Staff Association
Sports &
Chess Club
As Norman Worwood recalls in Memory 049:
'The Bank Chess Club was more of an ad hoc team than a formal club, as it had a limited duration and consisted of a (usually) hastily assembled, small band of members, who played their games at relatively short notice --- all features hardly designed for durability. It did, however, have one noteworthy success .......................... '
Reports of this ad hoc team appeared in the following
editions of the Bank's staff magazine
NEWSLETTER: Spring 1959

On Thursday, February 26th a keen, but not hopeful team from the Bank, met at the Civic Restaurant at 6:30pm to play a match against a team from the Town Clerks Department.

Out of the original eleven volunteers, David Stace was out of action with influenza and Roy Weaver arrived late with ‘rendez-vous’ trouble. The Town Clerks supplied a substitute from the Treasurers Dept. to replace Mr Weaver in order that our ten-board match could commence.

The first two games to be completed gave two wins to our opponents. Our substitute went down and Jim Smith, from a winning position, allowed his attention to wander (perhaps to some other board meeting?) and found himself “de-queened”.

Those of us who were still “in play” dug in our heels a little more firmly at least determined to go down fighting.

The next bulletin - Norman Worwood went down but, to cheer our hearts, the tables turned - Tony Morris and Colin Beacroft reported wins; the score now 3 lost, two won.

This news was quickly followed by a win for Roy Willingham and Howard Powell and a draw for Peter Aston. We were now in the lead and needed only one win or two draws from the remaining boards. Mr K Parkes on the top board in play against Mr Jenkins and Mr Addis on board 3 playing Mr Morris.

Mr Addis had engaged in a dour battle and, outwitted to the extent of two pawns, but not out-stayed, had to resign the game to make the score 4½ to 4½ with everything depending on the top board.

Mr Parkes’s bishop and SIX pawns facing his opponent’s knight and FOUR pawns were all that we needed to record a win 5½ to 4½. An encouraging achievement by our ‘scratch’ team well over half of whom had never played competitive games under these conditions.

In fairness to our opponents it must be said that they did not field their strongest side although six of their players had played in league matches.

We are indebted to the Town Clerks team for their hospitality and the friendly spirit in which the match was played. They are now anxious to book a return match.

Norman Worwood (House Purchase Dept) will be pleased to hear from any other enthusiasts.


NEWSLETTER: Summer 1959




The meeting called by Mr N A Worwood under the above heading took place on 23rd April and the most optimistic could only describe the attendance as ‘moderate’. It was, therefore, decided by those present that the idea should not be completely abandoned, but should be shelved under the heading of ‘Dormant’ to be brought back to life at a more appropriate time in the future.

A team had already entered to play in an inter-Departmental tournament for a trophy known as the “Silver Rook”. This was a knock-out competition and we entered two teams one of which had to withdraw owing to our inability to find four fit men at short notice to play on the appointed evening. The other team, drawn to play against a team from the Gas Board, duly played their match on 27th April.

The match ended in a draw 2-2. In this event said the Rules, the last board must be eliminated; as this was one of our wins, the match was lost 2-1. This was, I am sure, a great relief to our secretary who had been very worried about finding a “cage” for the “Silver Rook” if we won it.




CONTACT: Spring 1961




In the Inter-Departmental Knock-Out Tournament for the trophy "The Silver Rook", the Bank team has battled its way to the final and is now engaged in the difficult task of fixing a venue with the Town Clerks Department for the final match to be played.


In fairness it should be pointed out that the battle to the final has entailed playing only one match. This was against the Gas Department and our team, Messrs R Weaver, K Parkes, H Powell and R Wozencroft, won the match two games to one, the last board being discounted.


The team is now in strict training spending much time in silent meditation interspersed with shouts to the junior of "I've got another cheque, mate".





CHESS by Ruy Lopez


The Final of the Inter-Departmental Chess Tournament was played on Wednesday, May 24th. Our opponents were the Town Clerks Department and the match was played at the Council House.


Mr Roy Wozencroft, the fourth member of the team who were successful against the Gas Department in the semi-final, was not available for this match, we were fortunate, however, to obtain the services of that man of many parts, Mr John Cox, to take his place.


