3rd June 2023 - BREAKING NEWS - Brethren from Scotland, specifically Lodge Thistle & Crown No.1167 led by their WM RWM John Miller PM , Grand Bard of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Past Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Renfrewshire East, Scottish Constitution accompanied by 7 other Lodge Thistle & Crown Brethren and piper Michael Dailly RWM of Lodge Douglas, East Kilbride No.1557, conducted a successful cross border operation into England on Saturday 3rd June 2023 - Codenamed OPERATION HILLTOP. It was a crisp June morning when our Scottish Brethren departed Bonnie Scotland to embark on the first phase of the Operation which involved a 7 hour coach journey. The current railway strikes and football fans travelling to the FA Cup final proved no match for their steely determination to arrive at the final rendezvous, Stow on the Wold. Phase 1 complete at 17:15 hrs.
Phase 2 involved unloading their equipment and making camp which involved some liquid refreshment. Phase 2 complete at 18:45 hrs.
Phase 3 - A demonstration of a 3rd degree of the Scottish Constitution. Bro K. Wearing was a 'Willing Volunteer' and was duly raised to a MM in a dramatic ceremony that was colourful and skillfully conducted by all of the Scottish Brethren. Phase 3 complete at 21:00
Phase 4 - POW DC gave a demonstration of the 'Walking Charge' which was well received and Bro Simon Quirke remained intact! - Phase 4 complete at 21:15
Phase 5 - All of the Brethren moved from Labour to refreshment where much merriment and fine food was enjoyed by all. The Raffle raised £330.00 which Lodge Thistle & Crown will donate to 'Brightest Stars' back in Scotland - a local charity which supports grieving families on the loss of a child. Phase 5 completed 23:00 hrs.
Phase 6 - the move back to Scotland. After a nights rest the raiding party embarked on the long return journey back home.
All of the members of the HillTop Lodges would like to pass on our sincere thanks to all of the Scottish Brethren who made the long journey south. OPERATION HILLTOP was an extremely successful, cross border operation carried out by a highly skilled team of Freemasons - you have done your duty well!!