Visit to Delft 2018

Visit date: Friday, 2nd March - Sunday, 4th March 2018

Five players took part in the trip to The Netherlands this year. We were “a man-down” because Paul’s evening flight to Amsterdam had been cancelled due to adverse weather. The team (in board order) was:

1.Dr Jeremy Fraser-MitchellECF 189ELO 2112
2.Dr Ian Gooding ECF 170ELO 1960
3.Ian Cross ECF 145ELO 1760
4.Ray Claret ECF 115ELO 1520
5.Peter Baker ECF 90ELO 1320

Delft Old Town

Base camp for this year’s trip was the Best Western Museum Hotel, Delft. It was located in Oude Delft Street, in the old town, near two of the town’s grandest Protestant churches. The “New Church” contains the crypt of the “House of Orange” Royal Family. The “Old Church” contained the tombs of former nobles and Royalty. Local wealthy citizens paid to be buried in the churches alongside famous individuals. The smell of rotting corpses became overwhelming and the practice ceased in the 17th century. Those rich enough to afford this custom were dubbed “the stinking rich”.

The townfolk often took advantage of the cold weather to skate on the frozen canals in the town. The ice was surprisingly thick, in excess of 5 inches in places. Delft pottery is renowned for its distinctive blue colour and the local museums and shops exhibit some fine examples. The main town square is a fine example of late medieval architecture. It is well preserved and features an ornately decorated Town Hall, as well as distinctive houses and shops. Many houses in the old Town were individually named, in accordance with local tradition.

Match v Delft (Friday evening, 2nd March)

Our first opponents were the DSC club in Delft. Their venue was about 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel. Our hosts had kindly prepared a meal of lamb stew for the players which was a welcome start to the evening. It was decided to play one long-play game. St Albans were White on odd numbered boards. The match was keenly contested and ended in a draw 2½ - 2½.

Match v De Uil (Saturday afternoon, 3rd March)

Our second opponents were our friends at the De Uil club in Hillegom. This meant a train journey from Delft to Leiden central station, where we changed trains for the line to Hillegom. It was decided to play one long-play game. St Albans were White on odd numbered boards again. Our hosts proved too strong for us and they won 3½ - 1½. After the match, players met for dinner at “La Rueda”, an Argentinean steak house.

Delft Guided Tour (Sunday morning, 4th March)

On Sunday, our DSC host, Rene Pouts, personally gave the team a guided tour of Delft Old Town. Rene’s knowledge of Delft provided a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the town. The walking tour lasted around 90 minutes. It was followed by lunch in a local restaurant which offered traditional Dutch food and Belgium beer.