In September 2008, the Loyal  Orange Institution of England, held their Grand Lodge Sessions in the city of Bristol. It was the first time the city had the honour of hosting the event since 1915.

The host Lodge was the Somme Memorial LOL 842, Bristol and they produced a jewel and badge to mark the occasion - both of these are available on our SHOP page.

Commemorative jewel

The weekend started on Friday afternoon, with the Sessions taking place in one of the city's hotels. In the evening, there was a formal dinner, which the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bristol attended as special guests.

After an excellent meal, there were various speeches and toasts, proposed by dignitaries from Grand Lodge and by the Lord Mayor himself. One of the highlights of the evening, especially for the host Lodge, was the unveiling and dedication of their new bannerette. The members of the Lodge assembled with their bannerette at the top table and the Grand Chaplain, the Right Worshipful J.R.G. Harvey performed the ceremony. 

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, with Brethren of
The Somme Memorial LOL 842, and their new bannerette 

On Saturday morning the Grand Lodge concluded their affairs at the morning Sessions. 

Somme Memorial L.O.L. 842 on Parade

At 2pm The Loyal Orange Institution Of England paraded in glorious sunshine along a route of approximately 4 miles, down through Bristol city centre  to the magnificent  Queen's Square, where there is a statue by Rysbrack of King William III. Approximately 2000 bandsmen and members of the Orange Institution walked the route, including several Brethren from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Heroes of The Somme Flute band lead the Somme Memorial
Loyal Orange Lodge into Queen's Square

It was a fitting end for the parade and the brethren and bandspeople were addressed by the Grand Chaplain and the  Most Worshipful Grand Master Of England Bro. W.R Bather.

Most Worshipful Grand Master Of England Bro. W.R Bather HDGM

The two days were a great success. The city of Bristol received the parade well with many people voicing their approval along the route. Great credit must go to Somme Memorial LOL 842 for an event splendidly organised and indeed to everyone who attended either to take part or to support.

Let us hope that Orangeism would continue to flourish in that part of the world and that the host Lodge may see the benefit of an increase of good men within their Lodge.

 Somme Memorial bannerette