WEST MIDLANDS DRAUGHTS ASSOCIATION

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A CHRONOLOGY OF DRAUGHTS IN THE WEST MIDLANDS OF ENGLAND

1881

Spring. A draughts competition was instituted by the Worcestershire Union of Working Men's Clubs and Institutes. There were 5 competitors. Mr Raymond of the Kidderminster Club won first prize. Runner-up was W.H. Gibson of Bromsgrove Institute.

Sat 30 April at Redditch. Redditch Chess Club played a chess and draughts match with St George's (Birmingham).

1884

Mon 18 Feb at the Coffee Tavern, Bromsgrove. Bromsgrove DC easily beat Stourbridge DC.

Mon 18 April at Stourbridge. Bromsgrove DC beat Stourbridge DC by 31½ -18½.

Points STOURBRIDGE BROMSGROVE Points
1 H. Kingdon J. James 4
1 George Holmes M. Nokes 4
2 W. Tarry J. Harbidge 3
A. Allbutt A. Steele
0 H. Shacklock J. White 5
1 C. Jackson H. James 4
0 W. Chamberlain George Jones 5
3 J. Baker B. Juggins 2
J. Smith T. Humphries
W. Shotton George Humphries
18½     31½

Sat 18 Oct at Bromsgrove. Bromsgrove played Kidderminster Coffee Tavern DC (8-a-side). The visitors won by 27½ -12½.

1885

Sat 24 Jan at St George's Chess Club, Birmingham. Birmingham beat the Cafe Club, Northampton, by 33-16 and 8 draws. Afterwards it was decided to form a Birmingham Draughts Club since the game was so popular in the town.

Wins BIRMINGHAM Draws NORTHAMPTON Wins
2 Oliver 1 W. Matthews 3
2 Hess 3 Whitney 1
4 Lord 0 Rawlings 1
4 James 0 Purvis 2
2 Harris 2 Middleton 2
4 Macbeth 1 T. Matthews 1
5 Silverman 0 C. Wood 1
2 Matthews 1 A. Gibbs 3
3 Smeed 0 Morgan 1
5 Bodfish 0 Shirley 1
33   8   16

Feb. At Hamstead Institute various games were supplied. A draughts tournament was won by Mr J. Connop [sic]

Sat 31 Oct. Birmingham Draughts Club was opened.

First Birmingham club

[From The Draught-Payers' Weekly Magazine, Vol 2 No 15, 7 Nov 1885]

14 Nov. West Birmingham Draughts and Chess Club was publicly opened.

Second Birmingham club

[Above: from DPWM Vol 2 No 16, 14 Nov 1885]

[Below: from DPWM Vol 2 No 18, 28 Nov 1885]

Second Birmingham club opens

Thurs 19 Nov. Walsall Star DC was due to open on this date.


1886

Sat 28 Feb at the Abington Square Cafe Club. Northampton lost to Birmingham by 29½ to 36½ . A "good number" of games were drawn.

Points NORTHAMPTON BIRMINGHAM Points
Whitney Stephenson ½
W. Matthews Gilbert ½
3 C. Purvis Bodfish 3
1 T. Middleton Baker 5
E. Wright Matthews
0 Morgan Griffiths 6
Gibbs Mousley
J. Dumayne Pennington
2 Davies Chapman 2
Shirley Hayden
1 Nathaniel Smith Mounsey 5
Wills Ross ½
29½     36½

13 March. Kidderminster lost to Birmingham DC by 6-58 and 6 draws at Vicar Street Coffee Tavern, Kidderminster. The Birmingham club had 72 members and a silver cup had been offered for competition among them.

April. Birmingham DC requested matches with other English clubs, with teams of up to 12 per side.

27 April (Easter Tuesday). Return match. Birmingham DC beat Kidderminster by 49½ -19½ [Details of wins unknown]; at 63 Snow Hill, Birmingham. Home team: W. Smeed (captain), E. S. Stephenson, T. Gilbert, A. W. Griffiths, W. Moseley, A.W. Pennington, C. W. Hayden, J. Davidson, H. Clews, H. Wilson, H. Ros and F. Chapman. (Not their strongest team.)

