Via Crucis Conclave History
The Via Crucis conclave no. 263 was consecrated on 11th April 1971 at Hoyle Court, Baildon and was based at Cooke Street , Keighley until it moved to Charles Street at Bingley.
Membership rapidly declined in 2003/4 and after a crisis meeting on 18th April 2005 it was resolved to move the conclave to new pastures where there was a plentiful supply of Chapter masons.
On 15th August 2005 the first meeting of the relocated conclave was held at Bath Road, Cleckheaton with the support of joining members from other conclaves. Five years of steady growth ensued until the conclave had to move to its current home at the Masonic Hall, Whitcliffe Road. The conclave has grown in numbers and stature. Its members are very keen visitors within the West Yorkshire Division. Thanks to the efforts of V. ill. Kt. Hugh W. Moir the conclave is currently the largest within the Division.
Cleckheaton is very easy to get to within the Division because it is located close to the M62 accessed from Junction 26.
Sitting in the foothills of the Pennines Cleckheaton is in the Spen Valley so named after the river Spen which runs into the river Calder close to Dewsbury.
Historically the Spen Valley has links with the Luddites who came to destroy machines in the mills in the valley.
There have been diverse industries over the years mainly associated with the woollen industry but also including asbestos product manufacture which has now virtually disappeared.
Other claims to fame are the largest Indian restaurant in the world which is a converted church.