Largest town without a chess club

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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:58 pm

So that's something else to add to Dudley's proud history:
  • Largest town without a chess club
  • Largest town without a railway station
  • Largest town without a University
  • Largest town to have never had a league football club
:(

Michael Jones
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Michael Jones » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:25 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
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!
Reading University used to have a club - they entered the 2007 BUCA - but as far as I know it's since folded.

On a pedantic geographical note, Coventry comes very close since both its clubs (city and Warwick University - Coventry University has, to the best of my knowledge, never had a club) have their home venues located within about 50m of the city boundary. Move your compasses in a bit and you could probably draw a circle containing about 300,000 people but no chess club, although I admit that's stretching the definition of 'geographic entity' a bit.

If school clubs are counted, Burton Green must be a contender for the smallest; I can't find a figure for the population but I'd guess it's a few hundred at most. The school has a total roll of about 60 and at the last count a chess club membership of eight.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:37 am

There's still a Dudley and District Chess League, no? And Mercia are within the Dudley conurbation - depends whether you count Sedgley as a suburb or a separate town.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:43 am

Chris Wardle wrote:There's still a Dudley and District Chess League, no? And Mercia are within the Dudley conurbation - depends whether you count Sedgley as a suburb or a separate town.
There is still a Dudley & District Chess League.

Mercia are based well into Sedgley. In fact, it's closer to Wolverhampton than it is to Dudley!

If you live in Dudley, you are neatly circled by potential local chess clubs; Mercia, West Bromwich, Warley Quinborne, Halesowen and Stourbridge. Now that Warley Quinborne has moved towards Dudley, it's probably the nearest club for any Dudley players to play for. I live in Oldbury, which is the next town along from Dudley if you travel East, and I had a similar issue about being encircled by chess clubs with no immediately obvious one. WQ was near my junior club, so I went there. As it happens, it has now moved to within a 5-minute bus journey of where I live!

Leonard Barden
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Re: Largest town without a chess club

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:41 am

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/
In 1944 when I became a serious player Croydon Chess Club had 150 members (including the then BCM editor and the problemist TR Dawson) and met daily in a spacious room on the lower ground floor of Kennards (now Allders), the town's largest department store. There was a full-time secretary, easy availability of refreshments, a ladder tournament with over 100 names, and even a barbers shop directly next to the club.

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