Friday, 10 June 2022


At the recent "4 Trophies dinner" at The Gauntlet, it was great to welcome again our most long distance paid-up member, Bruce Holland, who had travelled up from deepest Herefordshire to join in the celebrations. Bruce, of course, was one of the original movers and shakers in getting the current incarnation of Kenilworth Chess Club up and running in 1975 - and 47 years on he still has a great affinity with the club, despite the miles that now separate him from the rest of us.

In my early years with the club, it was something of a ritual for Bruce to turn up on Thursday nights at The Royal Oak, and later The Gauntlet, at an hour when most people were thinking of leaving. His arrival, at 10.30 or later, was invariably accompanied by a general chorus of "Brooooce", albeit not with quite the same passion as Mr Springsteen's fans usually muster.

Now this is all well and good, as Bruce is a legend of KCC and thoroughly deserves a bit of website appreciation, but what really prompted this article was the fact that his return to Kenilworth was actually a rather remarkable coincidence. Because on two occasions he had recently been thrust centre stage of my imagination, by a couple of out of the blue happenings.

Firstly, there I was on holiday in Scotland, in search of my Celtic forefathers, when what do I see but Bruce's name - if not up in lights, then up in stone.

Dunfermline Abbey - the final resting place of Robert the Bruce

But something like that can obviously be easily explained. the next incident most certainly can't. Trundling up the M5 the other day, my wife and I stopped off at the decidedly upmarket Gloucester Services. Idly browsing the shop - and recoiling in horror at the prices - I was brought to a complete standstill by a wholly unbelievable sight. Which I now share with you!

Any further comment from me would be superfluous

You couldn't make it up if you tried! "The chances of anything coming from Mars" may well be "a million to one", but the odds on finding a display of these three tins must be several trillion to one. Proof, if any were still needed, that Bruce is no ordinary guy!

I'm not sure what Bruce's favourite Bruce song is, so I have chosen for him. How about a bit of Waiting on a Sunny Day, live in Hyde Park in 2009?in 

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