This week’s instalment from Masonic Periodicals Online comes from The Freemason, 19 February, 1881, where we find in the Masonic and General Tidings section on page 89 a report from a special charity dinner in London's East End.


Not a very fashionable locality to find one's self in at midday, or, for that matter, at any hour in the four-and-twenty, but then one does not get an invitation there every day, nor a chance of forming one of a luncheon party about a thousand strong , as we did. This wonderful party was Mr. Austin's Irish Stew Dinner Party at the hall of the Mission in Conder-street, Limehouse, where many hundreds are every week entertained.’

Irish-stew dinners for the poor.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

‘On Wednesday last there were nearly a thousand fed, and even then many had to be sent away empty. The terrible distress, always excessive at the East-end, has been greatly increased by the late severe weather, and consequently the funds of the Mission have been very heavily taxed. In order that the good work may not be discontinued, it is hoped that the appeal now made by the London Cottage Mission will not be in vain.’