Installation at 135

What an enjoyable evening we had in Bridgwater. The ceremony was somewhat simplified due to many officers remaining at post to allow the newer Companions to catch up.

Comp Kevin Beavan, with his Centenary Jewel, and Comp Gary Thomas, with his Certificate, with the Three Principals, Barrie Crow, Z, Chris Court, H, and Garry Boon, J, and E Comp Ray Beckingham

The caterers did a splendid job and there were two candidates voted in for Exaltation plus a joining member, Comp Kevin Beavan, who not only received a very warm welcome but received one of the few rare remaining Centenary Royal Arch Chapter jewels to wear in perpetuity. Companion Gary Thomas was presented with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate by E.Comp. Ray Beckingham, Second Provincial Grand Principal.

Although there were a number of apologies the Installation Convocation turned out to be a great success.

E.Comp. John M Griffin, PGStBr, PrGJan, P3rdPGPr
Scribe Ezra.

Learn CPR and have a cuppa!

Helen Hart has sent an email as follows:

My partner Greg are both paramedics that live in Congresbury and work in the local area. We just got back from climbing Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise money for the local air ambulance charity and are looking to host a number of coffee mornings in the area which would include a cake sale and the opportunity to learn CPR.

I was wondering if this is something that might be possible at Yatton Masonic hall? Or indeed any of your other venues?

Whilst working for the ambulance service both myself and Greg have seen first hand the importance of immediate and effective CPR, as it can literally be the difference between life and death. Evidence suggests that every minute that someone in cardiac arrest doesn’t receive CPR reduces their survivability by 10%. Despite these statistics only approximately 39% of cardiac arrests receive bystander CPR, which is significantly lower than most other westernised countries.

There is a big push nationally to train more people in how to deliver effective CPR and to give people the confidence to put it into practice.

We would be massively grateful if we could do our bit by hosting an event with yourselves. Plus cake makes it even more enjoyable!

If there is any Chapter or Craft Lodge or Masonic Centre interested in holding such a function please contact Helen directly at

3rd Grand Principal attends Inkerman Banner Dedication/Installation

The Chapter was opened in due form half an hour earlier than originally advertised but no was caught out, as everyone, well nearly everyone arrived very early. The numbers were 55 a very good turn out for a Chapter.

The Chapter was Honoured with the presence of  ME Third Grand Principal Most Excellent Comp Gareth Jones, OBE, as guest of honour and of course our very own, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, in and over the Province of Somerset, E Comp Barry K Woodside, accompanied by the full works in the names of, Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive A F Lambert, PGSwdB, The Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Raymond F Beckingham, PAGSoj and Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp David J Dixon, together with the Provincial Team. Everything had been worked through with  E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, and E Comp Jim Mitchell, Grand Standard Bearer. MEGS entered the Chapter with his escort was greeted by the acting  ME, E Comp Harry Blinston who proffered the Sceptre and the MEGS at first returned it to Harry, who had a look of horror on his face! then MEGS realised that he was taking the chair and took it back.  The relief on Harry’s face was obvious, I suspect that Barry was having a bit of fun with Harry. The Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals occupied the chairs of H and J. The PrGDC then replaced the Chapter ScN, Soj’s and Jan with the PrScN, PrSoj’s and the acting PrJan (me).

E Comp Jim Mitchell, GDC (acting) with E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC

There was a report on the the door that the Grand Standard Bearer requested admission, he was admitted and reported that The Third Grand Principal was outside the door and demanded admission. He was admitted, accompanied by Grand Officers, paid due homage to the alter, was greeted by the MEGS and proffered the Sceptre which he returned to MEGS with dignity and took his seat. The G Supt gave and explanation as to the purpose of tonight’s Banner dedication, being Inkerman Chapter’s 150th year celebration, then called upon their Acting Z who gave a short but detail explanation of Inkerman Chapter’s history and the  purpose of the meeting.

The Banner Deputation: L to R: Comp Lieutenant Col Ralph Howard, E Comps Julian Brown, J, Roger Brigland, H, and Harry Blinston

The PrGDC  formed the deputation of the three Chapter Principals and Comp Lieutenant Col Ralph Howard to conduct the Banner into the chapter which was done with the Companions in good voice. Acting Z then presented the Banner to MEGS it was collected by the PrGStdb, uncovered. MEGS conducted the ceremony of Dedicating the  the new Banner with companions again in good voice as it was paraded around the Chapter, assisted by the guest organist.  PrG J gave the Dedication prayer. MEGS then presented the banner to E Comp H Blinston. The ceremony was completed with an excellent and very interesting Oration by E Comp D Dixon 3rd PrG Principal where he expanded on the history of the Chapter and how it got its name from a battle in the Crimean War. The PrG J gave the  Patriarchal Benediction followed by a hymn. The Chapter Principals and Officers resumed their positions.

