Largest town without a chess club

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Phil Neatherway
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Largest town without a chess club

Post by Phil Neatherway » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:41 am

At the time of the 2001 census, Abingdon had a population of 36,626. The town has no chess club; does this make Abingdon the largest town in England without a chess club?

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:00 am

Andrew English, who teaches at Abingdon School and runs a chess club there, has talked about opening it up to chess players from outside the school. Let me know if you want his e-mail address. Alternatively you could just rejoin Cowley!

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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by John Upham » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:22 am

Strangely enough, I had an enquiry over the weekend from someone wanting to join Eton College Chess Club. The school replied that it was closed to staff member and pupils with 3 monthly CRB clearances required. We recommended Maidenhead and Slough Clubs as alternatives.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:20 pm

Workington has been without a club for a while now. Nearby, Whitehaven sort of has one with SASRA.
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Alan Walton
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:41 pm

There are a couple of town's around the Manchester area which don't have chess clubs

Ashton-under-Lyne (although there is a new junior club started)
Glossop

There is also only 2 chess clubs within the M60 ring road in Manchester (Chorlton and Eccles), but these may be classed as towns of Manchester. But no clubs within the centre of Manchester itself

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:42 pm

Sunderland. 2001 population 177,739, chess clubs 0.

(There is a club within Sunderland borough, but the town it's in isn't counted in Sunderland's population, and to get there from the city you have to cross a couple miles of countryside.)

And remaining within Sunderland borough: Washington, home of various ancestors of the first US president. 2001 population 53,388, chess clubs 0.

The obvious corollary: what is the smallest town in England with a chess club? I would venture Alston in Cumbria (1,128).
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Phil Makepeace
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Phil Makepeace » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:51 pm

As far as I'm aware, the London Borough of Islington (population c. 190,000) doesn't have a club.

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:09 pm

Phil Makepeace wrote:As far as I'm aware, the London Borough of Islington (population c. 190,000) doesn't have a club.
Despite its past proud tradition of the Islington Open?

Warren Kingston

Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Warren Kingston » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:10 pm

Martham Mentalists play at Skeyton Norfolk, pop 200

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:14 pm

The second largest town in England is Dudley, and it doesn't have a chess club!

It doesn't have a railway station anymore either. It was closed as part of the Beeching Axe when the old Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Lower Level line was closed. The problems caused by this can be seen by the miles of queues around Dudley each evening.
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:14 pm

Chris Wardle wrote:Sunderland. 2001 population 177,739, chess clubs 0.

(There is a club within Sunderland borough, but the town it's in isn't counted in Sunderland's population, and to get there from the city you have to cross a couple miles of countryside.)

And remaining within Sunderland borough: Washington, home of various ancestors of the first US president. 2001 population 53,388, chess clubs 0.

The obvious corollary: what is the smallest town in England with a chess club? I would venture Alston in Cumbria (1,128).
What on earth happened to Sunderland YMCA, then?? :shock: :shock:

Are Alston still in the S Tyne league - they haven't been involved in the Cumbrian set up for a while now.

And it is highly doubtful if they are anywhere near the record in any case - there have been numerous clubs based in small villages over the years........
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Chris Goodall
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:59 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:What on earth happened to Sunderland YMCA, then?? :shock: :shock:
Um, they folded, as did Mowbray Park. The fact that a city with a Premier League football club can't apparently support a chess club does get remarked upon from time to time. There are chess players in Sunderland, but so far there hasn't been a critical mass of them willing to get together and revive the club. I'd be willing to go down there and help out if it did get started, but there's not a lot of groundwork I can do from Newcastle.

Yes Alston are still in the South Tyne league. Didn't they formerly play in Hallbankgate? I can't even find a population figure for Hallbankgate - when they expanded to 2 teams, John Wheeler in the Northumberland bulletin remarked: "Hallbankgate now appears to have more chess players than inhabitants!"
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Neill Cooper
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Neill Cooper » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:30 pm

Croydon (2001 pop 330,587) has no central chess club.
There are two chess clubs in the borough at South Norwood (who meet in Thornton Heath) and Coulsdon.
But it does have a chess league! http://www.croydonchessleague.org.uk/

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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:46 pm

Neill Cooper wrote:Croydon (2001 pop 330,587) has no central chess club.
There are two chess clubs in the borough at South Norwood (who meet in Thornton Heath) and Coulsdon.
But it does have a chess league! http://www.croydonchessleague.org.uk/
I'm going to be annoying here...

I think you're confusing the London Borough of Croydon with the town of Croydon with regard to the population statistic. The London Borough may well be the largest geographic entity in England though, I guess.

Dudley is the second largest town in England behind Reading, and doesn't have a chess club. So if Reading does, Dudley is the answer. Otherwise, Reading is the answer.

Edit: It looks like it does: http://www.bnlcp.org.uk/centre/reading-chess-club - Dudley it is!

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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Neill Cooper » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Well Reading had a chess club when I lived there, though I played for Earley. Earley chess club no longer exists, but Reading's club is still going strong.

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