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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:33 am 
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Owing to the art-sleuthing of Streatham & Brixton members Hereford Chess Club has recently put in a bid to be recognised as the oldest provincial English club.

See http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2010/10/every-picture-tells-story-and-this-is.html

Worcester City See http://home.clara.net/collett/ch_city/worch1.htm and Liverpool clubs are 1837 foundations (refoundation in the case of Worcester), but Hereford started in 1812 although it does not have a continuous history.

In their website, Oxford University club claim to have started in 1869.

Which other English clubs were early on the scene?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:41 am 
The Leicestershire Chess Club was formed in 1860. I have a book, 100 years of the Leicestershire Chess Club, which documents the first century of it's existence.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:52 am 
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Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Birmingham Chess Club was founded in 1851 according to its website. It has had a continuous existence to this day as far as I'm aware, and fields two teams in the Birmingham League.

I hadn't realised that Lord Lyttelton had played such a role in the history of Worcester City Chess Club (or indeed, British chess in general)! I knew that the Lytteltons were from the area at that time, because Humphrey Lyttelton mentioned it on occasion on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:29 am 
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Location: Bristol
The club I play for, Bristol & Clifton Chess Club (formerly Bristol Chess Club), founded 1829, claims to be the oldest club outside London. Any earlier ones?

http://www.chessit.co.uk/Centenary/Hist ... ifton.html


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:42 am 
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For some instances of clubs active in 1836, see William Greenwood Walker, A selection of games of chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander Mcdonnell, the best English player, with his principal contemporaries; including the whole of the games played by Mons. De La Bourdonnais and Mr. Mcdonnell …, published by Thomas Hurst, 1836.

The list of subscribers mentions clubs at Bristol, Pentonville, Cambridge, Nottingham, Exeter, Greenwich, Newcastle, Taunton, Manchester, Norwich, Yarmouth, Doncaster, and York. (I may have missed some!)

With best wishes,

John Townsend,
Author of "Notes on the Life of Howard Staunton"
http://www.johntownsend.demon.co.uk/index_files/Page324.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:36 pm 
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John Curtis wrote:
The club I play for, Bristol & Clifton Chess Club (formerly Bristol Chess Club), founded 1829, claims to be the oldest club outside London. Any earlier ones?

http://www.chessit.co.uk/Centenary/Hist ... ifton.html

According to Burt's 1883 history of the Bristol & Clifton club, the exact year that it was established, was not known. 1829 would be close to the correct year.
The oldest english club would be Parsloes in St. James Street, London, 1776. For the 19th. century, Hereford in 1816, would be a strong candidate. Other contenders are Manchester and Norwich.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:29 am 
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I'd hazard a guess perhaps Liverpool boasted an early Chess Club.

The first British Chess column was in the Liverpool Mercury (1813).
This of course in itself is not proof a Chess Club existed
but is does show Chess was of interest in Liverpool.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Manchester Chess Club, which doesn't exist now, was founded 3 September 1817

http://www.manchesterchessfederation.co.uk/page63.html

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Location: Whitton, London
Geoff Chandler wrote:
I'd hazard a guess perhaps Liverpool boasted an early Chess Club.

The first British Chess column was in the Liverpool Mercury (1813).
This of course in itself is not proof a Chess Club existed
but is does show Chess was of interest in Liverpool.


It's not strictly on topic for this thread or even forum, but I'd be interested to learn when the earliest Scottish chess clubs were founded (even if not still extant). Were the earliest ones in Glasgow and Edinburgh?

http://www.edinburghchessclub.co.uk/

"Established in 1822 it is not only the oldest in Scotland and the UK but probably the second-oldest club in the world."

[On what basis is that claim made? Not disputing it, but wondering based on what else is said here.]

Nice set of history pages here:

http://www.edinburghchessclub.co.uk/ecchist1.htm

I can't easily find details of the other early Scottish chess clubs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
It's not strictly on topic for this thread or even forum, but I'd be interested to learn when the earliest Scottish chess clubs were founded (even if not still extant). Were the earliest ones in Glasgow and Edinburgh?

Dundee, Bon Accord in Aberdeen and Glasgow (not least to be outdone by Edinburgh) would be my bets for early Scottish clubs


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:53 pm 
John Townsend wrote:
For some instances of clubs active in 1836, see William Greenwood Walker, A selection of games of chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander Mcdonnell, the best English player, with his principal contemporaries; including the whole of the games played by Mons. De La Bourdonnais and Mr. Mcdonnell …, published by Thomas Hurst, 1836.
Another (non English) club mentioned in this book is the wonderfully named Dublin Phillidorean Society.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Geoff Chandler wrote:
I'd hazard a guess perhaps Liverpool boasted an early Chess Club.

The first British Chess column was in the Liverpool Mercury (1813).
This of course in itself is not proof a Chess Club existed
but is does show Chess was of interest in Liverpool.

I agree that the newspaper column indicates that a local club exists. There is a history of the Liverpool Club, but I do not have a copy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:28 pm 
This might be the history of Liverpool Chess Club that you mentioned.

Bill Wall has written a potted history of early chess clubs. It can be found here:
http://www.chessville.com/BillWall/earlychessclubs.htm
Note that it mentions a correspondence match between Manchester Chess Club and Liverpool Chess Club in 1825.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Huddersfield Chess Club was late on the scene in 1852.

Here is a history: http://www.huddersfieldchessclub.co.uk/history/history.html :D

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:24 pm 
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In 1844 Huddersfield had the distinction of hosting the annual meeting of the Yorkshire Chess Association at the George Hotel. (See Chess Player's Chronicle, Vol. V, 1845, pp. 23-31).

These Yorkshire meetings were good-humoured occasions, with fine dinners and wines, plenty of toasts, witty speeches, the odd song, and some not too serious chess. They seemed to have real benefits in terms of raising spirits and promoting goodwill and comradeship among players, and they were favourably commented on at the time.

"Mr. Parratt" was referred to as "secretary of the Huddersfield club" (Ibid., p. 26), and a toast was proposed to "Mr. Parratt and the Huddersfield Chess Club (Ibid., p. 31), so Huddersfield must have had a chess club in 1844. It appears that quite a few of the players present were Huddersfield men.

John Townsend,
Author of "Notes on the Life of Howard Staunton"
http://www.johntownsend.demon.co.uk/index_files/Page324.htm


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