Whilst visiting a Nursing Home in Beltinge, Herne Bay I (Wbro Les Shugrue) noticed a foundation stone with masonic notations. I took a photograph of it which was subsequently published in the December 2005 issue of The East Kent Provincial News, with the heading:
An interesting find
Does anyone know anything about this?
Little was I to realise what a doorway this would open into the history of this stone and many other facets of Kent and masonic life in the late 1800,s and early 1900,s. Wbro Deryck Sutton seeing the photograph made contact with me and offered to look further into this stone and it’s history.
He has now put together many of the fascinating facts that were discovered during the investigations and you will find pages on the people, the buildings and Freemasonry. We hope that these will prove to be of interest to all who read them.
The basic story is that John Passmore Edwards, a Freemason and notable philanthropist, gave money for two homes to be built in Beltinge. One was a home for the Friendly Societies, the other for the Railway. John Passmore appears to be the Father of Harry Edwards both of whom were Freemasons and this makes the Masonic connection with the 3rd Earl Amherst who laid the foundation stone.