4th June, 1947 – Ceremony of Consecration 8th October 1947 – First regular Meeting
Freemasonry in Somerset, as in the rest of the United Kingdom, had continued to be practiced throughout the Second World War, but obviously, with great difficulty due to the severe austerity, including food and petrol rationing and other travel restrictions, to which the whole of the population were subject. Many of the Brethren were on active service and could take no part in the Lodge activities for the duration of the hostilities, and regrettably, many did not return. The call to arms deprived many Lodges of potential Initiates during the war years and many established Freemasons passed to the Grand Lodge Above.
Following demobilisation, most Brethren were delighted to resume their Masonic activities enthusiastically. Many ex-servicemen, whilst obviously overjoyed to return to their families, greatly missed the camaraderie and friendships formed during their service in the Forces and, it may be assumed, that during that period some had had close contact with Freemasons. It is therefore not surprising that many men turned to Freemasonry for the friendship and companionship which they needed, in addition to that provided by their families, to assist them in their adjustment to Civilian life.
In 1945, at the cessation of hostilities, there were forty three active Lodges in the Province of Somerset. Of these, only ten met in the North West of the Province. With many returning Brethren resuming their Masonic activities more or less simultaneously, it meant that progress through a Lodge to the Master’s Chair was very slow. Likewise, waiting lists for Candidates for Initiation were very long. As a consequence there arose a strong demand in this area for new Lodges to be formed.
Between 1946 and 1952 the following five Lodges were Consecrated in the North West of Somerset:-
A further 6 Lodges were consecrated in other parts of the Province of Somerset during the same period. This was a truly remarkable period of growth as between 1932 and 1946 no new Lodges had been formed. It was against this background that Winscombe Lodge, No 6474, was conceived.
Acknowledgement: Extracted from: Winscombe Lodge ‘The first 50 years’ written by Worshipful Brother Gordon T. Hutchings (published in May 1997).