Freemason-funded flood pumps save Tadcaster from second deluge disaster

Pictured with the pumps: Nicola Eades, co-ordinator; Carole Gill, volunteer; Jane Axwell, volunteer; David Bewley, co-ordinator; Russ Bewley, volunteer; Jack Pigott, Paul Clark, Assistant Provincial Grand Master; Peter Jestey, Master of Calcaria Lodge and Stuart Cadman
Pictured with the pumps: Nicola Eades, co-ordinator; Carole Gill, volunteer; Jane Axwell, volunteer; David Bewley, co-ordinator; Russ Bewley, volunteer; Jack Pigott, Paul Clark, Assistant Provincial Grand Master; Peter Jestey, Master of Calcaria Lodge and Stuart Cadman

The people of Tadcaster have been left ‘indebted’ after one of two emergency flood pumps funded by local freemasons has been called to action already.

The West Riding Masonic groups donated some £10,500 to help the town recover from devastating damage caused by the floods last December.

But just five days after pumps were presented to the towns flood action group, the ‘west pump’ was used to stop Tadcaster Albion’s football pitch from flooding when a storm drain started to back fill during heavy rainfall last week.

Nicola Eades, Tadcaster Flood Action Group Co-ordinator, said: “We are indebted to the Freemasons for their incredibly generous financial support.

“The town was badly affected by the December floods, and the Freemasons helped us out when we desperately needed financial support.

“We all hoped these emergency pumps would not have to be used for a very long time, but that wasn’t the case and ‘west pump’ has already proved its worth.”

The high-powered diesel pump dried the pitch in just one hour.

The pumps cost a total of £28,741, made up by the freemason’s contribution as well as money from John Smith’s brewery, the local dental practice, government funding and other small donations.

Following the aftermath of the Boxing Day floods Tadcaster’s local freemasons asked the fraternity for help.

As well as giving more than £10,000 to Tadcaster Flood Action Group the West Riding Masonic charities gave £1,000 to Tadcaster Albion Football Club, to help rebuild its clubhouse, destroyed by the floodwater.

All of the money was raised locally and came from the West Riding Masonic Charity, West Yorkshire Mark Master Masons, North and East Mark Master Masons and from Calcaria Lodge, which meets at Wetherby Masonic Hall.

Each pump has a capacity of 30,000 gals/ hr and will be manned, in any flood emergency, by members of the volunteers Group.

W. Bro Jack Pigott, Chairman West Riding Masonic Charities said: “The floods of last December caused an awful lot of problems not just for Tadcaster, but for many towns in Yorkshire.

“In total, the Province of Yorkshire West Riding donated £55,000 to those communities affected by the deluge.

“I’m delighted that the money we gave to Tadcaster Emergency Group has been used to help fund these two emergency pumps.

“Freemasons have been at the heart of the community for the just short of 300 years, and one of the three principles we are based on, is charitable giving.”