For some time now Freemasonry has attempted an integration back into the community by breaking the silence that fell due to the persecution of Freemasons during the 2nd World War.
The Freemasons were along with the Jews and Gypsies placed into Concentraton Camps across Europe where many died and the threat to English Freemasons of the same treatment being meted out to them should an invasion take place was a very real threat.
The Hall however survived the war as did a great many of its brethren, and has continued to be used for over 230 years.
From the archives we have discovered that it has been used by the community throughout its existence, having been used to hold Music recitals in the 18th century, this being possibly due to it being the only hall in the then Sunderland Township that was not a Church to possess an organ. it has also been used as a Polling Station and to house the Air Raid Wardens during the 2nd world war.
Local Groups have over recent years been granted access to use the hall, one such group brought into the hall local amateur artists to see and use the hall as inspiration for their paintings.
The Main dining room has also been used to run First Aid Classes and seminars for a local charity who needed a suitable location for their course on Domestic Violence Awareness, assisted by Northumbria Police.
Most recently the Hall was picked by Sunderland College Students to use as the basis for their entry into a Heritage Competition between Local Colleges. The students organised a most impressive 3D scan as the centre piece of their presentation. The Scan was provided for them by a locally based company Precision Geometrics Ltd and access to the Hall and its more inaccessible areas was arranged by the Trust.
Apart from Masonic activities there is a yearly widows party for masonic widows and their friends, several Lodges hold Carol services, Burns Suppers and a whole range of other social functons, Engagement, Wedding, Christening, Childrens Christmas parties, as well as Birthday, and family parties have been catered for.
The hall has been used by the Houghton Pipe Band quite frequently, the band which is self funding and pay for all their own Equipment and Uniforms have regularly entertained at the hall to the delight of those in attendance.
The Trust are always seeking ways to expand use of the Hall especially for the benefit of the local community. please contact us if you run a group and might need a venue, wherever possible we will do our best to assist.