Freemasons had held Lodges of Instruction in Broadstairs at least since the 1880's. The Royal Navy Lodge 429 held theirs alternatively between Ramsgate and Broadstairs. Interestingly at least some were held “Under the auspices of the Lewises Lodge”. Some of these brethren became the founders of the Bradstow Lodge 12 years later.
On the 18th May 1892 a delegation from the Royal Navy Lodge 429 and the Lewises Lodge 1209 visited the Union Lodge 127. A proposition of Alfred Wootten PM and W.Bro.Frederick Stanley that the Lodge recommended the petition for the formation of a new Lodge at Broadstairs was presented. This was carried unanimously and after a short discussion the document was signed furthering the object.
The Royal Navy Lodge had brethren from a very large area and certainly a number from Broadstairs. On 1st June 1892 Bro.Emery sent a letter to the master and wardens asking that an audience be granted to the Broadstairs Brethren . This was granted, and the deputation requested the recommendation of the Worshipful Master and Wardens to form a new Lodge in Broadstairs. Thankfully it was unanimously decided to support the petition. The Bradstow Lodge, No. 2448, was founded in that year.
|Recommendation of WM and Wardens of Union Lodge No.127 :||May 1892|
|Recommendation of WM and Wardens of Royal Navy Lodge No.429 :||June 1892|
|Warrant of Constitution :||21st October 1892|
|Consecrated :||15th December 1892|
Our first initiation occurred shortly after on December 28th. The candidate was the vicar of our local church, Rev. R.A. Fawcett. Interestingly, he was also our first brother to be exalted at the Thanet Chapter No.429.
It seems that entry to the Temple was via a door at the side (now blocked up but visible on the exterior) and possibly a door at the back of the building. To accommodate the members and visitors the gallery was also used although the staircase was added later. Before that it seems a step ladder was utilised! Rumour has it that robing/disrobing occurred “ in a building opposite, most probably within the gasworks !”. Certainly the gas works board room was used as was the bar by our Lodge several years later when building work was being conducted in the Lodge. The festive board was usually held in one of the hotels locally as well as in the function rooms of local pubs. Stewards had to get to the premises early to prepare for each event. In the 1920's the house next door was bought and converted into service. Even then the poor stewards had to dine earlier to be ready to do their duty at the Festive Board.
When Sir Charles Warren retired to Ramsgate he paid a visit to our Lodge to present a lecture on his excavations with the Palestine Exploration Fund. His experience in Jerusalem, specifically around the site of the Temple would have been very interesting.
During WW 1 an LoI had to be terminated early by “a visit of a Zeppelin Airship!”
In December 1925 it was proposed by the WM and seconded by the IPM that Bradstow Lodge 2448 became a Founding Lodge of the “Freemasons Hospital and Nursing Home”. The resolution was carried unanimously.
Lord Cornwallis was offered Honorary Membership of Bradstow, and he happily accepted.During WW 2 areas such as Broadstairs became seriously depopulated. Different Lodges handled the lack of officers in varied ways. Bradstow and Kingsgate managed by simply lending officers from one Lodge to the other. Visits from military personell also aided the numbers present.
It was the practice then, as now, that every member was expected to attend the LoI, and all take active parts in the ritual as much as possible. Although attempts were made to stop the LoI during the Summer, this seems never to have lasted long, and they soon resumed.
Like so many Lodges, it is gratifying to observe in our records that we have had members from all ranks of society, Members of Parliament, Doctors, Publishers, Solicitors, Victuallers, Shopkeepers, Builders, Railway Station Masters, Teachers, Soldiers, Sailors etc, all with the same commonality; all were and are Brethren of Bradstow.