April. West Birmingham lost to Birmingham DC 3rd team by 24½ to 39½ [Details of wins unknown]; at Mr Rowe’s Coffee House, 57, Parade.

May. Birmingham. Stephenson beat Jones by 5-4 and 7 draws.

[From DPWM Vol 3 No 22, 29 May 1886]

Stephenson vs Jones match

Sat 29 May. West Birmingham DC beat Walsall Star DC by 26-16 and 12 draws at Rowe’s Coffee House.

Birmingham vs Walsall Star

[From DPWM Vol 3 No 24, 12 June 1886]

June. A third Birmingham club was due to be formed, at the Warwick Arms, Bradford Street.

Mon 4 Oct. A match was arranged between Liverpool and Birmingham, to be played in Liverpool.[Did this take place?]

1887

Jan. Birmingham DC took the initiative in trying to form a Midland Counties Association. Birmingham DC, whilst being one the youngest clubs in England, had the reputation of being one of the most successful and enterprising. Northampton, Nottingham, Hanley, Walsall, etc were described as centres of considerable strength. Clubs within a 50 mile radius of Birmingham were invited to join by applying to the secretary, T. J. Baker, at 63 Snow Hill. It seems that nothing came of this.

Thurs 20 Jan. Annual soiree of Birmingham DC.

Some of the leading players in the Birmingham area were arranging individual matches, including J. A. Willcox of Walsall vs Jones, captain of West Birmingham Club. The winner to play T. Gilbert, a rising young player of the Birmingham Club.

E. Horton played J. A. Wilcox in the "Star and Garter" Coffee House, Walsall.

Feb. Annual fixture: Kidderminster lost to Birmingham DC by 10-38, 10 draws. Birmingham team: T.J. Baker, G.W. Griffiths, C. Haydon, D. Barker, H. Clews, S. Foster, W. Turvey, Wareing, H. Radford, Bryden.

First match between Nottingham and Birmingham. Nottingham beat Birmingham DC by 23-14, 10 draws. Birmingham team: Baker(captain), F. Garrett, Bodfish, H. Chapman, Haydon, Griffiths, Matthews, D. Barker, Clews, F. Chapman, Turvey, Radford, Briden.

Sat 7 May at the Cafe, Snow Hill, Birmingham. Birmingham DC beat Abington Square Chess and Draughts Club of Northampton by 36½ - 8½. Northampton were not well represented.

Points BIRMINGHAM NORTHAMPTON Points
½ Stevenson G. Whitney
Gilbert F. Rawlings ½
Bodfish T. Middleton ½
4 Church T. Matthews 0
1 Chapman E. Wright 1
4 Griffiths F. Chambers 2
Barker S. Bates ½
6 Matthews W. Thompson 0
Hayden E. Cook
4 Clews A. Tinkler 1
36½    

May. In the return match Birmingham beat Kidderminster by 44-15, 12 draws. Birmingham team: Church, T.J. Baker, G. W. Griffiths, D. Barker, Clews, Hayden, Turvey, Waring, Downes, Briden, Hancox, Miller.

July. Death of E. Stephenson in Birmingham, aged 37. He worked hard for Birmingham DC, encouraging young players, and was twice elected captain.

J.A. Kear Snr and Jnr and H.G. Osborne visited Birmingham and local players.

Sept. Another new club was started - South Birmingham DC. HQ: “Lord Nelson”, Pershore Street.

Sat 26 Nov at the Abington Square Cafe, Northampton. The visiting Birmingham DC won by 33½-18½ .

Points NORTHAMPTON BIRMINGHAM Points
2 W. Matthews Gilbert 0
2 G. Whitney Bodfish 4
2 F. Rawlings T. Baker 1
C. Purvis Harden
E. Wright Matthews
1 T. Middleton Baker 5
3 J. Davies Pennington 2
T. Matthews Clews
½ A. Gibbs Kean
F. Pugh W. A. Baker
18½     33½

Tue 29 Nov at Kidderminster Coffee Tavern. The home team beat Stourbridge, who were poorly represented, by 37-13.

