FESTIVALS, INSTALLATIONS AND TEMPORY HOMES.
Through the years, from 1873 till 1911, the Lodge room in Crossgates was evidently not equipped to handle neither a large attendance nor able to provide the facilities for providing food. For these reasons, the other Hotel in the village was used and there was also another Hall which was used on occasion. The following, are examples of when these occasions arose, of the owners and connections to the Lodge.
1863 - 1890 Mc Lean's Inn/Tavern/Hall
Alexander McLean's Hall was in use when according to newspaper reports, a lodge of Free Colliers held a meeting there in 1863. In 1867 the Dunfermline Saturday Press of the 25th May reported that Alexander McLean had opened a new Music Hall which would accommodate about 700 people. The size of the Hall was to be 66-1/2 feet by 32 feet. Also reported in May was the events of the Annual Crossgates Games Day, held on the field at the north end, on the edge of the village, after which around two hundred couples returned to McLean's new hall where they enjoyed the Annual Ball. There are also other reports which tell of mass meetings of miners through the years, one in particular, records the presence in 1867 of Miners Union Secretary - Henry Cook, some 6 years before he became R.W.M. of Lodge St. John. Henry Cook was also present when a crowd of 600 miners met in McLean's Hall in 1870. It was at this meeting, chaired by Henry, in the absence of the Chairman of the Fife Miners Union, Richard Penman of Crossgates -- that the motion of adopting the 8-hour working day for the fife miners was passed.
The Scotsman of the 6th of November 1873 reported the events of our Consecration and Installation of Office Bearers. After meeting within the Lodge room (Mrs Crawford's ), the Brethren marched through the village and made their way to the railway station where they met the members of Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge and other visiting brethren. They then marched back into the village and the Consecration and Installation of the R.W.M. Brother Henry Cook and his Office Bearers took place in Bro. Alexander McLean's Hall. The attendance in the hall was reportedly around three hundred, and after the ceremonies were completed, the Brethren sat down to a banquet. In this report, Alexander was described as - Bro. Alexander McLean, and so, was already a Freemason and was among those men who had offered their services and became our first W.J.W.
In the 1871 census, Alex McLean aged 43 was described as - Inn Keeper living in Front Street. According to the 1875/6 rates valuation Rolls, he was described as proprietor and occupier of house and gardens and also of a Hall. By this time he was also described as -- late (as in, ex ) Inn Keeper. His property must have consisted of an Inn and a Hall. By 1873 Alexander had given up the Inn to James Connelly but retained the Hall until 1879, when the Hall passed into the hands of Mr John Addison.
By the time of the 1872/73 Valuation Rolls, Alexander McLean had clearly given up his Inn and this year's Rolls, show Alexander McLean next to James Connelly on the Rolls, who was described variously over the next few years as a spirit dealer and an Inn Keeper.
In those earlier years, Bro. Mclean's Hall, was certainly a much larger hall than today's present Lodge Hall and was certainly used by the community, as evidenced in 1877 when the village celebrated the introduction of street lighting, and after the lamps having been lit, the people of the village headed by the local Brass Band marched through the village and celebrated with a Concert held in McLean's Hall. By 1879 the Hall had changed hands and had become John Addison's Hall - sometimes reported as Addison’s Tavern. On the 1894 Ordnance Survey map, there was a building marked as - P.H.(Public House ) and sat on the site of today's ( 2016 ) Old Tavern. It was at times reported in the newspapers of the day, as - the Public Hall so it is unclear whether the Hall was a separate building from McLean's Inn/ Hotel or part of it. The Hall certainly changed hands quite a few times over the years being owned by various solicitors before the 1884 Valuation Rolls show the proprietor and occupier as John Addison, but sometimes it was still reported as the Music Hall.
1873(Aug) - 1875/6, Connelly's Inn/Crossgates Hotel
James Connelly was a recent incomer to the village and became Proprietor/ Occupier of the Hotel until he died in 1878, aged 51. James became one of the earliest members of our lodge in 1873, and during this time the Lodge met in Bro. Connelly's Hotel for social occasions rather than Lodge meetings. The 1873/74 Rates Valuation roll, show James as a Spirit dealer and Proprietor and Occupier of an Inn, while next to him on the roll, was Alexander McLean's Hall. James was married to Jane Brunton. Jane's maiden name would become of interest a few years later when the Lodge moved to another ' Home ' in Cowdenbeath. James and Jane emigrated to Australia in 1872 and returned the following year in March 1873. While in Australia James ran a pub then continued his Profession on his return to Scotland, and to Crossgates, where he took over the Hotel from Alexander McLean.
So where was Bro Connelly's Hotel? It would seem that the Hall and the Hotel which appear next to each other on the Valuation Rolls, would, for a time be owned by different people for a few years after passing into the hands of James Connelly. The 1894 Ordnance Survey map shows the Crossgates Hotel situated on the corner of Main Street and what was formerly Kirk Row then Manse Street before becoming today's Manse Road, and like Mrs Crawford' s Hotel - complete with stables.
