Chess in the factories.

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:06 am

Mike Truran wrote:Hazells used to play in the Oxfordshire League, but as I recall folded back in the 70s or 80s. They were connected to Hazell, Watson and Viney, a printing and publishing company in Aylesbury.
Bucks League as well. From memory, it was called Hazells or Hazells (Aylesbury) because it played in the Hazells Sports Pavilion, rather than because it was exclusively their employees. Bucks also had ICI (Paints) at Slough while Berks had TRRL (Transport and Road Research Laboratory) as well as the Met Office (who moved to Devon), Premier Precision and ICL in Bracknell and Smiths of Basingstoke.

Ian Kingston
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Ian Kingston » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:13 am

Mike Truran wrote:Hazells used to play in the Oxfordshire League, but as I recall folded back in the 70s or 80s. They were connected to Hazell, Watson and Viney, a printing and publishing company in Aylesbury. It was taken over by Maxwell Communications Corporation plc in 1981, and that was presumably the end of that. BPCC Hazell Books was still going in 1995, but was a shadow of its former self. After that easily accessible records cease to exist.

:( :( :(

There is still a Hazells Bowls Club.
Hazells were still playing chess in 1988 - I played against them for the last time in January of that year. I left Oxford shortly afterwards, so I don't know how much longer they carried on.

Mike Truran
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:23 am

Thanks, Ian and Roger. I doubt Hazells continued much past 1988, if at all, but doubtless someone with a better memory than mine could confirm that one way or another.

The Oxfordshire League also had Morris Motors back in the 70s. Morris Motors morphed into Cowley Workers, who of course still play in the Oxfordshire League.

There's surely a book to be written on the subject! I'm not sure whether it would be quite up there with 'Fifty Shades of Grey' though in terms of a mass market, but as a record of how chess has reflected the UK's industrial rise and fall it would be fascinating.

Ian Kingston
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Ian Kingston » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:48 am

To add to what Neil Graham wrote about Nottinghamshire, the presence of company teams can be seen by viewing the league tables at http://nottschess.org/archive/league.html.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:26 am

There were a number of work-based clubs in the Thames Valley League within the past 20 years, probably more before that. I might rustle up a list later. There was a British Airways club. And a National Physical Laboratory club. There are also a number of working club based venues. Middlesex home county matches are played at Willesden Working Men's Club, for example.

A fuller list from Neil was posted here:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 45#p146963

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Gordon Cadden » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:16 am

Looking through the "Monmouthshire Chess Review" for 1952, it can be observed that many of the teams had members involved in industry.
Oakdale, Abertillery, Brittania, Blackwood, Blaina, Tredegar, and Pontypool, represented the mining community. The Great Western Railway had several teams. The steel industry had Girlings, Noral (Alcan Industries), and Lysaghts. Also Monsantos, Black Clawson, British Gas, Newport Transport, Llanwern Steel, in later years.
London had a "Workers Chess League" in the 1930's. They even produced their own magazine, called "Time and Space". The editor was William Winter.

David Williams
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by David Williams » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:35 pm

These teams used to bring in a lot of players who would never join a chess club. Typically started by one or two keen players, who would recruit workmates who used to play at school but never kept it up. That's how I came back to chess.

We did very well for a while. But gradually the league's eligibility rules were eased. Clubs with four times as many members as us could apparently only run three teams if they were allowed to interchange players more and more freely. If a decent player joined our firm he could play a dozen games for us, or he could play a dozen for another club's second team in the same division. We had better facilities, and free membership, but they could offer him half a dozen games in the first team as well. And if it came to a promotion or relegation match at the end of the season you could be pretty sure some previously unseen star would emerge from the opposition woodwork.

Eventually we, and other similar teams, ceased to be viable. A couple of us joined other clubs, and the rest were lost to chess forever. Sad.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed May 06, 2015 4:25 pm

Would that be Maxwell or the Mirror pensions group Mike?
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Mike Truran
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Mike Truran » Thu May 07, 2015 3:46 pm

Jon

This from Wikipedia - not always entirely reliable I know, but looks pretty accurate in this particular case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell_Co ... orporation

Mike

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Chess in the factories.

Post by Jon Mahony » Fri May 08, 2015 9:05 am

Thought so :)
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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