Around the Province – St Andrew’s Rooms, Biggleswade

Biggleswade Masonic Centre has taken full advantage of the suspension of Masonic activities, and government support for Hospitality venues resulting from the pandemic, to carry out badly needed repairs and upgrades to the building.

The entrance doors needed upgrading, not only to improve the appearance but to be fully compliant with current specifications. The old solid blue composite doors have been replaced by superb solid oak wooden doors which are wider and incorporate a glazed section to meet regulations for disabled access. The locks have been upgraded and enhanced to maximise security.

The entrance hall has a new suspended ceiling and has been completely redecorated.

The dining room had also been redecorated to improve the experience for lodge members and visitors and to encourage more private bookings when things return to normality.

The old plastic-covered seats in the Temple have been replaced with new, modern, and more comfortable chairs which not only improves the appearance but ensures members can enjoy meetings even more.

However, much more has been accomplished which is not immediately apparent. A boiler which provided heating in the social areas was well past its sell-by date and has been replaced by a brand new, much more efficient unit. The electricity supply to the whole building required full updating to meet current specifications and ensure reliability and safety. A new 3-phase distribution board and meter have been installed and a full survey and certification of the building have been completed.

Additional construction work to the roof has been carried out to ensure the integrity of the building and where possible, all incandescent and fluorescent lighting has been replaced with more efficient LED bulbs to improve lighting and reduce operating costs.

Further work is planned to improve storage and to convert the old lounge into a second, smaller temple, primarily to accommodate Lodges of Instruction.