Fifty years ago

As regular readers will appreciate, it’s not always possible to come up with something newsy and topical every day.   So it’s on occasions like this that I have to fall back on either a puzzle or archive material.   Today it’s the turn for something old.

Browsing through the old Minute Book, I came across the minutes of the 1963 Annual General Meeting.  Clearly there were some financial concerns at the time, because the Treasurer stated that there was a deficit of over £9 and that “there had been no subscriptions for vice-presidents during the year”.   It appears that for many years it had been the practice of the Association to invite anyone to become a VP, upon payment of the appropriate amount.   Ten years earlier, in 1953, it had been agreed that “in future, all persons who subscribe £1-1-0 (a guinea) or more per annum shall be elected Vice-Presidents…”   This seemed to be quite a good way of raising money.   But with no funds from that source coming in during the 1962/63 season, it was agreed at the meeting that “Headmasters of schools, non-affiliated members who played correspondence chess, and any other person interested in chess, should be asked to become a vice-president“.   The following year’s AGM reported that £10-9-6 had been raised from VPs, so some ten people must have been persuaded to part with their guinea (apart from one who was short of a sixpence).

The 1963 AGM also agreed to reduce the number of boards per team from 10 to 8.   It would seem that there were no A, B, C teams then, just a single Club team.   The only clubs in the Suffolk League were Ipswich, Bury, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Saxmundham.   At some later date the number of boards was further reduced to 6, and subsequently to the current 4 (i.e. a car-load).   At least this did facilitate more than one team per club.

Finally, it was reported that the SCCA was “not receiving the publicity required to keep chess before the public and thus encourage the recruitment of new players“.   Was that ever the problem!   Nowadays most clubs find it difficult to recruit new members, so nothing much has changed.   But with the advent of the Internet, all clubs have an opportunity to promote themselves to the wider world.   Just try googling ‘Ipswich Chess’ or ‘Saxmundham Chess’, or whatever your club’s name is.   Does it immediately point you to your club’s website?   For most clubs it certainly works, with your club’s website top of the list.   But just as important is keeping your club’s website up-to-date.   At least one club’s site hasn’t been touched for several years – and it shows!

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