The Hadrian Lodge was consecrated on the 13th September 1893, at the drill hall in Westham, making us 127 years old. The Lodge met at the Corporation Arms on the opposite side of the road, where the car sales lot is now. The reason the Lodge was consecrated in the drill hall was because the Corporation arms could not accommodate the 100 people who attended. W.Bro Edward William Stillwell was our founding master, and, I believe, the driving force behind the formation of the Lodge. He was a senior officer in the Province of Sussex and Surrey and became a Grand Officer.

Research shows an Edward Stillwell & Sons, Est 1809 and trading as “Gold lacemen, embroiderers & general military wear, specialities: gold lace, embroidery, Masonic clothing & jewellery. Incorporated as a limited Company in 1907 and in 1914 trading from 25 – 27 Barbican, London EC. It eventually went into liquidation in 1959 under the stewardship of Clarence Stillwell. Our Edward Stillwell would have been the grandson of the founder of the company in 1809.

At a “special Lodge meeting” on the 25th March 1896, “it was proposed by W/Bro Capon and seconded by W/Bro Stillwell and carried unanimously that the standing committee recommend the Lodge be removed to the Devonshire Arms Bexhill. It is not entirely clear why this move should take place but, our Lodge meeting in the small hamlet of West Ham, and with Eastbourne already having several well established lodges, it would seem that Bexhill offered the best prospects for increasing the membership. And so, after just 2 years and 8 months in West Ham the Lodge moved to Bexhill.