IPMEGS Letter to Exmoor Chapter


When I retired as Grand Superintendent, the Companions of Exmoor Chapter very kindly presented me with a Gift Voucher for which I truly thank you. Jenny & I spent many hours deciding what to spend this gift on and finally we decided that we would have a couple of days away.

We had visited Guildford in Surrey about 10 years ago and when we were there, we paid a visit to The Watts Gallery in Compton. At that time the Gallery buildings were in a sorry state but since then a trust has been formed and, thanks mainly to a Lottery Grant, the Gallery was closed for 2 years and during this time the building and surrounding land was completely refurbished, and so we thought that it would be a great idea to pay a return visit.

The journey from Clevedon was not great and we had torrential rain most of the way up the M4 to Newbury but from there on the weather improved and it became very hot, but this did not have any effect on our visit to Compton. George Frederick Watts OM, who was born in 1817, was one of the great Victorian Artist, not only a Painter but also a Sculptor, he is also unique amongst other artists of the age in that he never belonged to any school of painters and was very much a ‘loner’.

Late in life in 1886 he married Mary Fraser-Tyler who was at that time 36 years old, George Frederick Watts was 69. Mary Watts was one of the first women to have professional training as an artist but after her marriage and discovering a seam of clay locally she started the Compton Pottery. Together they designed the Gallery and the Foundation Stone was laid by George Frederick Watts himself. They also built an Arts & Crafts House for themselves ‘Limnerslease’ which we also visited.

The Village had at that time a Cemetery but there was no Chapel and so Mary Watts, inspired the villagers to build one that she had designed, not only to build one but to decorate it. Compton Cemetery Chapel is covered with remarkable Celtic and Art Nouveau style decoration tiles, all being designed and made by 74 villagers. The outside is magnificent, but the interior is beyond words.

Our hotel for the night was situated in Aldershot and from the bedroom window we could see the wonderful statue of the Duke of Wellington which once stood on the Wellington Arch at the top of Constitution Hill in London but was removed to its present home in Aldershot because it was too heavy for the Arch.

The following morning, we made our way to West Green House Gardens at Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. This house was gifted to the National Trust by Victor Sassoon in 1971 but is not itself of importance although it is a beautiful house. A few years later the lease was taken by Alistair McAlpine who was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party during Mrs Thatcher’s premiership and as such was an IRA target. Three weeks after Alistair McAlpine gave up the lease an IRA bomb was planted in the front garden which caused extensive damage to the house.

Following this the National Trust restored the House and then a 99year lease was taken by Marylyn Abbot who is a professional Garden Designer but was formally the Marketing and Tourism Manager for Sydney Opera House and as a result of this instituted an Opera Season each summer at West Green House.

The resulting garden at West Green House is testament to her work and now provides a delightful series of walled gardens and beyond these a dramatic woodland garden that has many interesting follies and a wonderful walk around the lake. The small on-site restaurant also provides wonderful food and coffee.

Thank you Companions of Exmoor Chapter No 2390 at Minehead. We had a memorable time away and are very grateful to you all.

With our Best Wishes and Kind Regards

Jenny & John.

To view the letter in pdf format click here

MEGS proudly presents



At the last meeting of Exmoor Chapter 2390 we had a wonderful evening not only did we have a Candidate for exaltation but the evening was attended by M.E.G.S. D. John Bennett. This was not a sit back and take it easy night for our Grand Superintendent but rather a working evening!

MEGS was put to work in the ceremony, when he was called upon by H (E. Comp. Bob Moore) to teach the candidate how to share the word, “Exmoor Style”!

After the exaltation MEGS officially presented the Somerset Royal Arch Tracing Board to Exmoor Chapter, to the delight of its members. The M.E.G.S. explained that this was the eighteenth Tracing Board that he had presented and still had a few more to go!

At the festive board M.E. D. John Bennett was also called upon to present the new Companion with a Somerset Royal  Arch tie this was in addition to the cuff links that he had received earlier.

He then proceeded to embarrass E. Comp. Chris Moore by congratulating  him on attaining Grand Rank.  A popular promotion here at Exmoor. Chris was admitted to H.R.A.  in this Chapter 17 years ago to this day! The 1st Principal at the time none other than E. Comp. Bob Moore.

We had a super Evening together and look forward to the next.

MEGS Presents a Royal Arch Chapter Tie
MEGS presents The Somerset Royal Arch Tracing Board to Principals of Exmoor Chapter

Somerset Royal Arch Tracing Board presentation to Exmoor Chapter

The Royal Arch Somerset Tracing Board will be officially presented to Exmoor Chapter 2390 on  Wednesday 22nd March 2017. This is the date of the next convocation of the Exmoor Chapter. The Tracing board will be presented by M.E.G.S. D. John Bennett, with this difference…

The lecture at the last meeting, when there was no candidate, was the lecture pertaining to the Tracing board, which was led by P.D.G.S. Robert Moore and 18 members of Exmoor Lodge. So despite the tracing board being officially presented the accompanying lecture has already been received.

The chapter will therefore be exalting a candidate on this evening in addition to the presentation.

The last meeting of the current season for the incumbent First Principal will be on Wednesday May 24th 2017

Z Phil Hackney H Bob Moore J Phil Thresher
Z Phil Hackney
H Bob Moore
J Phil Thresher


Training for the 21st Century

All deep in thought with E Comp Bob Moore tutoring
Bob and Barry Jones in session 2

9th August 2016 Chapter Liaison Officer training on new Provincial webpage at the Webbington Hotel and Spa.

The New Provincial Chapter Website is a real whizz…once you have had the training! A small group of Chapter Liaison Officers met for the first tranche of training on maintaining the new website and looking at the potential of the new Provincial Chapter web system.

It’s great, the Liaison Officers helped and supported one another in their learning, well led by Bob Moore, Adrian Halliwell and Chris Moore. We also had super coffee to fuel the learning!

Session 3 under way
Session 3 under way

Provincial Team visit Minehead

On 23rd March the Provincial Team gathered in the far west of the Province for what was to be a busy meeting at Exmoor Chapter.

It was an opportunity for the Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Bennett, to present E Comp John Lendon PPrGReg with a Certificate to mark his 50 years in the Royal Arch.

The presence of the Grand Superintendent also proved an ideal opportunity for the Chapter to present a cheque for his Provincial Charity directly to him. This was done by E Comp Chris Moore who is currently the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal as well as being the Chapter’s DC and Charity Steward.

The Provincial Team demonstrated their joint abilities with a presentation of the “Passing of the Veils”
ceremony. This had now become an annual rite of passage with each year’s team.

Here are a couple of further pictures of John displaying his certificate

Information and Pictures from
Steve Ford.