by M Price

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

Several years ago a group of Whitchurch residents banded together and obtained the derelict Bridge Farm House, and converted it to a Folk House by September 1977.

Community projects were started and a chess club was inaugurated by Den Greenwell and some eight to ten players, including Dave Collier, Brian Jones and Dave Jarrett.

Dave was a pillar of strength to the cub - in some way he got the club enrolled in the Bristol & District League, found time to improve the standard of play, and even find some extra sets and boards. Such Herculean efforts were much appreciated, and in 1980 he became president.

The season 78/79 saw the Club in Div.5 for two seasons, but slip back into Div.6 for 81/82, and even drop to Div. 7 for 82/83.

Until June '81, Brian Jones had been Secretary/Treasurer/Match Captain, when he found the cares of office too much and left for Sun Life for a season. (But he is back again, hooray!) Brian's departure left the Club to face some rough times for 81/82 season. Ian McCaulder became Captain and found Dr Neil Dent to play board one - he gave an excellent season's play, but the rest of the team failed to match his skill. At the same time, Mervyn Price took on as Secretary/Treasurer and managed to achieve a loss on the season's play; in fact, February 1982 was a really low point for the club.

However, a new era has dawned, new members have appeared; players of sound chess ability and enough to justify a new team - in division three for starters too! - so now the Club can offer good chess and a place for the "rabbits" in division seven.

Finally - my thanks to Brian Jones for writing this history of the club so that all I need to do is post it to the editor.

1997 postscript: Sometime in the next two or three years, Whitchurch changed its name to 'South Bristol' and (I believe) merged with Hengrove (formerly known as Little Thatch). The high point for South Bristol was probably 1986-87 when it had two teams in Division One and five teams in total. At the time of writing, South Bristol are not doing so well, with just one team left in Division Three, but we hope this is just a temporary problem and they will recover to their former glories - JR