Points KIDDERMINSTER STOURBRIDGE Points
6 Harrison Priest 0
3 Varney Clewes Jnr 0
6 Giles Peploe 0
3 Hodgkiss Biddle 2
2 Sylvester Owen 4
5 Poole Dawson 1
3 Hinton Clewes 3
Morris Pope
Mowle Webb
37     13

1888

Thurs 26 Jan at the Coffee Tavern, Stourbridge. Stourbridge lost to Kidderminster by 18 games to 41 in the third match between these teams. Stourbridge team: Morris, Pope, Tarry, Langstone, Clewes Jnr, Biddle, Owen, Veal, Dawson and Clewes Snr. Kidderminster: Harrrison, Parker, Vale, Taylor, Giles, Fredericks, Poole, Sylvester, Bennett and Saunders.

Thurs 2 Feb at Central Coffee Tavern, Stourbridge. Social evening at Stourbridge DC HQ. A substantial dinner was followed by a friendly match.

Sat 25 Feb at 63 Snow Hill, Birmingham. The home team beat Kettering by 27-11 and 6 draws.

Wins BIRMINGHAM Draws KETTERING Wins
2 H. Bodfish 0 A. Bailey 1
5 B. Church 0 H.G. Ginns 1
3 T.J. Baker 1 A.G. Denny 2
2 G.W. Griffiths 1 F. Ginns 2
4 D. Barker 1 W. Bailey 1
2 C.W. Hayden 2 A. Bird 2
5 H. Clews 1 F. Smith 0
4 W. Turvey 0 H. Abrahams 2
27   6   11

Sat 29 Dec at Pershore Working Men's Club. The visitors for a match at bagatelle and draughts were Evesham WMC. 6-a-side. Evesham won at draughts by 10-6 and 2 draws.

1889

Sat 9 Feb. Return match at Central Coffee House, Corporation Street, Birmingham. The match began after a "substantial knife and fork tea" at 5 pm and was completed by 9 pm. The home side lost to Nottingham by 14-31, 11 draws. This was the second match between these clubs.

Wins BIRMINGHAM Draws NOTTINGHAM Wins
1 Bodfish 0 Mitchell 3
1 Chapman 0 Linney 3
1 Baker 1 Hewitt 2
1 Griffiths 0 Birchenough 3
1 Hayden 1 Langley 2
1 Turvey 1 Riley 2
2 Clews 2 Thorpe 0
0 Waring 2 Brown 2
2 Hopkins 1 Hutchinson 1
1 Sedgeley 1 Johnstone 2
1 Chance 0 Rhodes 3
0 Doyle 0 Suffolk 4
1 Milward 1 Whittington 2
1 Radford 1 Osborne 2
14   11   31

Sat 20 July at Northampton. Abington Square Cafe DC played West Birmingham DC in a return match - an "excellent meat tea" being provided beforehand. After several attempts to beat a Birmingham team, Northampton finally managed to win, by 18-15 and 8 draws.

Wins NORTHAMPTON Draws BIRMINGHAM Wins
1 G. Whitney 2 W. Jones 2
2 J. Hilliard 1 G. W. Griffiths 3
3 F. A. Pugh 2 W. M. Perry 1
0 T. Middleton 0 A. Withers 6
3 T. G. Hollowell 0 J. Desmond 3
4 A. Gibbs 2 J. Payne 0
5 S. Bates 1 T. R. Thomas 0
18   8   15

Sat 26 Oct at Birmingham. West Birmingham Chess and Draughts Club beat Redditch easily, this being the visitors' initial match at draughts. They won by 7-3 and 0 draws at chess, and by 29-0 and 1 draw at draughts.

Wins WEST BIRMINGHAM Draws REDDITCH Wins
6 Griffiths 0 Wright 0
6 Jones 0 Harris 0
6 Withers 0 Sandland 0
6 Hadley 0 Morris 0
5 Desmond 1 Dickenson 0
29   1   0

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