Men at the Top – W Bro Tim MacAndrews PJGD Metropolitan Grand Inspector (Craft)
In conversation with W Bro Simon Bennett LGR
Bro Tim MacAndrews was born and bred in Notting Hill Gate, West London.
He is not known for standing still. At 14, he was up and out every morning by 6 am, doing a paper round in the local area. Work in a grocery shop at weekends followed. By the time that he was underway with his accountancy articles at aged 19, he was also working three nights a week at White City Stadium running a teller's payout booth at the dog racing meetings.
All accumulated monies from these jobs, coupled with any savings from his articled clerk’s salary of £1,250pa, was to be used when he set up his first business.
After completing his four years articles with a small firm of accountants based in Albemarle Street, Piccadilly, he qualified in 1979 as a Chartered Accountant. He left the profession immediately to set up with his business partner as franchisees of (what became) five Kall Kwik Printing franchises.
In 1982, seizing on a newfound technology which allowed photographs to be produced within an hour in retail premises, they set up the first Snappy Snaps shop in Queensway, West London. In 1987, And four Snappy Snaps shops down the line, the partners decided to franchise the brand and 25 years later hit 150th nationwide stores, with a group turnover of £30m. They sold the business to Timpson in 2013.
In the intervening period, Tim and his business partner owned and operated a wine bar in Kensington, a beauty product and retail chain based in Scotland and a large ostrich breeding farm in Berkshire with over 100 fully grown breeding ostriches and 300 chicks.
Bro Tim served as a Major in the Royal Engineers commanding a Territorial Army Squadron, which had a front line designated role operating the Army’s only searchlights providing tactical battlefield illumination. Tim holds the Territorial Decoration for his long service.
He has served as a Magistrate for over 35 years (now at City and Westminster Magistrates Courts). He served over 20 years on the Family Panel, five years each as Chairman of the Liquor Licensing and Betting and Gaming Committees in Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham. Furthermore, he served as the Bench Chairman at West London Magistrates Court for five years. He also served for nine years on the Advisory Committee, which interviews, recommends appointments, and holds disciplinary hearings for Magistrates.
Tim’s interests include running two golf societies. His favourite golf course is Red Mountain in Phuket and looking at the picture he took over there this last summer, any golfer will see why!
He is also passionate about deep-sea fishing (the picture is a sailfish caught off the west coast of Mexico), skiing and travelling in its many guises.
To further this latter interest, Tim has owned two AEC Routemaster double-decker buses (nicknamed Daisy and Daphne), acquired a Private Pilots’ Licence and flown a Cessna to Marrakech. He has also owned a motor cruiser, driven a Formula 1 car, and travelled extensively worldwide both generally and on some of the more remote railway systems in the world. He particularly remembers travelling on the northern South America railway, the trans-Siberian Express and then the seven-day Trans-Mongolian railway with his 13-year-old son when they travelled by train from London to Singapore. The trip was a fantastic experience travelling through 12 countries. He was ready for a few Singapore Slings when the last train pulled into Singapore Station.
Sadly, Daisy came to an unfortunate end on Tim’s 50th birthday trip to Marrakech when a lorry driver bulldozed her off the road in mid-Spain, nearly killing Tim and a number of his family members. As Tim was driving at the time, he came the worst off with seven broken ribs and two collar bone breaks so, being hospitalised, his 50th birthday party went ahead without him. By all accounts, the 40 guests who had flown to Marrakech to greet the arrival of Daisy all had a great time despite his absence. He went back to Spain six months later to see the bus and decide if it would be recoverable. It was not, and he realised then just how fortunate he and the family members travelling with him were to be alive.
Ever one for adventure, he took one of his daughters, aged 13, on a world tour of all the highest, steepest and longest roller coasters in the world. It turns out that Cedar Park in Utah is the number one venue, having no less than 17 fantastic roller coasters including the world’s then first and second-rated, along with the highest wooden coaster (‘Son of Beast’).
He has just served a term as the President of the Rotary Club of London. During that time, the Club contributed over £60,000 to various charities and organised a President’s trip to Tel Aviv. Sadly, COVID-19 meant the trip was virtual instead of the real thing, which I am sure was quite a disappointment for this active traveller.
