Chess Clubs in Bletchley
Having no home venue, but still having players, would require playing away matches in Aylesbury.(Buck League).
Due to County border layouts, it is easier for, historically, Bletchley to play in the Bedfordshire League. Bucks is best split into N Bucks and S Bucks because of the geography and topology.
The current home of “Milton Keynes and Open University chess club” is Walton Hall on the outskirts of Bletchley. It is the Open University.
During WW II every nearby stately home around here was crammed full of Army, Navy, Air Force and Civilian workers of GC&CS and ancillary staff, more than 8,000 personnel.
Asa Briggs, from Keighley, played an important role at GC&CS, within Bletchley Park (BP). Asa Briggs played a major role in selecting Walton Hall, for the site for the Open University.
If you look at the National Club board, around the edges, the first winners were Cheltenham Chess Club. (Also had a strong team in the 1950s).
During the War, the “Bletchley” chess club (players being dominated, if not all, by GC&CS), was most likely the strongest chess team ever assembled to-date, in the UK. See their matches versus Cambridge and Oxford Universities, in late 1944.
Note at this stage of these matches, that Hugh Alexander was working in Bedford.(see prior comments on Prof Scott on breaking Japanese and Soviet codes). (Hugh Alexander went to Bedford, prior to the Battle of the Bulge).
Note that BH Wood (part of the 1939 Olympiad team in Buenos Aires), was the editor of CHESS, a kind of King Pin of its day, with plenty of satire, cartoons and jokes. The fact that BH Wood published one of these matches, post the conclusion of the Battle of the Bulge, is a very interesting report. Especially with named faces and some in US uniform.
BH Wood Msc, had an important war time job in chemistry, but later, always had time for long letters from Jack Good etc.
However, talking recently to locals, they do remember, like subjects at the Wavendon station, (where he was based), that Soviet and American personnel came along and took photographs, and took away many files and photographs.
Then remember Churchill lost the election, but he still had the power for ordering the destruction of all machines and records at BP. (Station X). BTW: a neat play and a simple cipher on SIS (MI6) sections, like section IX (e.g. Kim Philby) and section XX. It also made it easy to openly camouflage it with the Y service. Like at Knockholt.
The was a massive difference between Morse based Enigma code breaking (Bombes= “ice cream”) and non-Morse – teleprinter traffic of Lorenz (Colossus).
BTW: As a linguist, Golombek knew the word ice cream in 13 different languages. (as per his obituary).
Regards (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.