Yorkshire Chess History



Gerald Mutrie Reid











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1895/96, Harrogate




1958, York




Non-Chess Life


The parents of Gerald Mutrie Reid were Vernon Botterill Reid (born 1872, Holbeck; d. 1909, Wetherby) and Agnes Annie Mutrie (a British subject born 1875/76, British Honduras; d. 1951 Croydon, Surrey) who had at least the following three children:


Gerald Mutrie Reid

born 1895/96, Harrogate

Hilda May Louise Reid

born 1898, Harrogate

Josephine Frances Reid

born Sep/Nov 1900, Leeds


“Vernon” seems to have featured prominently among forenames of people of the surname Reid.


There seems no evidence of Vernon and Agnes marrying in England, so it maybe that they married abroad, given Agnes’s place of birth.  Armstrong’s Harrogate directory dated 1891-92, that dated 1893, and that dated 1894-95, all seem to make no mention of members of the Reid family, but they crop up in force in Armstrong’s Harrogate directory dated 1895-96, whose data dated perhaps from 1894/95.  Vernon B. Reid is listed at 33 York Place, Harrogate, looking over The Stray (grassed open space).  Additionally, there were listed Colonel Reid at Stray View, 4 Leeds Road, Harrogate, overlooking The Stray from a different angle, and John Reid & Sons, cabinet makers at 69, 71 & 73 Station Parade, Harrogate.


Since Vernon Botterill Reid was in 1901 described as a retired cabinet maker, it seems he was one of the “Sons” of John Reid’s cabinet makers’ business.


Gerald Mutrie Reid was born in late 1895 or early 1896, in Harrogate, and was given his mother’s maiden name as his middle name.


Amstrong’s Harrogate directories for 1897-98 and 1899-1900 still listed Vernon B. Reid as well as John Reid & Sons as before, except that the latter was limited to numbers 69 and 71 only.  Colonel Reid seems to have evaporated.


The years of birth of the other children rather imply that the family moved to Leeds around 1899, give or take a year.


The 1901 census found parents Vernon and Agnes living with the three children and a servant at 13 Sholebroke Terrace, in the Potter Newton area of Leeds.  29-year-old father Vernon was described as a retired cabinet maker.  Had he come into some money, enabling him to retire?


Quite what befell father Vernon Botterill Reid is unclear, but he died in 1909, aged only 37, seemingly in Collingham, and he was buried at St. Oswald’s, Collingham, on 26/01/1909.  Collingham is about 2 miles SSW of Wetherby, on the Leeds to Wetherby Road; John Reid, cabinet maker, appears to have had connections with the Collingham area.  This suggests the family had moved thither from Leeds at some time from 1901 to 1909.  Be that as it may, if they had moved, then after the father’s death, the remainder


Quite where Gerald Mutrie Reid was for the 1911 census is unclear.  He may have been away at school.


Within a further eight years the young Gerald had moved to Scarborough, where, in 1919, he married Christina M. Little (born 1894/95, Scarborough).  The couple had at least the following three children, all born in Scarborough:


Gerald M Reid (jun.)

born 1920

Barbara M Reid

born 1923

Donald F Reid

born 1930


The Reid family of Scarborough seems to have moved home quite often.


Chess sources gave 14 York Place, Scarborough, as our man’s address in connection with the 1925 Scarborough Whit Congress.


Kelly’s N&E Riding directory of 1929 listed “Gerald Reid, boarding house, 18 Pavilion Square, Scarborough.”


Our man evidently came to experience financial problems.  Accordingly, Gerald Mutrie Reid filed a petition for his own bankruptcy on 02/01/1934.  His address at the time was 25 Esplanade Gardens, Scarborough, and his occupation was that of auctioneer’s clerk.


Bankruptcy usually arose as a result of failure in some kind of business venture.  In this case, as an auctioneer’s clerk, Gerald would be unlikely to experience serious business failure, so one can’t help but wonder whether our man had incurred excessive personal indebtedness due to continuing to run the Scarborough Whit Congress, in 1928 and 1929, after the withdrawal of funding by the local council.  Bankrupts often found it convenient to move to a different town, and our man chose to move back to his native Harrogate, possibly in part due to his still having relatives there.  In Harrogate he set up as an estate agent.


Robinson’s Harrogate directories dated 1933, 1934 and 1935 seem not to have listed Gerald Mutrie Reid, perhaps because he was neither a householder nor self-employed.  Nevertheless, others of the name Reid were listed, namely John B. Reid (1933, 1934 & 1935), James Mansfield Reid (1933, 1934 & 1935), Robert McFarlane Reid (1933 & 1934), Tom Reid (1933) and Mrs. M. Reid (1935).


By 1935, however, our man seems to have set himself up as an estate agent.  G. M. Reid, estate agent, of 48 Station Parade, Harrogate, was listed in the telephone directory of 1935.  That would be his office address..


Robinson’s 1936 directory for Harrogate Knaresborough and Wetherby listed G. M. Reid, estate agent, Flat 2, 18 Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate, a modest terraced property which had been listed as vacant in the 1934 directory.


Kelly’s Harrogate directories dated 1937 onwards seem to make no mention of our man.  In seems that Gerald Mutrie Reid moved to York, as that is where he died.




Gerald Mutrie Reid died in 1958, aged 61, in York.




“G. M. Reid”, while secretary of Scarborough Chess Club, instituted a series of annual Scarborough Whit Congresses, from 1925 to 1929.  The top section included a number of international players.


He himself played in the 1925 Scarborough Whit Congress, and possibly in later ones.


He played on board 19 for Yorkshire in the 1929 Yorkshire v Lancashire match.


Further records of him playing chess are not to hand, but he was presumably active as a player and possibly as an organiser, briefly in Harrogate, perhaps, and later perhaps in York.





Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

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

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