Friday, 7 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 3, 1977-81

The KCC saga continues...……

October 1977 - Sir John Cornforth gives a simul for the Leamington League on Oct 13th.

November 1977 - The Club holds a Thursday evening Duplicate Endgame Swiss Tournament. All boards set with the same endgame position; 5 mins preliminary study; 10 mins on each clock. 4 rounds. I do not propose to resurrect this idea!

May 1978 - The club AGM is held on May 4th, with 13 people attending. The usual suspects (Bernard, Bruce and Chris) are there. We had successfully taken on all comers at Kenilworth Carnival until (future IM) Chris Baker turned up! There had been problems during the season with teams not turning up; noise; and with the refreshment arrangements. Nothing changes! We had £25.40 in the bank, but for some reason still owed Sir John Cornforth £2.50. I wonder if he sent the heavies round to collect? The meeting decides to voluntarily offer to pay a higher rent, and the nightly attendance charge is consequently to be raised to 25p for adults, but stay at 10p for students. Bruce is elected Chairman, and Chris Secretary.

May 1979 - Its AGM time again, and 11 attend including the usual suspects! Bizarrely we had played with A and C teams in Division 1, and our B team in Division 2. The club now owns 3 clocks. Our stint at Kenilworth Carnival raised about £5. Membership was claimed to be around 30 (this does not ring true!), although at least 8 of these were likely to leave. The cash in hand is down to only £1.73, and to address this precarious position the club needs to make changes. An annual sub of £1.00 is introduced with nightly fees raised to 30p and 15, but the idea of charging for playing in away matches is voted down. The club bank account (at the Midland) is to be closed and we will in future run on a pure cash basis. Annual turnover was reported at £132.29, with the biggest outlay being rent at £92.00. The club would close for the summer months. It was reported that "we didn't always get our strongest teams out." All these years later, nothing has changed!

May 1980 - The AGM is held on May 22nd, with only 9 turning up. Bruce is there, but Chris and Bernard have better things to do. It is reported that the A team won the League by 3 points, with Paul Benson (who I remember well from Coventry League days in the 1970s) scoring 10/12. (Watch out Joshua!) Graham Brightwell is off to King's College, Cambridge. (A well known hot-bed for Soviet spies!!) The Treasurer reported a surplus for the year of £22.02, despite expenditure of £1 on a photographer and £1.38 on tea and milk, and reduced turnover of £99.50. Our rent was going up to £3.75 for a 3 hour session. 13 people had paid the annual sub and the average attendance at club nights was 8.5. Subs to go up to £2.00 pa, and attendance fee to 40p/20p. Anyone attending 5 times would be asked to cough up the £2. Are there problems below the surface, I wonder, given the comment in the minutes that "we should attempt to foster club spirit"?

1980-81 - The Leamington League Division 1 consists of Banbury, Stratford, Kenilworth and Leamington. Teams play each other 4 times a season! Division 2 consists of Alcester, Fire Service, Kenilworth II, Stratford II, Automotive Products, Leamington II, Banbury II and Daventry. We have asked for no matches on the last Thursday of each month, which will be a pure club night.

Sept 1981 - The club AGM is held very late, on September 10th. 9 people definitely turn up (the usual suspects are all present and correct, plus Ed Goodwin) and one other may have, but the Secretary is not sure and marks him with a question mark! How difficult could it have been to identify the attendees?? We hadn't been that successful in the league after losing some strong players, and we lost in the KO Cup Final. Mike Johnson appears for the first time as a player. But we (including Bernard and Ed) had helped Warwick District Council win the Warwickshire Olympics! Notably, during the season Ed had drawn against IM Paul Littlewood. Financial stability for once, as subs are to remain unchanged. Average take per club night was £2.70 with average attendance down to 6.75. The Church had helped us out by not always taking the full rent! Turnover is up at £126.81 and the club makes a profit of £12.96. Rent accounts for £101 of our £113.85 expenditure. There must have been a lot of tea drinking, as that cost has risen to £3.30.  Another clock is to be bought - finally we have enough for a match!

For the first time, the future Mr Kenilworth Chess Club (Bernard, of course!) is elected to office as Treasurer. Bruce remains Chairman, but Chris stands down as Secretary to return to the backbenches. Ed Goodwin is Club Captain. This year participation in the Carnival had raised £6 or £7. Good luck to the new Treasurer on inheriting that sort of financial control.

Bruce, who has moved from Windy Arbour to Bertie Road, is mandated by the AGM to try to recruit some junior members by writing to the Headmaster of Kenilworth School.

An undated club membership list reveals our geographic spread around this time. Our 23 listed members reside in:-

Kenilworth             14
Leamington              3
Coventry                  2
Radford Semele       2 (Who'd have guessed it was such a chess hot-spot?)
Balsall Common      1
Leek Wootton          1

I trust the Secretary was GDPR compliant with this information!

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