Club History

St Albans Chess Club [1, 2] first met on Thursday 28th March 1878 in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. The President, Hon Secretary and executive committee were appointed. There were 26 players present.

By the Autumn, the club was meeting regularly on Thursday evenings at the Queens Hotel (now TSB Bank) in Chequer Street. Friendly matches were soon arranged against local clubs. The first against Luton was played at the Queens Hotel on 14th November 1878 was won by Luton (9 - 6). The following month St Albans won the return match (9 - 11).

Below is a list of the club's principal officers.

President Year
H.F. Lindley 1878 - 1907
E. Townson 1907 - 1909
E. A. Cumming 1909 - 1914
E.T.A. Wigram 1914 - 1916
E.J. Fairchild 1916 - 1918
President Year
E.R. Mitchell 1918 - 1922
Sir E.T.A. Wigram Bt 1922 - 1930
E.J. Fairchild 1930 - 1954
W.H.M. Phillips 1954 - 1955
H. Green 1955 - 1974
President Year
A.W. Torry 1974 - 1982
J.A. Leake 1982 - 2005
J. Simmons 2005 - 2011
Dr J.N. Fraser-Mitchell 2011 -

Hon. Secretary Year
G.F. Gibbs 1878 - 1885
J. Rogers 1885 - 1893
F.B. Gibson 1893 - 1897
E.R. Mitchell 1897 - 1912
E.C. Harris 1912 - 1919
W.A. Conway 1919 - 1920
L.F. Allengame 1920 - 1929
G.F. Ramsay 1929 - 1932
Hon. Secretary Year
F.W. Daniel 1933 - 1943
E.J. Palfrey 1943 - 1945
A.W. Torry 1946 - 1974
E.S. Judge 1974 - 1977
J.A. Leake 1977 - 1981
R. Claret 1981 - 1984
C.A. Turner 1984 - 1985
P.V. Lattimore 1985 - 1986
Hon. Secretary Year
C.A. Turner 1986 - 2000
Dr J.N. Fraser-Mitchell 2000 - 2005(?)
Dr I. Gooding 2005(?) - 2007
Dr M.J. Lexton 2007 - 2010
P. Hayward 2010 - 2011
I. Cross 2011 - 2016
A. Ellis 2016 - 2019
R. Collopy 2019 -

Treasurer Year
C.A. Andrews 1977- 1987
A. McMahon 1987 - 2012
S. Narbeth 2012 -

Congress Organiser Year
P.V. Lattimore 1983 - 1984
R. Claret 1984 -

Notes

1. The oldest minute book still in the club's possession is that for 1931-1986, which contains a record of the club's activities from 1897.

2. Research of the local newspaper archives held at Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies has yielded a number of articles published in the The Herts Advertiser that cover the chess club's inaugural meeting in 1878 and other events.