Mark Dennis, the leading international expert on Freemasonry will give a public talk in Reading Museum on Saturday 29th April starting at 2pm. The Senior Curator of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in London Mark will be giving an illustrated talk explaining how this so called secret fraternity has been involved in society over the past three centuries.
This not to be missed talk complements the current display ‘Berkshire Freemasonry’s not so secret history’ at Reading Museum. The exhibition is open to the public until Saturday 27th May in the Reading People and Place Gallery, during normal Reading Museum opening hours (Tues to Saturday 10am – 4pm) with items drawn from the collection at the Berkshire Freemasonry Museum in Sindlesham as well as some items on loan from Freemasons Hall.
One particular highlight is Oscar Wilde’s Masonic membership certificate, on which Wilde’s ‘Masons Mark’ can be seen. It is on temporary loan from the vaults at London’s Museum of Freemasonry and this is the first time ever that Oscar Wilde’s certificate has been put on public display. Originally initiated into Oxford University’s Apollo Lodge, his connection with Reading was his infamous incarceration in the town prison 1895-1897 and his writing of ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. This certificate is one of the very few items directly connected to him that contains his signature. There are also items from the Napoleonic era and First World War on display.
The talk takes place between 2pm – 3.30pm and the cost of £5 includes afternoon tea. Booking is essential as places are limited. Bookings can be made in person at Reading Museum, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH or by telephone on 0118-937-3400