Yorkshire Chess History



David Ernest Hardcastle











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



11/12/1933, York


2001, York, age 67


Non-Chess Life


David Hardcastle was the son, and seemingly only child, of Norman Hardcastle (born 06/02/1895, York) and Kathleen Doris Hardcastle (née Goodrick, 10/02/1896, York), who were married in 1922, in York.  Father Norman was a clerk at Rowntree & Co Ltd.  David’s middle name, “Ernest”, was the first name of his paternal grandfather, Ernest Hardcastle, who had been a clerk at the offices of York Gas Co.  Thus David was born into a family of pen-pushing administrators.


In David’s early years the family lived at 20 Markham Street, York, about half a mile from the Rowntree (later Rowntree-Mackintosh) factory on Haxby Road, which is presumably where father Norman worked.


David went to primary school in York, most probably at Haxby Road (mixed infants).  David presumably went to secondary school in York.  He quite probably went to university somewhere (but not in York).


His earlier working career is not evident, but the greater part of his working life was with York University, which was founded in 1963.  David Hardcastle become a member of the computer department, not as an academic, but as a member of the Bursar's Department, in the capacity of Data Processing Officer.  As such he was responsible for all the university’s computerised administrative operations, which mainly meant money-related matters in the early days.


His workplace was in the computer buildings, alongside the academics of the university’s computing department.  Expansion of the Department of Computer Science resulted in David Hardcastle’s place of work moving from the original university site to Heslington Hall a little further out from town, which is probably when he set up home at 27 Peel Close, Heslington, York, the address most people who knew him will remember best.


Father Norman died in 1975, and mother Kathleen died in 1981.


It seems he had retired from work by 1991, probably earlier.


On 22/10/1982, the residents in the area where he lived formed a residents’ property management company called West Heslington Properties Ltd (registered office at Mudd & Co, 5 Peckitt Street, York, YO1 9SF), and, after his retirement, Dave became a director on 14/10/1991, though he resigned on 12/10/1992.


David appears never to have married.




Dave Hardcastle was probably respected more as a chess organiser than feared as a chess opponent, at least in later years.  His grade in 1999 was 103.


The British Championships were held in his native York in 1959, and 25-year-old David E Hardcastle was a member of the local committee involved in the organisation of the event.  This was the event at which Mike Haygarth of Leeds tied for first place with Penrose and Golombek, with Penrose winning the subsequent play-off.


In time he became an official British Chess Federation Arbiter.


He was involved in running chess locally in York, and importantly the annual York Congress which started in 1988 but sadly fizzled out about 25 years later.


He was visible to a wider chess-playing audience in offices held with the Yorkshire Chess Association.  Memory fails somewhat, but Competition Controller, Bulletin Editor and probably Year Book Editor are some of the posts he filled at one time or another.


One memorable event in which he was involved in running, was a 13-round Yorkshire team rapidplay held in the canteen at Rowntree Mackintosh, Haxby Road, York, and won by Rotherham (J P Ballard and S J Mann each scoring 12 out of 13).


At another (British?) team rapidplay event David announced at the start that the tables were “numbered A to .. ” (whatever the letter of the last table).  This irregular terminology foreshadowed an embarrassing round-2 pairing hiccup, as I recall, but things otherwise ran satisfactorily!




David Ernest Hardcastle died in 2001, in York, at the age of only 67.




After Dave’s death the Yorkshire Chess Association decided to institute a trophy commemorating him and his organisational enthusiasm, for annual presentation, not for winning a competitive chess event but in recognition of some individual’s organisational or similar achievement.





Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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