Northumberland auctioneer hunts for Masonic families

Jim Railton
Jim Railton

A north Northumberland auctioneer is on the hunt for families of a Masonic Lodge, from whom he has an option to purchase a building.

Jim Railton, the owner of The Old Masonic Hall in Wooler, bought an option to purchase the old school, which subsequently became the library, at the same time.

This option was set up in 1963 by the Glendale Masonic Lodge, so that if necessary they could buy the library back, and it was passed to the owner of the Masonic Hall when Mr Railton purchased it.

The option to purchase lasts 21 years from the death of the last Lodge elder.

“It’s a bit like a timebomb ticking away,” said Mr Railton.

“I am trying to find the families for the Masonic Lodge Heart of Glendale who we presume are now all deceased.

“They are John Purvis, Ballantyne Brodie Strother, Arthur Greathead and Robert Curle.

“It’s a bit nerve-racking from my point of view, as I did not realise that my option to purchase was ticking away, and it may be that I have lost out by a couple of years.”

The county council’s legal department believe the option ran out in 2009.

If you have any information, contact the Gazette on 01665 602234 or ben.oconnell@northeast-press.co.uk