Adelphi Bluebell Lodge No. 4

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The earliest record of a Lodge of Free Gardeners is a minute of a Lodge in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland dated 16th. August 1676.

Early Lodges were Operative , Gardeners being employed in large estates and country houses. Indeed country houses with gardens were very fashionable and plants as well as Gardeners were much sought after.

In the Lodge, Gardeners would look after sick and injured and would care for the welfare of a deceased members family. These early Lodges admitted non-operative Gardeners and the structure was similar to other early organisations. Although similar Free Gardeners Lodges were not part of any other fraternal organisation .

In the nineteenth century the membership of the organisation increased dramatically and thousands of Lodges were formed, with many Grand Lodges in Scotland.

These were the days prior to the welfare state and Lodges had evolved into Friendly Societies, members paying regular contributions and in return receiving sickness and death benefits.

These Friendly Societies flourished until the end of the Second World War when the Welfare State was established .

Overnight Friendly Societies folded as the Government now provided many of the services that Lodges provided. By the late 1950`s or early 1960`s Free Gardeners Lodges were all but extinct.

However in 2002 a revival of the Order in Scotland took place and visiting Free Gardeners from Australia and South Africa established The Countess of Elgin Lodge in Kirkcaldy.

Soon a Preservation Society was established and Adelphi Bluebell was the fourth Lodge to be associated with the Preservation Society.

The Lodge Founder Members were from Uddingston and Baillieston and the Lodge revived old Free Gardeners Lodge names from these towns, Adelphi from Baillieston and Bluebell from Uddingston.

Our Lodge Adelphi Bluebell withdrew from the Preservation Society in 2003 and remains an Independent Lodge.

Bill Perry has identified five beautiful embroidered aprons from the original Adelphi Lodge No. 21, Baillieston. Recently, five other aprons were donated to the Lodge, including one from Douglas Dale Lodge No. 48 and another from Airdrie Green House Lodge which dates from 1812.

Free Gardeners

Founder Members of the Lodge.

James L. Jack, Founding Worthy Master, Ronald McCarney, Depute Master, Patrick Clarke and William Perry