who would be King” but that was quite a long time ago. However my interest never waned and I read more and more about Freemasonry. Having reached the grand old age of 50 I realised that my interest would risk never being fulfilled and I would probably live to regret it, says Alfie, so after a lot of research and a link from Google to UGLE website I took the plunge and ‘pressed the button’. The response was fast. Within a short space of time I had been referred by the Provincial Grand Lodge Membership Officer to Tony Dyer our Area Membership Officer. He discussed the various Lodges in the Scarborough area with me. Although I live in Scarborough my work takes me away from home a lot and, meeting four times a year on a Saturday, Denison looked the most appealing choice”.

“The morning of my initiation, up early and dressed smart, I headed to the Masonic Hall in Scarborough in good time, there was trepidation on entering such a fine building, but on going through the door I was welcomed by all, and got my first taste seeing all the gentlemen, now brothers, all presented immaculately and some already dressed in full regalia. Now it was time, the meeting was in progress, and I was prepared by the Tyler, Jimmy Morrison, a very nice and settling character who as well as preparing me well, he also seemed to pass a wave of confidence over to me. I won’t go into the ceremony in any detail, but I had read snippets in the past and obviously heard the stories from the ill-informed. I made the point initially and will continue steadfastly to never research anything that is above my level and just enjoy the mystery and magical experiences that awaits, furthermore during my initiation I formally solemnly pledged that I would not do so.

My initiation was a fantastic and overwhelming experience that will live with me forever and ultimately, made me feel content and happy that I had now started my journey.

My next meeting was also a brilliant experience, a chance to play the candidate again, this brought more confidence and a little more understanding. Then to witness a double initiation in which I took part by delivering my first piece of ritual (the Tools!), never to be forgotten, which also extends my admiration for the brothers than can deliver ritual so eloquently and precisely.”

“I cannot predict the future, but Freemasonry will play a big part, next year will be a busy one, I will take the role of Inner Guard at the Installation meeting on March 4th, and I will also be preparing to take my next step to the 2nd degree. With the help of Chris Harland as my mentor, I can hopefully work harder and enjoy with the backup of his guidance and knowledge."

· Trevor Spokes PPSGD is a member of the Albany Lodge 151, Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight