by Jack Beard

A history of the chess club, published in the 75th League anniversary issue of the Bristol Chesstimes in 1982.

Cabot chess club was founded in 1969 from the remnants of John Lysaghts chess club following the windup of the steel firm after takeover. John Lysaghts club was formed during the war by the steelworkers as a relaxation to making tanks, etc., for the war effort. Leading lights in those days were Len Hays, Bill Bird and Geoff Peters (all of whom served terms as President of the League) and the only founder still playing, Cliff Bane.

Later notable members were John Milton (League Secretary for over ten years), Vic York (founder of the Junior Association), Max Poolake, Cyril Welch, Chris Sullivan and Dave Jarrett. In their heyday, Lysaghts reached first division status, but after the takeover the firm was run down and the majority of players left.

This led to the birth of Cabot chess club who have had a more down than up record in the League. A brief upsurge occurred in 1974 following the amalgamation with Nalgo, but unfortunately this was not maintained.

Notable members have been Geoff Pook, Adrian Champion, Jim Porter, John Olive, Kevin Shipton and that greatly missed character, Ivor Champion. Long serving members still active are Edgar Strachan, Mike Collier, Paul Evans and Jack Beard. Present premises are St Werburgh's Community Centre on Monday evenings.

1997 postscript: In 1994, Cabot merged with the Bristol Royals (descendants of the old Bristol Omnibus club) to become Bristol Cabot. - JR