SHEFFIELD Chess History

 

Contents:

Dronfield Chess Club

Yorkshire Home

 

Sheffield Home

Narrative

Organisations

Events

Games

People

Graves

Competitions

Trophies

Made in Sheffield

Miscellaneous

 

Since its formation, the Sheffield & District Chess Association was perceived its “District” as extending in all directions, not just into other parts of the former West Riding, especially that part now called South Yorkshire, but also over the county boundary in the northern parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  Dronfield Chess Club was the first non-Yorkshire chess club to be affiliated to the Sheffield & District Chess Association.  The early history of the club was well chronicled by the Derbyshire Courier, articles usually appearing on the local-news pages, under “Dronfield and District.”

 

The club was formed at a meeting on Tuesday 13/11/1900.  The Derbyshire Courier of Saturday 17/11/1900 (page 8) carried the following report:

 

A meeting of gentlemen favourable to the formation of a chess club in Dronfield was held in the Parish Room, on Tuesday evening.  There was a good attendance, and it was resolved to form a club to be called “The Dronfield Chess Club.”  The club will meet on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 to 10.30.  Offices were appointed, as a good membership roll was assured, and every prospect of a successful club is anticipated.  Mr. George Ward, of 23, High Street, Dronfield, was appointed honorary secretary and treasurer, and all communications relating to the club should be addressed to him.

 

In the ensuing 10 months or so, the club engaged in matches with other clubs, including the following:

home match against Cornish Place, Sheffield, on Tuesday 12/02/1901;

home match against St. George’s, Sheffield, on Tuesday 26/02/1901;

home match against Chesterfield, on Wednesday, 13/03/1901;

away match against Chesterfield, on Saturday, 11/05/1901;

home match against Sheffield Y.M.C.A., on 24/08/1901.

For details of these matches see 1900-01 Dronfield Matches.

 

On Wednesday 01/05/1901, a match was played between “Mr. W. S. Newton’s Team” and “Mr. F. T. Hewitt’s Team”, both teams being of Dronfield Chess Club members.  The named gentlemen seem to have been the club’s two strongest players.

 

To keep things going after the traditional match-playing season, when it was difficult to engage other clubs in matches, the club ran an internal tournament.  Draws seem not to have counted in this tournament, the nature of which was not explained.  The Derbyshire Courier reported the tournament’s progress to date on at least two occasions:

 

On 15/06/1901

(page 8)

 

 

On 13/07/1901

(page 8)

 

Player

Wins

Losses

 

Player

Wins

Losses

F. Hewitt

6

1*

 

F. Hewitt

23

1

W. S. Newton

4

1

 

W. S. Newton

12

11

Geo. Ward

6

3

 

Rev. C. Dyson

9

8

G Wheelock

3

1

 

Geo. Ward

9

8

C. G. Marshall

3

2

 

C. G. Marshall

7

5

S. Newton

3

3

 

A. Bickerstaff

6

8

Rev. C. Dyson

4

4

 

G Wheelock

6

12

A. Bickerstaff

1

3

 

S. Newton

4

4

X. Jepson

-

3

 

R. J. Clarke

3

7

R. J. Clarke

-

5

 

X. Jepson

2

4

W. K. Bedingfield

-

2

 

W. K. Bedingfield

1

3

 

 

 

 

H. Bunting

0

2

 

 

 

 

J. W. Brunton

0

2

(* printed as 2, but changing that to 1, as in the 13/07/1901 table was presumably correct, as that equalises win and loss totals.)

Names were printed in the above order on 15/06/1901, but in a more random order on 13/07/1901.

Win and loss totals of 13/07/1901 are 83 and 77 respectively, suggesting an error somewhere.

 

The Derbyshire Times of Saturday 28/09/1901 reported on the club’s first annual general meeting, held on Tuesday 24/09/1901, when 20 of the membership of about 25 were present.  Further expressions of interest looked like increasing the membership to 30.  The following were elected to office:

 

President:

Rev. C. I. Bickerstaff

Vice-Presidents:

Samuel Lucas

 

J. H. Harrison

 

Dr. Fletcher J.P.

 

T. H. Lucas

 

Dossey Wightman

 

A. E. Hopkins

Secretary & Treasurer:

George Ward

23 High Street

Dronfield

 

Following its experience of match play, the club had decided to seek affiliation to the Sheffield & District Chess Association, and the AGM appointed Messrs. Hewitt and Brunton to attend the S&DCA AGM in connection with this application.  The club secretary, George Ward was appointed as the club’s delegate to the S&DCA, in the event of the membership application being approved.

 

The Derbyshire Courier of 05/10/1901 (page 8) reported:

 

On Monday evening Mr. J.W. Brunton and W. S. Newton attended a meeting of the Sheffield and District League as delegates for Dronfield Chess Club, which club was unanimously admitted members of the League.

 

Thus Dronfield was admitted into membership of the S&DCA for 1901-02, playing in the league that season.  Matches played by Dronfield in the Sheffield League include the following:

against Hutton’s, on Wednesday 31/04/2015.

 

Dronfield Chess Club did not affiliate to the S&DCA after that season.

 

Those listed above in connection with the AGM are largely identifiable, using Derbyshire directories, as members of the great and good of Dronfield at the time:

 

Rev. C. I. Bickerstaff

Rev. Charles Isaac Bickerstaff,

vicarage, Dronfield

Dr. Fletcher J.P.

Dr. Howard Bennett Fletcher, J.P., surgeon, 

The Grange, Dronfield

J. H. Harrison

John Henry Harrison, senior, Norfolk Lodge, Dronfield OR

John Henry Harrison, junior, Ashwal House, Dronfield

A. E. Hopkins

Arthur Ernest Hopkins, solicitor, 

St. Helen’s Lodge, 1 St. Helen’s Street, Chesterfield

Samuel Lucas

Samuel Lucas, farmer

T. H. Lucas

Thomas Harrison Lucas,

Bowshaw House, Coal Aston

George Ward

 

Dossey Wightman

Dossey Wightman, *

Grange House, Unstone

* possibly the “Wightman” of Wightman & Parker, solicitors

 

Dr. Fletcher was at the time vice-chairman of the Urban District Council.  A. E. Hopkins was a promoter of Chesterfield Chess Club.

 

The 25 members at the time of the first AGM would appear to have been:

 

 

W. K.

Bedingfield

 

 

A.

Bickerstaff

 

Rev.

C. I.

Bickerstaff

 

 

J. W..

Brunton

 

 

H.

Bunting

 

 

R. J.

Clarke

 

Rev.

C.

Dyson

 

 

R.

Finks

 

Dr.

 

Fletcher

J.P.

 

J. H.

Harrison

 

 

F. T.

Hewitt

 

 

A. E.

Hopkins

 

 

X.

Jepson

 

 

Samuel

Lucas

 

 

T. H.

Lucas

 

 

A.

Machin

 

 

C. G.

Marshall

 

 

S.

Newton

 

 

W. S.

Newton

 

 

T.

Prestwich

 

 

L. P.

Sayles

 

 

Geo.

Ward

 

 

G

Wheelock

 

 

Dossey

Wightman

 

 

R.

Wilson

 

 

 

Created

06/06/2015

Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated

06/06/2015