Alas I was unable to attend this meeting as I was working away, I was not happy about this but as it’s said, it’s Family, Work and Freemasonry all in that order. So I have to send a huge thank you to E. Comp. Iain  Disdale for the words and photos on this one.

Another excellent evening at Tyntesfield Chapter

The Chapter received E. Comp. Clive A. F. Lambert, Deputy Grand Superintendent, plus a good number of Grand Chapter Officers and Provincial Officers, contributing to a total of 16 Visitors, which included a welcome return from E. Comp. John Smith, Prov. G. Almoner, plus E. Comp. Geoff Lester being Prov. Dep GDC before his preferment to Provincial 3rd Grand Principal at the Annual Provincial Convocation in May.

The Visitors and 20 Members of the Chapter witnessed an excellent ceremony to exalt W. Brother Bill Hillis of Sir Isaac Newton Lodge into the Holy Royal Arch.

The Principals E. Comps. David Maddern (Z), Martin Slocombe (H) and Richard Hicken (J) were greatly assisted by E. Comp. Frank Clarke (Acting PSoj) doing most of the Sojourners work with excellent assistance from Comp. Jon Trott as 1st Asst Sojourner, plus E. Comp. Clive Lambert doing the Address to the Candidate, E. Comp Martin Slocombe presenting the Signs, then E. Comps Richard Ellis, David Maddern and Richard Reeve presenting the Mystical Lecture.

The evening proceeded with a ballot for another candidate to be exalted in May, with 4-5 more candidates in the pipeline, plus presentation of Grand Chapter Certificates to Comps Tom Francis and Phil Taylor, by E. Comp. Clive Lambert Deputy Grand Superintendent

The evening concluded with another fine meal from the Nailsea Caterer and the Principals and Candidate were in relaxed mode, although the Most Excellent had to make a dash to pick up his son from the airport as Storm Dennis had blown the plane to an early landing, thus dropping E. Comp. Dale Shermon as IPZ into the hot seat to manage the conclusion of the festive board.

E. Comp. Clive A. F. Lambert, Deputy Grand Superintendent, reported that he was extremely pleased to see Tyntesfield Chapter was yet again a friendly, welcoming, and happy Chapter and in such fine fettle with great engagement from the members and lots of members in the pipeline through to 2022.

The next convocation will be an Exaltation on 14th May 2020.

I cannot urge all MM enough to complete their journey and join Royal Arch (Chapter) its such an awesome degree, if you don’t know who your Chapter representative is drop me a line and I will point you in the right direction, well until next time may I wish you all good health and prosperity.

Going to Bideford? Photos required

Dear Companions all.

I am not attending the Provincial Weekend at Bideford but would very much appreciate if you take any photographs would you please send me a copy so I can include it on this website. Also if you fancy doing a write-up for the weekend could you also forward it to me.

Any contributions would be most gratefully received.

Provincial Liaison Officer

King Alfred 3169 October Installation

On Monday the 28th of October the King Alfred Chapter 3169 held their annual Installation ceremony. The ceremony was attended by Excellent Companion Clive Lambert, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, accompanied by Excellent Companion Roger Bailey, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, John Hewett, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, and Jonathon Mansell, Provincial Grand Steward.

Following recent illness and operations, our current DC, E. Comp Ian White was not able to be DC on the night, so we were very grateful for the help provided by E. Comp Brian Horn from Inkerman 1222 as DC.

The chapter was opened by the outgoing First Principal, E. Comp. Sandy Glen who welcomed the Deputy Grand Superintendent.

The installation proceeded with E. Comp Dr Simon Sparkes being inducted to Z, and E. Comp Stuart Boyd was inducted as H.
As E.Comp David Mallinson was unfortunately not able to be present due to illness, E.Comp Arthur Rowe stood in as J for the remainder of the evening.

The rest of the officers were then appointed and invested to their respective offices.

The Deputy Grand Superintendent then gave the address to the Principals, which was followed by E. Comp Tom Gould from Inkerman 1222 (with our thanks) addressing the Officers and E. Comp Sandy Glen addressing the Companions.

The companions retired to an excellent festive board, to meet again for an exaltation on Monday 23 March 2020.

Stuart Boyd, Simon Sparkes and Arthur Rose (l-r) as the Principals for the night.

The Principals with Excellent Companion Clive Lambert, Deputy Grand Superintendent,  Barry Jones, Provincial Grand Steward, Excellent Companion Roger Bailey, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Jonathon Mansell, Provincial Grand Steward.

Three Principals at the festive board.

Press release from The United Grand Lodge of England


The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is launching a social media campaign to be the most featured venue as part of Open House London this weekend. Members of the public are being encouraged to visit the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales and post their pictures on social media using the hashtag #OHLFMH. Freemasons’ Hall welcomes over 200,000 visitors through its doors every year. UGLE has 50K Facebook followers, 26K Twitter followers and 24K followers on Instagram.

Please follow this link for the full Press Release



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

Time for Tea! Connaught Chapter’s Sunday lunch

The weather proved brilliant for Connaught Chapter’s Sunday lunch on the 30th June 2019 when the Companions and their partners were invited to E Comp Patrick and Susan Haxell’s house and garden near Holcombe .

The event went well with an excellent hot and cold buffet followed by delicious sweets, cheeses and biscuits.

‘It was great to be able to sit outside on a beautiful summer’s day in the country and enjoy the luncheon in good company with plenty of entertaining conversation.’

The First Principal, E Comp Neil Arthur welcomed the guests and thanked all those who had provided a superb luncheon.

The event raised £269 for the 2022 Chapter Centenary fund.

Scribe E. E.Comp P. Haxell

Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.
Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.
Members, Ladies and Guests enjoying the sunshine.

Double Exaltation at King Alfred

On 10 May, the King Alfred meeting was special for two key reasons. Firstly there was to be a joint Exaltation, the only time this has been attempted in King Alfred Chapter, and secondly a number of eminent visiting companions stood in to assist in the ceremony, many at short notice.

The first task for the evening was for Z, E Comp Sandy Glen, to welcome E Comp Ray Beckingham, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, on his official visit, escorted by E Comp Jeff Lester, Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The candidates for this special convocation were Mike Dew and his son Andrew Richards, both from Tivoli Lodge and proposed by Comp Danny Kennedy. They were conducted in the ceremony by Comp. Justin Pursey, and secondly by E Comp Malcolm Beard, the double Exaltation being specially arranged so that both candidates were involved in all parts.

In terms of the companions taking part in the ceremony, as he entered the Masonic Hall the past MEGS, E Comp John Bennett, was offered the opportunity to stand in as H and was delighted to assist. This was due to the current H standing in as Scribe E, who was unfortunately unavoidably absent.

Additionally, E Comp Tony Cooper, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, assisted as DC whilst E Comp Ian White was in hospital, and E Comp Andy Clapp, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, assisted as ADC (whilst Malcolm Beard was acting sojourner). Comp Bill Stagg brightened up the ceremony with music whilst our usual guest organist was absent. At short notice Comp Danny Kennedy stood in as Scribe N.

All present agreed that this double exaltation was a special occasion for all, with credit to Sandy Glen for all the organisation.

Here we see Sandy Glen as Z, John Bennett as stand-in H, Jeremy Thomas as J, with our candidates Andrew Richards (l) and Mike Dew (r)

Jeff Lester, Ray Beckingham and Matt Jarvis, Provincial Principal Grand Sojourner are shown above added to the former five.