Then the rest of the Chapter business was conducted which was to Induct E Comp Syd Brailey as Z, as he was the oldest member of the Chapter (91) to celebrate the Chapter’s 150th year he was honoured with being the Chapter’s 1st Principal for the year, he assured all present that he did not attended the Chapter’s Consecration.

The Chapter was then closed in due form with the Third Grand Principal being escorted by the Provincial Grand Principals, the Chapter Principals and Grand Officers. It was a very good dedication ceremony which went smoothly and was enjoyed by all present. It was followed by a very good festive board which was conducted in good humour and harmony, finishing just after 2200hrs.

E Comp Barry Jones PrGStwd,
CLO Wrington Vale Chapter 1199.

More photographs will be added shortly

Calderley at Wedmore for September Meeting

Calderley returned to Wedmore for its Annual Visit and was reasonably well attended, however, there was a substitute in the ranks, namely E Comp Richard Ellis standing in for Ray Beckingham as H. MEZ E Comp Keith Fisher welcomed all and in particular E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, who was not offered the Sceptre, that comes later.

Those officers not present at the Installation were duly Invested, but because of the resignation of E Comp Alan Holton, for personal reasons, five Officers were shuffled around to form the team.

Following the Notice of Motion at the last meeting Comp David Medlock, PGM, and E Comp David Dixon, 3rd PrGPrincipal, were elected as Honorary  and Joining Members respectively.

The Three Principals for next year were declared: E Comp Ray Beckingham, MEZ; E Comp Matt Westley, H; and  E Comp Chris Summers as J. E Comp Chris Moore was also declared as Treasurer.

Scribe E and AssScribe E, E Comps Julian May and John Bennett

The Sceptre was then taken by MEGS who started by complimenting Scribe E and AssScribe E, E Comps Julian May and John Bennett, for their work in producing the Chapter’s Members Handbook. He then got on to the main discussion topic for the evening which was closer cooperation between the Craft and HRA.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, extreme right giving his talk

He introduced E Comp Neil Hurcum who would be undertaking this role.
Neil explained his role which was to: coordinate the HRA Reps, give them guidance, help and support; Fraternal visits by Supreme Grand Chapter Officers and members of the Executive.  Neil is acting with E Comp Martin Slocombe, AssPGM, to visit about 21 Lodges each year and have return visits approximately every 3 to 4 years. It was suggested that on the Second Rising the HRA Rep could give a Nugget from Solomon referencing the HRA, which is after all the completion of the Third Degree. The HRA Reps will be contacted to give details of the Chapter members in their Lodge.
Neil stated that the four “Es” are required:
Engage – with the Non Companions
Enthuse – that HRA is the completion of the Third Degree
Encourage – brethren to join
Enjoy – the HRA is a really happy and spectacular group
The HRA Toolkit will be ready soon with a revised letter to Master Masons when they receive their Grand Lodge Certificate. A letter to any MM that is not in HRA. A trifold leaflet which will be a useful tool to give out.

A note to all to try and bring brethren into the HRA as at present there are 65% who are not members, so that joining the HRA should not be the exception but the norm!

Remember the new Exaltee who on being restored to light just said “WOW”.

E Comps John Smith and Julian May receiving their Grand Superintendents Awards

MEGS thanked Neil and Martin for their delivery of the new initiate. He then called for E Comps John Smith and Julian May to be presented to him when he gave them the Grand Superintendent’s Award lapel pins, which replace the collarets that Grand Chapter had banned.

The next meeting of Calderley will be the Installation of E  Comp Ray Beckingham in March and will be at the Clevedon Masonic Hall.

On the Forth Rising E Comp John Bennett gave Notice of Motion that he will propose that two Past PGMs, E Comps Stanley Hopkins and David Jenkins be made Honorary Members.

The meeting then closed and companions headed downstairs to the Festive Board, where a superb meal was had.

Top Table with from L to R: E Comps Barry Woodside, MEGS, Richard Ellis, Acting H, Keith Fisher, MEZ, Matt Westley, J, and Clive Hennessy, DC
Happy bunch of companions, from L to R: E Comps Neil Hurcum, Tony Cooper, John Hawkins (head down eating), Martin Slocombe, Comp Bill Wilson, E Comps Geof Lester and David Parslow

1966 Installation goes not too smoothly

The Installation at Fidelity and Sincerity should have been a great one as the three Principals had been having regular LOIs throughout the closed season. However, our Third Principal has had to defer his Installation as his wife is not well. Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Chris Summers agreed to stand in for the evening.
Then the Companion due to give the Address to the Companions passed to the Grand Chapter above! Still don’t panic DC! A quick pone call the PrDC, E Comp Chris Moore, and he agreed to do it, panic over.
On the night the Principal Sojourner was delayed at work and couldn’t attend! Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Basil Tokelove was seconded for the evening.
ADC was on the high seas! Still don’t panic DC! E Comp Ron Troup agreed to sit in the chair.