James Connelly passed away in 1878 and his wife Jane remarried in 1880 to John Addison of Crossgates and would continue the profession with John and Just to keep everything in the family David Brunton ( Jane's Brother ) who had been the witness on James's death certificate -- married Elizabeth Addison, sister of John.
In 1875/76 Valuation Rolls, James Connelly was described as Spirit Merchant and proprietor and occupier of Inn and Gardens etc. James was 49 years old when he joined the lodge in 1873. Born in Ireland, James was married to Jane Brunton of Cowdenbeath, sister of David Brunton. Jane (Jean ) and David were siblings of John Brunton who would be relevant to the Lodge in later years when it moved to Cowdenbeath. John Brunton built Brunton Hall in Cowdenbeath.
James Connelly was born in Down, N/Ireland, his father's name was actually Conol and he married Jane in 1851. They emigrated to Australia in 1872 and returned after running a pub there, in March 1873. His death certificate describes him as Hotel Manager. To keep things within the Masonic family, after James's death, Jane married John Addison and the Hotel then became known as Addison's Hotel. The Lodge used Bro. Connelly's hotel occasionally through the next few years on both the summer and winter festival of St John and also occasionally for committee meetings.
So after only 5 years, the hotel changed hands and came under the control of John and Jane Addison.
1879 John Addison’s Crossgates Hotel & 1884 Addison's Hall
John Addison Married Jane Brunton in 1880. Jane was previously married to James Connelly and had remained as the owner/ occupier of the Hotel after James Connelly's death in 1878. John is present as the proprietor of the Inn on the 1878/79 Valuation Rolls and then in the 1884 Rolls as owner /occupier of the Hall. In this year, one notable event which took place in Bro. Addison's Hall was the presentation of the first Past Master's Jewel to our first R.W.M. Bro.. Henry Cook. After meeting and marching with Lodge Minto 385, the Lodges sat down in Addison's Hall to a Banquet and after the usual toasts, Bro. Cook was presented with a fine gold Jewel and also received a silver tea set and gold brooch for his wife. John Addison became a member of the Lodge in 1879, remaining active in the Lodge until his death in 1902.
Through the Cowdenbeath years, the Lodge still used both Mrs Crawford's Lodge room for meetings and Bro. Addison's Hall for Installations and Festivals.
John Addison remained as Owner / Occupier of the Crossgates Hotel and the Hall until his death in 1902 when they passed into the hands of Thomas Ness. Thomas had become a member of the Lodge in 1886. Both Hotel and Hall were still used by the Lodge until 1911 when the new Masonic Hall was built and the Lodge moved into our own first real -- HOME.
SCHOOL/MINERS WELFARE AND MEMORIAL INSTITUTE.
Although education for children did not become compulsory for children until 1873, there was a school in Crossgates or at least just outside the village at Drumcooper. However a subscription school was built in 1860 and through the years various alterations kept the building in use as a school - until 1923, when the present School in Crossgates opened on 31st March 1923.
Throughout the years the Education Authorities used our Halls as classrooms. In February of 1919, two of our Brethren were nominated to attend a meeting in the public school on March 4th to consider the raising of a Public Testimonial to those men who had fallen in the War. Still, today (2016) Lodge St John 540 Annually attends the Remembrance Day Service held at the Testimonial within today's Community Centre.
In 1924, the Miners Union opened negotiations with the Education Authorities to buy the School. In 1925 the old school now known as The Miners Welfare and Memorial Institute was opened.
Considering the Lodge History and early involvement in the Mining Industry, even for many years after Henry Cook became our first R.W.M., It seems fitting that the Lodge would use this Institute, from the time when our own Hall was bought by Mr Yates in 1935 -- until the newly acquired cookery rooms of the school were altered to suit our needs. We would return to the Institute when the new Lodge room was taken over by the A.R.P. in 1939, until 1946 when we returned 'HOME' once again. This building still stands today, now (2016) owned by Fife County Council and used as a Community Centre.
When the old school was closed, and taken over by the Miners union -- the cookery and dinner room eventually became available for sale and in 1935, after alterations were made Lodge St John opened negotiations to buy the kitchen/cookery room and our first meeting within the building was held on 7th November 1936.
Since moving into our present 'Home' there have been many occasions over the years when the Lodge has returned to the Institute, now Community Centre - to hold functions like)- Installations, festivals of St.John and Ladies Nights.
HOTELS IN Crossgates in 1873
Mrs Crawford's - became Cross Inn
McLean's Hall/Tavern- became Old Tavern
Connely's/ Addison's -- became Crossgates Hotel, Crystal Bar.
Cairns Inn -- became Crystal Bar
1894, Ordnance Survey Map shows -1. Hotel -site of today's Crystal Bar
- 2. Inn - site of recent Cross INN
- 3 P.H. Public Hall. on site of today's Old Tavern
- 4 Freemason's Hall built 1893 by Bro. Burt.