NINETY Masons gathered at Ulverston Masonic Hall to witness a rare event - a celebration of 70 years in Freemasonry.

Harry Hughes, 93, was admitted into Thurston Lodge in August, 1944, at Coniston.

Aged 23, he was home on leave from the RAF.

He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Freemason. Its principles have consciously and subconsciously made me more respectable and responsible in my dealings with others in both my home and work life, as well as raising an awareness of caring for those less fortunate than myself.”

To mark his milestone, lodge members presented Mr Hughes with a garden seat at Risedale Retirement Home, Barrow, where he and his wife live.