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Report - South Manchester Freemasons Hall, 1/6/07


Conspicuous Loiterer
Regular User
Freemasons Hall - Chorlton

This beautiful building has caught my eye for about 15 years. After 75 years as a masonic hall
it finally closed on 31st May 2005, due to lack of funding for upkeep.


Quoted from www.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk "South Mamchester Freemasons Hall originally
stood on a plot of land of some 2,611 square yards (2,183 square meters) and was established
by converting two Victorian semi- detached houses named “Gildabrookâ€￾ and “Solwayâ€￾. This
provided a Hall and Club House for masons and in addition to the Lodge Room to supply
refreshments of all kinds, tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, and books, newspapers, and periodicals
and to see to the comfort and welfare of its members."


This three day mission started out with a late night recce: being on a residential and busy
main road I didn't want to blow my chances of a proper explore.
So with access secured I planned to come back the next night. Returning in the pale light
of 3am with Serafina (first time explorer) we both felt very nervous. I knew of the haunting
rumours (not that I believe that sort of thing but she might) and decided to save that story
for afterwards. Streetlights shining in from the front made the place seem lit and occupied
so we progressed cautiously. I pushed an ajar door and it shifted a tad before sticking - in
the way it would if someone were holding it shut. My heart thudding and mouth dry,
I shoved hard and it gave, revealing only an empty cupboard. Deep breath...


And so the mood was set: an hour of terror of the unknown mixed with euphoria
at seeing this long-coveted site.



We went upstairs - quirkily shaped bedrooms under the eaves and fire escapes to nowhere.



We went downstairs - the scariest cellar I've ever been in (and the last refuge of
anyone who might be hiding from us) a huge labyrinth with emergency generator;
random bar crockery; stone-slab table laid out with site plans:


Not wanting to use too much torch-light I hadn't got good enough pics of the windows
so returned alone the next evening just in time to catch the dusky light of a June sunset.













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