The Chapter was then opened and E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd PrG Principal, was welcomed into the Chapter, he was accompanied by E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, E Comp Barry Jones, PrGStwd, and E Comp Jim Nicol our Scribe E and PrAssScrE. There followed a eulogy for Comp Peter Lee and E Comp Keith Coleman who both passed to The Grand Chapter above, was given by our Almoner, E Comp Keith Smith.

The Minutes and adoption of the Accounts went smoothly before the main event of the evening: The Installation of the Principals- as MEZ – E Comp Jason Vincent, and as J – Comp Chris Waterhouse. Thankfully everything went almost to plan with a sigh of relief from the DC E Comp Adrian Halliwell.

The Principals then Appointed and Invested their Officers for the year. The new MEZ was then presented the Charter of the Chapter by IPZ, E Comp Andrew Kerslake, who was then presented with the IPZ collar and Perpetual IPZ’s Jewel.

E Comps Chris Summers, H substitute, Jason Vincent, MEZ, and Chris Waterhouse, J
E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2ndPrG Principal, added to the former three

On the Second and Third Rising E Comp Ray Beckingham gave his greetings and that of MEGS with some Provincial Parish Notices.  On the Fourth Rising proposals were made for a candidate for Exaltation and also a new member.

The Chapter was then closed and companions moved to the dining room for a Festive Board of smoked Salmon on blinis, Roast pork medallions with all the trimmings followed by sherry trifle. E Comp Peter Chidzey gave the toast to the Provincial Officers which was responded to by E Comp Ray. That to the Principals was given by E Comp Jim Nicol and responded to by MEZ  -Jason and J – Chris W. The toast to the Visitors was given at short notice by Principal Sojourner, Comp Duncan Sully-Dunbar, responder was E Comp Maldwyn Davies.

Some photos from the Festive Board.

E Comp Keith Smith, Almoner and Treasurer, surprised that his Accounts were approved :-)!!!  



The evening started off just like any other, we all arrived at the Nailsea Temple some of us very early and Hmmm some of us just in the knick of time as always Tonight was very special so the entire team was a little nervous from the rehearsal the night before. We all put our regalia on and proceeded to get the ceremony under way.

The meeting began by welcoming E Comp Barry Woodside, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset. He was accompanied by E Comp Sandy Glen,  PProv ADC, E Comp John Hewett, Prov Grand Standard Bearer and E Comp, Chris Brooks, Prov Grand Steward.

The outgoing First Principal E Comp Dale Shermon, presided despite only returning from his Caribbean Sojourn very early the previous day and we were very happy that his jet-lagged head had not caught up with him.

The MEZ, proffered MEGS the Sceptre hoping he would take over the ceremony, the Sceptre was returned as MEGS and the Provincial team had done lots of work at the May meeting.

The main business of the evening was the Installation of the Principals for the ensuing year. The First and Second Principals elect had already been past First Principals of Tyntesfield Chapter so only inductions were needed before E Comp David Maddern became Z and E. Comp Martin Slocombe became H. However, E. Comp Martin Slocombe provided an excellent installation of Comp Richard Hicken into the chair of Joshua, plus presented the Blue Robe Address.

The Principals appointed the officers with decorum, all Officers, except two being on holiday, were invested.

The address to the Principals was then presented by the MEGS. The Address to the Officers was presented by E Comp Richard Reeve and Address to the Companions by E Comp Iain Disdel.

After the Risings the Chapter was closed in peace and harmony and the companions adjourned for the Festive Board of Leek & Potato Soup, followed by Steak & Ale Pie, Chocolate & Rum Tiramisu and Coffee, all was quite simply delicious and home made by Sam our chef, as always up to the normal excellent Nailsea standard.

The festive board was going wonderfully until that is the Provincial ADC looked directly at me as E Comp Barry Woodside, Most Excellent Grand
Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, stood up and called my name out, I sank in my chair oh golly what had I done wrong in the ceremony up stairs, I walked gingerly to the top table feeling like a naughty school boy being called up in assembly in front of the head master, thankfully and gratefully it was to present me with the badge of my office as the Calderley Liaison Officer for the Tyntesfield Royal Arch Chapter 4494 meeting in Nailsea.

