History of Epsom Circle

Founded on 12th April 1934 by a total of 23 Brothers under the Presidency of Brother Gordon Hensler, K.S.G., J.P.

He was succeeded as President by Brother Victor Feeney. Both were previously members of the City of London Circle and together they recruited members resident in Epsom and Sutton.

The founder Secretary of those distant days was Brother Cornelius Donnell O'Sullivan who later became Circle president on three occasions.

Evidently Epsom Circle was modelled on the City of London Circle and up to the outbreak of war in 1939 meetings were convened at the Spreadeagle Hotel in Epsom where it was customary for dinner jackets to be worn at all Circle Meetings. During the war years, with members absent in the services, Circle Meetings were naturally small and were conducted at the home of Bro. Victor Feeney; much can be attributed to Bro. Victor in maintaining the Circle intact during those dark days. At the end of the hostilities, meetings were resumed with the Spreadeagle as the chosen venue. The cost of dinner in those days must have received unanimous approval at 8/6d (43p) per head, whilst the annual subscription of £2.14.0 (270p) makes for interesting comparison with today's inflated prices.

Since the late 1970's we have enjoyed the services offered by the RAC Club for both our Circle Meetings and social occasions. The RAC clubhouse is one of the premier meeting places in Surrey and has remained the venue of choice for the circle.

Membership of the Circle has varied significantly over the years and the rate of recruitment even more so. During the 10 years from 1954 to 1964 records show only 5 new members, whereas in the single year of 1948 a total of 10 new members were initiated into the fold.

Brothers of Distinction

One of our most distinguished Brothers was Gus McGrath who joined from City of London Circle and became Circle President and Provincial President before holding office as Grand Director.

In 2009, Brother John Massarella was awarded his 65th anniversary scroll. John joined the association in 1944 at Doncaster. When work brought him south in 1966 he joined Wimbledon Circle and then after retirement to Epsom in 1991. See a video of Brother John's speech after receiving his scroll (courtesy of Brother John Golden from Wimbledon Circle)

Other Brothers of the Circle who achieved distinction were Frank Doggett, who was Deputy Chairman of the Atomic Energy Association, and Walter Fitzgerald, who was made a Freeman of the City of London and was also a Papal Knight and more recently Frank Campbell who became Knight Commander of St. Gregory.

It is also to be noted that Epsom Circle has held the Provincial Benevolence Cup on a number of occasions.

During 1976 Epsom Circle entertained the Province for the first time with it's Secretaries Night and this now continues as a "hardy annual".

Another annual feature, and one of the highlights of the President's year, is the Valentine's Ball. This is always a well-supported event, enjoyed by Circle and Provincial Brothers, their wives and guests.