Following a successful application to the Provincial Grand Master for a voluntary suspension in October 2020, Chicheley Lodge's management committee met virtually during the following month to discuss the re-opening of the Lodge when restrictions are finally lifted.

The Lodge's in-house environmental health officer advised the committee that, due to the nature of the COVID-19 virus being airborne, the requirement for fresh-air circulation would be key to ensuring the health and safety of brethren attending Chicheley and the other lodges/orders that meet at Thrapston Masonic Hall.

It was agreed that not only should the Lodge members ensure they were in full compliance with current legislation pertaining to fresh-air circulation, they should also take the opportunity to address outstanding items in the Lodge.

Accordingly, the Lodge embarked upon a significant structural and environmental project involving internal and external works.

Insulated stud walls were installed on the ground floor:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00002 walls 21 05 09 chicheley works 00003 walls 21 05 09 chicheley works 00004 walls

Air conditioning units were installed in the Higham robing room and main lodge room with the external condenser units being mounted above head-height to avoid vandalism and water-spray from the cattle-market next door:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00005 aircon 21 05 09 chicheley works 00006 aircon

Lodge members undertook finishing and repointing of external brickwork as well as the installation of new fire-doors and surrounds:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00007 walls 21 05 09 chicheley works 00008 walls

To enhance external drainage, a French drain was installed, which involved a significant amount of digging to make way for over 2-tons of gravel:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00009 drain

Having been sandblasted and overhauled, the fire escape was repainted and re-attached to the wall:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00010 fire escape

Despite a complete replacement of the roof felt and slates some years ago, a subsequent leak in a roof-gulley had caused significant damage to the internal stairwell wall.

Earlier remedial works had failed to remedy this problem, so it was decided to use high-tensile felt to re-felt and re-tile the affected area, which would cure the problem and allow the stairwell to be replastered and repainted:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00012 roof

During the Committee's analysis of project requirements, the issue of obsolete light-fittings in the Temple was also identified.

In a “lightbulb” moment, it was agreed not only to replace the fittings, but also to invest in new glass lamp-shades:

21 05 09 chicheley works 00014 lights

We congratulate the Chicheley brethren on a job well-done and have no doubt that their efforts will ensure the continued enjoyment of Freemasonry at Thrapston for many years to come.

21 05 09 chicheley works 00015 the crew

 Well done Brethren - super job!