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  1. I was 16 when I joined South Shields Chess Club at the Marine & Technical College in 1969. There were a number of older players including Lance Oliver mentioned by Simon. Lance was very reserved and always brought his own rosewood chess set along to the club. The knights had hypnotic diamond eyes. The secretary of the club was Mr Dodds and other long standing members included Mr Bishop and Mr Jennings who always smoked a pipe containing a very aromatic blend of tobacco. One of our stronger players was Mr Williamson who played a defensive game, waiting for his opponent to make mistakes; perhaps a little in the style of Petrosian. Keith Dunmore was also a regular who was a strong player at both chess and draughts. We had two teams and held our own in the leagues without finishing top. Sunderland had two good teams: Sunderland YMCA and Sunderland NALGO. After the Marine & Tech we played at various venues: the YMCA in Fowler Street followed by the psalm room at the rear of St Hilda’s church in the market place. Eddie Jenkins was elected secretary of the club when were were still at the college and continued in the role for several years.

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