Bill Waterton

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John Foley
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

Bill Waterton

Post by John Foley » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:08 pm

We are sad to learn of the passing of Bill Waterton, the honorary Life President of Kingston Chess Club, on 3rd March 2015. He had been suffering with Alzheimers for the last few years but remained at home for most of his illness only being cared for in a residential home for the last few months of his life. Bill Waterton had done a prodigious amount for chess in Surrey over the years as an organiser and administrator. He was President of Surrey County Chess Association from 1990 until 2000 and was succeeded by the present incumbent Mike Gunn. Bill was typically organised and had put his affairs in order when he came to the club to say goodbye. His chess playing level had dropped significantly - his ECF grading had dwindled to 79 in 2007 - due to his worsening cognitive impairment.

Bill's funeral is expected to be on 17th March at Kingston Crematorium - subject to confirmation. It is a major blow to Kingston Chess Club to have have funerals for two stalwarts, Bill Waterton and Chris Clegg in the same month at the same crematorium. Clubs are saying goodbye to many players nowadays. We would like to say hallo more often - to carry on the great game to which others devoted their life.

Archive Article on Kingston Chess Club website

David Sedgwick
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Re: Bill Waterton

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:02 am

John, thank you for passing on the sad news. I had no idea that Bill's last years had been so troubled.

The article on the Kingston Chess Club website is fascinating.

As my own tribute to Bill, I'd like to quote two sentences from that article here:

"Bill was one of the founders of the popular Surrey Chess Congress in 1975. ... Bill, along with Martin Cath and Fred Manning, controlled the Surrey Congress and kept it going continuously for a quarter of a century until 1999."

Mike Gunn
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Re: Bill Waterton

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:33 am

Bill was very helpful when I took over as president of the SCCA from him in 2000. One detail that I have not seen mentioned elsewhere is that he previously had a background of chairing meetings in the labour movement (Trades Unions/ Labour Party) which (I can confirm) is a good background for chairing SCCA meetings.

Nick Grey
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Re: Bill Waterton

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:50 pm

Just picked up the e-mail & have spoken to Martin Cath tonight to ensure he is aware which he is.

Regrets - not visiting Bill immediately after my own doctor's appointments just before & after Christmas. Particularly as last two home games being dropped off at the junction near Bill's house reminding me to visit.

- Bill telling me how proud he was for one of his games vs John Nunn appearing in John Nunn's books. I'll have to dig the book out as well as the old magazines where he quoted it to me. It is not the simultaneous game in 1985.
- Surrey Centenary Trophy - made by Bill Waterton as reported by Martin Cath at SCCA meetings - Bill had far more skills than playing or administration.
- Losing consistently to Bill in Kingston quickplay time handicaps.
- Surrey Congress - dropping an 8 year old brother into a novice section saying I'm playing elsewhere but my wife is in the canteen area & hearing nothing about tantrums on losing until the following week. Some 9/10 years later he played again, apologised for his previous behaviour & really enjoyed his chess, the congress, everything. It helped having same people around & not making any fuss.
- Thorp Trophy - Kingston hosted one of the last events at St John's Church. The proceeds from the coffee/tea for two sets & boards to go to Christ Church school with the offer of their after school chess club to be run by Bill Waterton & John Grant. Unfortunately an old boy from the school came forward to take up that offer the day before (O. Roston I think). The sets were presented to the school, and James Grey (my youngest) reports that his former head has retired to Norfolk. Andrew Grey my eldest was a last minute replacement for a non-showing Kingston player who went to a non-league football game instead. Martin Cath organiser/ Mr Sedgwick controller.
- All Bill's advice on taking on any task in relation to Kingston Chess Club, but trying to find the balance with family.
- Bill's concerns that Mike & SCCA Board were having to deal with far more internal politics in first few years than he envisaged. He was reading minutes etc 3 years ago - he was clear to me on some points to get across on behalf of Kingston at a meeting.

Fantastic picture of Chris Clegg & Bill Waterton on the site - I have far too many anecdotes, games, etc which I will have to try to dig up some old scoresheets. Nick

John Foley
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

Re: Bill Waterton

Post by John Foley » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:20 pm

The funeral will be at Kingston Crematorium at 14:20 hrs on Tuesday 17th March.

Kingston Cemetery and Crematorium
Bonner Hill Road
Kingston upon Thames

Tel: 020 8546 4462

If people wish to send flowers they can be sent to Fredercik W Paine Funeral Directors at Raynes Park.

6 Coombe Lane
Raynes Park
SW20 8ND
Telephone 020 8946 1974

or alternatively if they prefer to make a charitable donation could this be to the Alzheimers society please.

John Foley
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

Re: Bill Waterton

Post by John Foley » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:49 pm

Bill Waterton's (4.vii.29 - 3.iii.15) funeral at Kingston Crematorium was well attended by the chess community with representatives from his days running the Surrey County Chess Association as well as Kingston Chess Club.
SurreyChessPeople.jpg (69.39 KiB) Viewed 3036 times
Scott Freeman (CCF) Peter Lawrence (SCCA) Martin Cath (SCCA) Paul Durrant (Surbiton)
Martin Cath had run the Surrey Chess Congress for 25 years with Bill.
KingstonChessPeople.jpg (80.87 KiB) Viewed 3036 times
John Foley (Chairman, KCC), Ken Inwood (President, KCC), Peter Roche

The music was thoughtfully chosen - Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations was playing at the outset. The reflection was accompanied by Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite Op46:1. The committal was accompanied by Sailing By (shipping forecast) and the final music was The Sailors Hornpipe.

The nautical theme came something of a surprise. Bill had joined the Merchant Navy in 1946 when he was 16 and spent six years sailing round the world obtaining an unforgettable education in the process. He had left that part of his life behind to become a silversmith until his family of five daughters had grown up. He thereafter resumed his acquaintances and attended some reunions. On one trip to New Zealand the old mariners had been invited to tour the Parliament of New Zealand. Bill was shown the ceremonial Mace used by the Parliament and the intricate silverwork was commended whereupon Bill exclaimed: "I know, I did that!" His fondness for the Antipodes was reflected in his strategy whenever playing Risk to always occupy Australia.

The Red Ensign was draped over Bill's coffin in honour of his navy days and a poem "The Red Duster" was read by his youngest daughter.

Bill's main priority was his family but he managed to combine his interests. Each of his five daughters was drafted in as a helper at the Surrey Chess Congresses which ran from 1975 to 1999. Alas none of the daughters play chess and nor do any of Bill's grandchildren.
BillWatertonBlackandWhite.jpg (46.01 KiB) Viewed 3036 times
Bill was always well turned out in a collar and tie when he played chess - reflecting an era which is now largely gone.

GM John Nunn was a member of Kingston Chess Club as a junior and included an instructive game against Bill in one of his early books, a matter of pride for Bill. It would be a kind gesture if someone could track the game down.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Location: London

Re: Bill Waterton

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:01 pm

Thanks for the photos and report, John. I think the book and game you are looking for is 'Secrets of Grandmaster Chess' (1997). The game is on page 21: W. Waterton - J. Nunn, Kingston Club Championship 1969. You can see part of the page on Google Books if you search for 'john nunn waterton' (fourth result down). Hopefully someone has a copy of that book and will post the game.

Steven DuCharme
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Re: Bill Waterton

Post by Steven DuCharme » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:40 pm

He reminds me of Mr.Rodgers :)
I float like a pawn island and sting like an ignored knight :mrgreen:

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