Huddersfield Chronicle (05/Jun/1852) - District News: Holmfirth
Opening of the Druids' Hall — On Monday last the members of the Royal Order of Modern Druids, Lodge No. 346, held at the house of Mr. Macdonald, the Crown Hotel, Holmfirth, opened their new hall, and having issued invitations to a large number of neighbouring lodges to join them and take part in the proceedings, it was universally expected that there would be a splendid gathering. The hall is a beautiful building, and has cost about £1400 — £300 of which has been raised by shares of £1 each, and the rest taken from the funds of lodge 346. By letting the two wings as dwelling-houses, the centre for a public house, and reserving the large room for the transaction of their own business and to let out for public meetings, &c., they expect to realize better interest for their money than having it invested in the funds. The large room is neatly arranged, and capable of holding about 500 or 600 people. Owing, no doubt, to Whit-Monday being the day on which many of the other lodges celebrated their annual festivities, the gathering was not so large as was expected. A little after noon about 220 druids having assembled at the Crown Hotel, they formed a procession, the office bearers in full druidical uniform, and headed by the temperance brass band, walked through the town, and afterwards took a wide circuit through the neighbouring district. In the evening they assembled in considerable numbers in the hall to hold a public meeting. On the platform we observed amongst others the Rev. David James, LL.D., of Kirkdale, Liverpool; the Rev. R. E. Leach, incumbent of Holmfirth; the Rev. Mr. Marshall, Joshua Moorhouse, Esq., J.P., and Messrs. Nathan Thewles, Joseph Crosland, George Thewles, — Crawshaw, and William Hinchliffe. Mr. Edward Crosland (district secretary) was called to the chair, who alluded to the prosperous state of Lodge 346, and said that during the last nine years the number of members had more than doubled. In 1843 the number of good financial members was 149, and in 1852 they were 341, A variety of reasons had induced them to erect that hall, amongst which were the want of increased accommodation, and a desire — a considerable number of the members being teetotallers — to free themselves from public houses. He then stated a most interesting fact that no member of the Royal Order of Modern Druids ever received relief from the parish, and concluded by calling upon the band to play the National Anthem. — The Rev. R. E. Leech, in a very short address said it would be twenty years in November next since he first preached for that order in Holmfirth church, and he bore willing testimony, so far as his experience went, to the high state of morality of the members. He knew they had been exceedingly useful in alleviating the misery of society, and concluded by proposing “Success to the Druids’ Society.” After a few remarks from Mr. John Shaw (a member of the order) and the Rev. Mr. Marshall. Mr. S. Wimpenny delivered a suitable address, and, though no Druid himself, complimented the order on the manner in which the Royal Order of Modern Druids had dealt with the orphan children of such of their members as had been drowned by the late flood. Addresses were also delivered by the Rev. David James, Joseph Moorhouse, Esq., J.P., and Messrs. W. Hinchliff, Crawshaw, and Geo. Thewlis, after which votes of thanks were awarded to the Rev. D. James, and the other speakers, and the proceedings closed by the company singing the doxology.