Phew I had a cold sweat on there for a moment, I asked E Comp Richard Ellis to take some pics for me as I was presented with my badge of office, we had to do a take 2 as he took 20 photos of himself, that’s one reason why were were all laughing so much even Richard, the friendly joviality of this degree is one reason why I love it so much, I really love this role and love going to The Calderley Royal Arch Chapter meetings, such great Companions and the debates about Chapter are very eye opening and inspiring, I will say I cannot urge highly enough all MM to consider fulfilling your journey into the Royal Arch its a wonderful degree full to the brim of jolly good fellow.

A very pleasant evening was had by all and I am sure the photos of the festive board say it far better than I can with mere words.

The next convocation will be an exaltation on 12th December 2019


Taunton Deane Chapter no 5221 met on Friday 6th of September and a rehearsal was held the night before.

Hopefully the attire will be better on the night

It was an important evening as the Grand Superintendent, a member of the Chapter, had signified his attendance to be present so there was an air of expectation.

The Grand Superintendent was welcomed into the Chapter under the expert guidance of the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies E. Comp. Geoffrey Lester

E. Comp. Peter Roworth welcomed the Grand Superintendent for the first time since the Grand Superintendent’s Installation hoping that he would have an enjoyable evening. Obviously something was said that made E. Comp. Harry Price laugh!

Have Fulham scored a goal!

E. Comp. Roworth proffered the Grand Superintendent the Sceptre, the Grand Superintendent thanked E. Comp. Roworth for the courtesy shown but was very quick to hand it back.

E. Comp. Colin Martin gave the Historical Lecture assisted by Comps Robin Cassell and Steve Parsons

The Chapter was called off and E. Comp. Peter Roworth gave a talk on the “Origins of Chapter with special reference to the Pedestal.” This was much appreciated by the Companions

The Chapter was called on and the rest of the business conducted before the Chapter was closed. The Companions retired to a dinner of Egg Mayonnaise followed by Roast Lamb and an assortment of Vegetables enjoyed by all.

E. Comp. Harry Price, H, E. Comp. Barry Woodside, Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Peter Roworth, MEZ,  E. Comp. Geoff Lester, PrDGDC, and E. Comp. Colin Marten, J.

The next Convocation of Taunton Deane Chapter is on Tuesday 3rd December when the Principals will give a demonstration of an Exaltation Aldersgate ritual when E. Comp. Ray Beckingham will be in attendance.


First Daylight Meeting for First Principals

This was our first ever daylight meeting and was very well attended by over 60 members and visitors. These visitors were from First Principals’ Chapters in Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucester and Herefordshire, as well as others from around this Province.

The meeting commenced at 11:00 with MEZ E Comp Maldwyn Davies leading the proceedings. After the Chapter was opened MEGS, E Comp Barry Woodside was welcomed into the Chapter, together with a goodly numbers of Provincial Principals from this and other Provinces. These were all welcomed by MEZ who had visited all of the other First Principals’ Chapters during his three years going through the chairs. There were several First Principals from Somerset who were likewise greeted.

A ballot took place for five joining members which proved clear and those new members present were given the Chapter Hand Book containing the Bylaws, Ritual and an explanation of the progression through the Chapter.

Next item was a talk given by E Comp Maldwyn entitled “Formation of Supreme Grand Chapter”, which proved most interesting. This had been gleaned from Solomon and if anyone wishes to read it please contact MEZ who will point you in the right direction.

Next on the Agenda was to install the three Principals, before which MEZ thanked all of the Officers and members for their support over his three years progression through the Chairs. The new Principals Installed were:

E Comp Andy Gray as MEZ
E Comp Richard Ellis as H
E Comp John Griffin as J

The New Principals: E Comps Richard Ellis, H; Andy Gray, MEZ; John Griffin, J
E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, added to the former three

The Principals then re Appointed most of the Officers and those taking Office for the first time. This was followed by E Comp Barry Woodside giving the Address to the Principals; E Comp Keith Fisher that to the Officers and E Comp Matt Westley that to the Companions in his usual exuberant way.

E Comp Ray Beckingham gave a brief Almoner’s report as he had only been informed of two companions being unwell!

The Chapter was closed and the Principals and dignitaries retired from the Chapter and headed to the Festive Board, which was a tasty Mushroom Soup, Roast Pork and Bread and Butter Pudding. After the meal the Toasts  and speeches were given, with a good deal of conviviality amongst all.

A successful daylight meeting but will all First Principals’ meetings be in the daylight? watch this space…

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