Luxury Steam Train Trip

In East Lancashire, we have the ELMBF (East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund) our own Provincial Mark Charity which administers and distributes funds raised within the province of East Lancashire and any National donations provided by the Mark Benevolent Fund.

In addition to its responsibility for the administration of two groups of properties in East Lancashire, provided to give affordable accommodation to elderly Masons, their Widows and dependents, they also distribute funds to Registered Charities within the Province.

In February 2020 the Fund was asked to support the East Lancashire Railway in providing Defibrillators to be sited at the various stations, which was granted and are sited at different locations across their network.

In a reciprocal gesture, The East Lancashire Railway offered the Mark Province three trips within the Officer Observation Saloon on the 11th June 2023, with an official unveiling of the Defibrillators. The observation carriage was very comfortable and luxurious, where the staff served us with tea and cake. They were very helpful and friendly, making the journey most enjoyable.

Jeff Armstrong, who is a Mark Mason, was our guide on the train and Operations Manager for the Rail company. He provided a very useful background to the running of the railway and how they had coped during Lockdown, which is completely run by volunteers and enthusiasts. He explained about the various locomotives and the repairs which are carried out for the heritage railways across the country.

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Since the recent deployment of the Defibrillators, they have been utilised recently after a lady collapsed with a suspect Heart attack at an ending reception. The unit activation on this individual managed to start and stabilised the Heart, she is currently in hospital receiving ongoing treatment for her condition. This is an example of Mark Masonry’s charitable giving in action within the community

Brendan Harte JP PGJD
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
East Lancashire Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masons

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