Tuesday 5th July on Chorley Railway Station, 7.55 am train to Manchester, joined Mr Branson's lovely 8.55 am train to London. "Thought you had some guests" asked my travelling companion. "Yes I have, but they are on the 9.05am from Wigan and they are looking after Cyril Brindle", was my reply. Anyhow we all arrived at Euston and met up at 11.20 to get the bus down to Great Queen Street, well know the meeting started earlier, and, there was just time to nip in the Pillars for a swift pint before the meeting.
Darren Brown, Gary Fisher & Adrian Hunter
The Grand Guard were called to duty and this is when the various processions started with the various Heads of the Order who came from all over Europe. Then the Past Grand Sovereigns arrived in procession, at that stage it is time for the Grand Sovereigns procession to enter the Grand Temple which he duly did to the acclaim of all present. He duly opened the meeting and was saluted.
Edwin Schofield & Ray Thain
The Grand Meeting opened to a very busy agenda because of course the new Right Illustrious Grand Eusebius was to be Consecrated and Installed, and that was a quite lengthy piece on its own. So the Rt. Ill. and V. Kt. Dr. The Revd. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell-Smyth GCC has gone, and Rt Ill and V. Kt The Revd. Timothy John Nicholas L'Estrange, GCC is now the Grand Eusebius, that's another one to get you tongue around when proposing toasts.
Next came the appointment of some new Knights Commander of Constantine always nice to witness, Senior members being given higher Rank still, one of the recipients was the Intendant General for our sister Conclave, North and East Lancashire, R Ill Knight Nigel Bramley Howarth, now KCC, and no doubt we all congratulate him on his preferment.     
Graham Williams & Neil Brown
The next bit was really the bit everyone there was waiting for, the appointment and investituture of the Grand Officers for the year, and of course West Lancashire had a few. They are all done by seniority of rank and in alphabetical order, so after the Acting Officers of the year were appointed, the Past ranks started, and of course in this Order you are escorted by a member of the Grand Sepulchre Guard with his flowing white full length Cape and drawn Sword.
First up V. Ill. Kt. Cyril Brindle PGH Alm., Cyril was first up because unfortunately V.Ill. Kt. Walter Ashton PGH Chancellor and V. Ill. Kt Brian Ball PGH Almoner were unable to attend but we all wish them well. The Divisonal Recorder, Ill. Kt. Neil Cooper PGStdB (L) was next in the Promotions. The first appointments started with "some bloke" Ill. Kt. Edwin Schofield, PG Pref. followed by Ill. Kt. Darren Brown, PGW of Reg., Ill. Kt. M. Adrian Hunter, PG Vice Chamberlain, Ill. Kt. David J Wood, PG Vice Chamberlain, and Ill. Kt. Evan Walsh to PG Herald. (All very well deserved)
Michael Moreland & Stephen Gregory
These were supported by a number of Worthy Knights from our Division, some were of course Grand Officers, others Divisional Officers and some Worthy Knight who have as yet not gain any preferment in the Order.
So after an address from the Grand Sovereign, who was very upbeat and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself, Grand Conclave was closed to the singing of "He who would valiant be”, and off we went to dinner.
Michael Walker & Cyril Brindle
Well, yes we went to Dinner, via the various watering holes around the Connaught Rooms for pre dinner drinks.
At Dinner we had the Company of both our Intendant General Rt. Ill. Kt. Michael R Walker along with our Deputy V. Ill. Kt. Fred E Hargreaves, who were in excellent form.
Welcoming everyone who stayed for dinner, and making the afternoon very convivial and enjoyable, in all there were some 14 members of the Division attended the banquet.
Whilst it was a "special day" for those receiving Honours, it can be a "good day out" if you are not. Your support is always welcome when we go to London, I have travelled to most Grand Meetings, and dinned afterwards, for a good number of years now, and this I can tell you was my FIRST GRAND collar, but I have had some wonderful days out met a lot of people, from all over and have really enjoyed myself over those years.
Michael Walker & Frederick Hargreaves (I.G. & Deputy)
I think the message is come and join us, support YOUR Division, you will be made most welcome and I am sure that both Mike and Fred will be really welcoming if you should come to join us in London next year. Should you be fortunate to receive in Grand Conclave a first appointment or a promotion do please remember that it is not only about collecting a Collar, the Celebratory Banquet after the meeting is a big part of the day.
Tom Jackson
Finally, as I wind up this piece, after the proceedings in the Connaught Rooms were over some of use had a little time to waste waiting for the Train back to Preston at 8.30pm. Well what better way than to relax pint in hand catching up with old acquaintances and make some new ones in the Pub. Yes, we did make the train in plenty of time, sampled the hospitality of Virgin Trains. Got a lift home from the station, and on arrival home made a brew and reflected, and reflected more, on a lovely day out in London.
Neil Cooper with Iain Wilson
See you there next year, Tuesday 4th July 2017.
Article by Edwin Schofield, Div Eusebius
and Photographs Courtesy of Fred Hargreaves