These large sans serif letters, F.U.O.M and the date 1874, are cut in relief within a plaque on the façade of a row of Victoria houses. Interestingly, there is an additional letter S, found between the set square and the compass. It’s been suggested that this stands for ‘Supreme Grand’, or god, a Masonic term that is further indication of the Masonic influences on this organisation. F.U.O.M refers to the Friendly United Order of Mechanics. The society appears to have been established in Lancashire around 1757 as a schism of freemasonry – one of a number of friendly’ societies that aimed to provide, amongst other benefits, death and sickness relief to its members.
Location: Hala Road, Lancaster, UK.