History

The story of the hall starts in 1889 with the consecration of St Laurence Lodge No 2330.  The lodge originally met at the New Inn (later called the Park Hotel), across Church Lanefrom the location of he current Hall.  Before long, the lodge realised it would be better to own their own rooms.

In 1897, they looked at premises in Lidgett Hill and the following year, when the new Conservative Club was being built, the possibility of using part of the premises was explored.  Neither progressed, however.

Early in 1901, the possibility came up to acquire two cottages called Greenwood’s Cottages in Church Lane, together with adjoining land.  Negotiations proceeded swiftly and in June, the purchase was completed at a cost of £650. A further £483 was spend on alterations and £213 on purchasing furniture.  and so, on 9 October 1901, the new rooms were formally opened.

At this time the accommodation consisted of what is now the Church Lane frontage, including the current bar area and small temple.

 

With the founding on a second lodge in 1907, a new company, Pudsey Masonic Hall Company Ltd, and the members of St Laurence Lodge presented all its assets to the new company.  Both lodges had equal representation on the Board of the new company, a situation which has continued as new units have joined the Hall.

It soon became clear that more space was needed and in 1911 a substantial extension was tarted.  This included the present dining room and the large lodge room, with a kitchen being built in he basement.  The total cost of the work was £1743, with the extension opening in April 1912.

After the First World War ended, lodge membership continued to grow and with it, a need to improve facilities.  In 1922, an attempt was made unsuccessfully to purchase some extra land at the rear of the premises.  Eventually, building took place on some existing land, allowing the creation of the annex to the dining room on the ground floor, with the Board Room and extra toilets on the first floor.  The cost this time was nearly £2000.

No further changes then took place for another 50 years.  However, the kitchen in the basement, bring food up by dumb waiter, was less than satisfactory and in 2008 the Company took out a mortgage on two cottages which it owns to allow a major refurbishment.  The main change was the creation of a large new kitchen behind the dining room on the ground floor.  The basement was then converted into a storage area and laundry room, allowing all tableware to be handled in-house.  A stair lift was also installed to allow easy access to the lodge room.

Work continues each summer on the building, to maintain the fabric and improve the facilities for the members and guests.