He is a Trustee of the Dream Ball, which, when held, typically raises over £30,000 each time for the Big Change Charity. The charity, set up in the aftermath of the 2012 riots, supports young people to thrive in times of constant change by finding and backing pioneers who lead early-stage projects that help young people.
He is on the Court of the Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers Livery Company, where he is the Honorary Assistant Clerk and Chair of the Finance Committee. He has just completed a two-year term as WM of the Company’s Craft Lodge, the Lodge of Love and Friendship No 6123.
Tim was initiated into The First Artificer Lodge No 3774 in 1985. The lodge was initially a Hatton Garden Jewellers’ Lodge and ,remarkably for a relatively small Lodge, three Metropolitan Grand Inspectors have emerged from it in the last ten years. His initiation came about because he noticed a friend leaving their accountancy office early on a couple of afternoons with (what he now knows to be) a Masonic case. He enquired where he was going, and one thing then led to another. Thirty-six years later and that friend (W Bro Graham Hamwijk) is the current Secretary of their Mother Lodge.
Tim has served Metropolitan Grand Lodge as a VO, SVO and as an adjutant to a Metropolitan Grand Inspector, which he says was all a good background experience for his current role. Like all Inspectors, he is looking after around 60 Lodges of varying sizes and has a terrific team of SVOs, VOs and his adjutant W Bro Paul Willson.
He is highly optimistic about the many changes and improvements bringing Freemasonry into modern times. The National Digital Marketing campaign, for example, is a welcome breath of fresh air, allowing Freemasons to talk openly about Freemasonry and what it represents and attracts new candidates as a result. Similarly, the Welcome Initiative whereby new initiates, soon after their initiation, get the chance to see the ceremony again in another lodge is another innovation he thinks will pay dividends.
Bro Tim says that it’s terrific to be back in Freemasonry after the COVID-19 period. By way of encouraging members of his Inspectorate to get back in the swing of things on the social front, he is running a sold-out Burns Weekend at the Highcliff Hotel in Bournemouth in February for 200+ members and their partners.
He inherited from his predecessor, W Bro Gus Machado PSGD, an excellent Inspectorate-wide Learning and Development initiative which offers Lodges encouragement to self-analyse and produce Lodge Action Plans to stimulate growth. He believes that whilst some Lodges naturally attract new members and generically grow, a number needs to take positive action. Whilst a Masonic Lodge is, of course, not a business, basic business principles of self-marketing and following a business plan will nevertheless always help a Lodge to grow and develop.
Five things you didn’t know
1. He once owned a racehorse (called, unsurprisingly, Snappy Snaps).
2. He is an Officer in the Confrerie de Sabre d’Or, an organisation devoted to promoting the act of Sabrage and the enjoyment of Champagne. Sabrage is when one chops the top off a bottle of champagne with a sabre!
3. He is an active member in nine different progressive orders and is the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the London Mark Provincial Grand Lodge.
4. He was a Treasurer, Chairman (twice) and President of a Home Counties constituency political Association.
5. A few years ago, he visited Pyongyang (North Korea). Possibly, the most exciting place he has seen, but for all the wrong reasons – a fascinating insight into population control.
1985 – Initiated into First Artificer Lodge No. 3774
1995 – Worshipful Master of First Artificer Lodge No. 3774
2013 – Worshipful Master of First Artificer Lodge No. 3774
2012 – Joined Clerkenwell Lodge of Installed Masters, No. 9628
2014 – Joined Hortus Lodge No. 2469
2015 – Worshipful Master of Hortus Lodge No. 2469
2015 – Joined Lodge of Love and Friendship, No. 6123
2019 – Worshipful Master of Lodge of Love and Friendship, No. 6123
1998 – Exalted into First Artificer Chapter No. 3774
2007 – MEZ of First Artificer Chapter No. 3774
2015 – Joined Clerkenwell Chapter of First Principals No. 9628
2003 – LGR
2018 – SLGR
2018 – SVO, London
2021 – MetGInsp
Royal Arch Ranks
2015 – LGCR, MetGSoj
2015 – VO, London
2020 – SLGCR, London
2021 – MetGInsp
2021 – Craft – PGJD
2018 – Royal Arch – PGStB
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 47 January 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 47 here.