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The newspaper also stated Fauldhouse stood 'within a mile of Crofthead and Greenburn, villages similar to itself and practically forms with one of them'. Drybridge was another of these adjoining villages to Fauldhouse, now more commonly known as Bridge Street where the lodge is presently situated, and incredibly less than two years after our own consecration another new lodge was to form - St Andrews No 380 Drybridge.

 

It remains unclear why a second lodge was formed; it may have been attributed to the industry in the surrounding villages; it was a reasonable enough catchment area although our own minute book suggests that with, at times, a lack of initiates there may not have been enough candidates as first anticipated. We do know that deputations from St Andrews No 380, and on occasion accompanied by Lodge Addiewell Star No 635, now also dormant, were received until their demise at many of our earlier installations.

 

The Lodge having met briefly at Marybank then onto Crofthead, and still no permanent home, it became the desire and the wish of the brethren that a lodge room should 'be erected for the purpose of holding meetings and transacting any business in connection with the affairs of the lodge'. Subsequently, on 30th October 1862, with the lodge under the stewardship of RWM Bro Daniel Cochrane, the St John Crofthead Masonic Building Co was formed and in conjunction with the St John Crofthead Friendly Society the brethren were offered £1 shares which would contribute towards the proposed new building in Bridge Street. The building would consist of a shop, a dwelling house with the Masonic hall above - later additions would provide cloakroom and kitchen facilities. On 5th September 1863 RWM Bro William Thornton, aided by his office bearers, laid the foundation stone for the new Temple. Just over two months later, on 24th November, and at a cost of £186 & 12 shillings, the new hall was opened and the inauguration ceremony was conducted by the RWM Bro Thornton and his office bearers where he delivered an address that was 'listened to with grate attention by the brethren'. The ceremony was then closed with the singing of the 'Hundredth Psalm'. The brethren then 'proceeded to their homes, some for their wives and some for their sweethearts and returned back to the hall when upwards of seventy persons sat down to a supper provided by Mrs.Wyper, the rest of the evening spent in toasts, song, sentiment and dancing. '

 

It is unusual in the modern era of freemasonry to have the WJW officiate at a regular meeting but this seems to be the case in 1869. The RWM Bro James Walker, having been installed on 29th June, never returned to chair a meeting and sadly passed on to the Grand Lodge above some months later. His duties were fulfilled by his WJW Bro James Gilchrist and DM Bro Andrew Carmichael who would assume the position for the remainder of the year. The minute book also shows that the late Bro Walker was installed as RWM although he never held office previously. This was to be a common trait throughout the early period of our history where many of our brethren would merely fill a post for a year with no further progression.

 

By the turn of the century the office bearer situation became evident once again. On 11th January 1900 Bro William Wood was installed for the first of an unprecedented three year term as Master of the Lodge. His record tenure still stands to the present day.

 

Among his many duties as Master would be to preside over the now beginning dispute between the lodge and the St John Masonic Friendly Society over the rightful ownership of the building which took over twenty years to resolve, with the brethren eventually leaving the lodge they built.