The formation of the Lodge began in 1918, immediately after the end of the First World War in order to meet the demands of Lodges for new members. It was the first Lodge to be formed in the Province after the ‘Great War’. The Warrant was granted on 2nd May 1919 and it was finally Consecrated on 21st Oct 1919.
The Lodge is named after Sir Henry St. John Halford, Lord of the manor at Wistow Hall in Leicestershire. He was born on the 9th August 1828 and later educated at Eton & Merton College, Oxford and obtained a B.A.in 1849. He was Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire; High Sheriff of the former in 1872; Chairman of the Quarter Sessions and the first Chairman of the Leicestershire County Council. Sir Henry was also Colonel of the 1st Vol. Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, which he commanded for many years. He was acknowledged to be an enthusiastic and expert marksman, and shot with the English Eight at Wimbledon. He was Initiated into the John of Gaunt Lodge No.523 on the 4th February 1870 and on the 16th September, in the same year, assisted in the founding of St. Peter’s Lodge No.1330, of which, he was the first Senior Warden. In 1873 he became the Deputy Provincial Grand Master
The Lodge was formed with the stated aim “For the Advancement of Younger Masons”, and although it was not intended exclusively for any particular Group or Persons, this principal aim still exists today. It was an immediate success, with such a rush of applicants that the Lodge was obliged to put through 2 Candidates at a single meeting, and even 4 together on one occasion. At one stage the lodge had to begin limiting new Members numbers, which resulted in a 2 year waiting list to join.
The Lodge continued to prosper and by 1946, the Membership stood at over 100 members. In 1948 three Past Masters of Halford Lodge were the driving force behind the formation of Greyfriars Lodge, 6803, and became its first Master & Wardens. It thus became Halford’s “Daughter” Lodge, resulting in a custom of Annual visits to each other which continue to this day. In the following year, 1949, the “Ladies Evening” was reintroduced following suspension during the war years. This annual event is always well attended, with the record being set in 1963 with 210 Ladies and Gentlemen enjoying “good food, wonderful company and great entertainment”.
Over the years the Lodge start-time moved from an unbelievable 12.00 noon in the early years to 4.00p.m. and more recently to 6.00p.m. where it now stands.
The Lodge still flourishes, and has recently seen a renewal of interest, the most pleasing aspect of which is a lot of ‘younger members’ coming into masonry. We now boast a membership which is as diverse in culture and background as it is in age.