Celebrations on Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Lodge of Loyalty’s Masonic Hall in Marlborough included a presentation of a cheque to Mayor Andrew Ross towards the town’s youth organisations.

Coun Ross was invited to the hall in Oxford Street to meet masonic leaders where he was presented with a cheque for £1,500 by the Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire, Frances Wakem QPM.

The hall was originally built as a Methodist chapel which the Lodge of Loyalty took over in 1910 after the church moved into new premises next door. Earlier this year it also celebrated its centenary.

To mark its 100th birthday the lodge handed out £10,000 in donations on Saturday: £3,000 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund, £1,500 to the mayor for Marlborough youth organisations and a similar figure to Macmillan Cancer Support, £1,000 each to the Prospect Hospice and St John’s School and £500 each to the Corner House Children’s Centre, Army Benevolent Fund, New Road Centre and the Jubilee Centre.

Lodge secretary Steve Aubertin said that although the hall had been in use for 100 years, freemasonry in Marlborough could be traced back to 1768 when the Castle Inn Lodge met at what is now the C House at Marlborough College.

Later the Wilts Militia Lodge met at various locations in the county but by 1814 its HQ was in Marlborough and one of the meeting places it used was said to be the Royal Oak in the High Street.

The present Lodge of Loyalty was established in 1876 at the old town hall.

Its members have included mayors Herbert Leaf (1906) and Thomas Free who was mayor on six occasions.

Currently the lodge has just over 60 members who come from all walks of life.