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1963 Junior Chess Team with Mr Parker and the League Championship trophy.
 L to R; D. Eddy, R. Newnes, S. Wright, R. Glew, P. Noble (Capt.), S. Holloway.

Norfolk chess champion Owen Hindle visited the College in 1965 and took on 20 pupils and 5 members of staff, beating them all. Photos shows Owen with a few of his 25 contestants.
From front: Steve Human, NK, Edgar Riches, 2 x NK, Russell Stone (with glasses), 2 x NK

The Senior Chess Team 1970/71; winners of the Norfolk Schools Chess League.  Standing: Mr Poulton, Michael Evans, Bruce Carman, Philip Nash. Seated: David Carlyle, Christopher Thetford, Terence Wright (Captain).
Chess Club members in 1987, possibly at a 'speed chess' event (photo by Tim Vogel).

Gloucester had a pretty strong chess tradition as Steve 'Big Louis' Human will testify.  I personally fostered junior chess in the house by running various chess ladders etc. - so you owe it all to me 'Sam' Rowland (who won one of my junior tournaments). Mr Seeley happily made the wooden ladder, of course.  As a result of our brilliance we kept winning the inter-house tiny shield - rectangular in size.  On the rare occasions when we lost, Mr Seeley would get me in his study and demand to know why we had lost!  Well, what do you say? 'Yep, I threw the match just to annoy you, you bald headed prat!'

Anyway, after we had won the inter-house shield  for the umpteenth time, Seeley had a flash of genius - well for him anyway.  He decided that Gloucester would keep the tiny shield for ever so that he would always be guaranteed to have at least one trinket on the sideboard.  He presented a shiny new 'Gloucester Shield' in its place.  I seem to recall that we all had to pay for this generous gesture out of house funds.

I was Captain of the school team and played chess for Norfolk U18, involving some fun trips to play at the Royal Festival Hall etc.  There was one guy at Yarmouth Grammar who kept thrashing me, named Robert Bellin, who is now an International Master so I can be excused for continually  losing to him!  I also had a fun chess coaching weekend at Wensum Lodge in Norwich, given by Raymond Keene, the Grandmaster chess correspondent for 'The Times' and at that time one of Britain's very top players.  I missed playing in his simultaneous display one evening, however, as I had a prior engagement at the Norwich flicks watching 'The sweet sins of sexy Susan' which was not particularly sexy in fact ... but never mind!

I remember many years later taking my wife, Hilary, into the Norfolk and Norwich chess club.  I don't think many of the old buffers there had seen a girlie before who could actually play reasonably well, and they all queued up to play her!

I was crap at rugby and came a very embarrassing last in the inter-house cross country running competition which pissed me off somewhat, as superstar chess players did not get the girls, but the macho rugby players did!  Hey Chris G. and Mr Corless (or two)?

Malcolm Fairhurst, who looked after the chess teams, used to keep going on about Gloucester being a house of intellectuals - but then he called any combination of 'A' level subjects which did not include Maths, Physics and Chemistry as 'underwater basket weaving subjects!'

Ian Gomeche





Wymondham College Remembered