Ardery Street: There and back again.

Ardery Street Temple devistated by fire

At 1.30pm in the afternoon of Friday the 23rd of January 2009,  the emergency services were call to the halls in Ardery Street after flames were reported by a nearby resident. In a very short period of time the fire was well established and 3 engines were battling to contain the fierce blaze.  

Many brethern stood by helpless as they watched their temple and it's contents being consumed by the flames. By late evening the fire was all but out, with the fire crews entering the building to soak down the last of the smoldering hot spots.

However, due to the unsafe nature of the roof, the brethern could not enter to see the extent of the damage.

By next morning the devastation caused by the fire could be clearly seen. Most of the roof had indeed caved in and the main hall had been completely destroyed. The kitchen and bar area both suffered smoke and water damage, as had the upper floor.

The pictures that you see are looking towards the East and where the stage used to be. To the left and right of this were where most of the Lodges had their storage space. Very little survived.

Thankfully no-one was injured but many pieces on masonic history were lost.

Lodge Galen lost everything including all the furniture, working tools, bible and some of our older documents. Despite these being in a steel tin, such was the intensity of the fire, the tin was severely damaged and the documents inside turned to ash.  

Some regalia suvived as it was in the possesion of the Office Bearers and by a strange quirk of fate, the Past Masters board survived  This was due to one of our past masters luckily deciding, at our meeting two weeks previous, to take it away to add the next name to it. Unfortunately every other Lodges boards were lost to the flames.

Lodge Galen 1285, Lodge Thistle & Rose 73, Lodge St Vincent Sandyford 553, Lodge St Johns Whiteinch 683, Lodge Kelvin Partick 1207 and Lodge Western 1346 were all now homeless along with a number of other Orders.The ominous and daunting task of rebuilding the ruined halls were now in the capable hands of Lodge Western and Lodge St Johns Whiteinch, the halls owners.  

Meantime, in true masonic fashion, other Lodges, both within and outwith the Province of Glasgow, rallied round with help and support. In no time at all, the affected Lodges had temporary accommodation within other temples and were back up and running.

Lodge St Vincent Sandyford were hosted by Lodge Corkerhill No 1426, down in Mafeking Street, Ibrox Glasgow. Lodges Western, St Johns Whitinch, Kelvin Partick and Thistle & Rose move just down the road to 92 Dumbarton Road to Lodge Partick St Marys No 117 temple.

Lodge Galen moved to Lodge The Royal Stuart No 1414, at 366 Shieldhall Road, Glasgow. (see below)

The Past Masters, office bearers and Brethern of Lodge Galen owe a huge debt of gratitude to the brethern of Lodge the Royal Stuart, for all their help and kindness during this time. Not only did they allow us to use their temple, but also the use of all their furniture and everything else we needed to continue the workings of the Lodge. Such was the help , that Lodge Galen never missed a meeting and our February meeting went ahead as scheduled.  

As the winter months passed, Lodge Galen had settled nicely into Shieldshall Road and it was business as usual. However things were not going so well at Ardery Street. Due to various delays with Insurers and builders, the rebuild of the hall had not started, and the weather continued to take its toil on the building  

However, even though the weather did its worse, the halls Committee determination was not dampened and continued to battle to get things started.  By late spring of 2009, the work had commenced and the brethern followed the progress with a keen interest.

Slowly, the hall started to take shape. The structural damage to the back wall was repaired and a brand new roof was finally in place. Now the work had started in earnest, there were high hopes the Hall would be ready in time for the Lodges returning after Recess, but as time passed it became more and more apparent that, despite the best efforts of the Halls Committee,  this would not be the case. The hall was now water tight and repairs and renovation to the interior moved apace, there was still a huge amount of work to do.

Community Web Kit provided free by BT