At 6:40pm, the games were started, the players being paired off as follows:


                                   Town Clerks                         Bank


Board 1                     Mr Jenkins                 v         Mr Weaver

Board 2                     Mr Ramdges             v         Mr Parkes

Board 3                     Mr Kinder                   v         Mr Powell

Board 4                     Mr Jones                    v         Mr Cox


The first game to finish was on Board 2 where that cavalier of the chess-board, Keith Parkes, after playing himself into a winning position, surprised himself by losing. He is probably still holding his head and crying, "I should have won".


The three remaining players battled on and Roy Weaver, forcing a position of perpetual check, contented himself with a draw; against a player of the calibre of Mr Jenkins, a draw is a commendable achievement. In order to win the match we now had to win the two remaining games.


At 10:35pm it was decided that play could continue no longer, and we split into two groups round Boards 3 & 4 for the 'post mortem', a gallant attempt by John Cox to convince our opponents that victory was within his grasp, was quickly discounted. There being no immediate advantage to our players in either of the games, we could not reasonably claim a win on both. We decided, therefore, to concede a draw on each making the result - Town Clerks 2½, Bank 1½. We were so close to that "Silver Rook", perhaps we'll catch it next time.


The fixtures were all arranged by Mr Norman Worwood who attended all our matches in the role of spectator. Thank you, Norman, for the considerable 'backroom' work and for your moral support and encouragement.



CONTACT: Spring 1962


CHESS CLUB by Howard Powell


The Chess Club have made their annual take-over bid for the Silver Rook Trophy in the Inter-departmental Knockout Competition. We dispensed with the Public Health Department in our first match and were then drawn to play the Town Clerks Department in the semi-final.


The usual quartet was changed because Roy Weaver was unavoidably detained and his place was taken at a moment's notice by Norman Worwood at Board 2. Probably awed by the occasion Norman got into difficulties and was forced to resign. Mr Powell took four hours before forcing a resignation from his opponent, and Roy Wozencroft drew on Board 4.


After battling royally for over four hours, Keith Parkes was very narrowly beaten on Board 1. Next year we'll do it ! ! !



CONTACT: Spring 1963




The Bank teams' strivings for the "Silver Rook" trophy ended much as in other years - - we were the losing finalists after an extremely encouraging series.


Following a preliminary round, the "A" and "B" teams were drawn against Transport "A" and "B" teams, a youthful and enthusiastic group led, incidentally by the son of our Mr E Spencer. The games were played in most pleasant surroundings including bar facilities (Chris Addis plays an inspired game with a half-pint at his elbow!) and we were almost sorry to repay the hospitality by winning comfortably in each match.


The draw next provided an easy match -- Bank "A" versus Bank "B", and a win was conceded to Bank "A".


The final versus Town Clerk's Department was played on 21st February. Howard Powell, one of our staunchest supporters, had by misfortune missed the previous match, and again on this occasion reluctantly withdrew due to his heavy "Guildsman" commitments. John Cox, who had previously acted as an "A" team substitute, was unavailable and at the last moment, Peter Taylor of Selly Park Branch came along. The team therefore consisted of Messrs K Parkes, R Wozencroft, J Britten and P Taylor.


With relative merits somewhat unknown, it was decided to experiment and match Roy Wozencroft against the well-known Midlands chess-player, Mr P Gibbs. Roy played gallantly for almost an hour but was forced to resign. The next victim was Peter Taylor, who had been given the unenviable task of playing the redoubtable blind player, Mr Garth Jenkins, and though for a time play seemed even, Peter eventually succumbed to a massive attack.


By the rules, our only hope of winning the trophy now lay with Keith Parkes and John Britten. Each was matched against strong opposition and after a tense three and a quarter hours, John Britten drew -- in a King v King finish. Keith Parkes' game, now non-decisive in the overall result, was equally gruelling and with a lot of play still possible, he and his opponent agreed a draw. (Both Mr Parkes and Mr Britten are at Quinton Branch -- what does Mr Condon rear them on?)


It was an indeed gratifying result against formidable opposition and we look forward to the next opportunity with well-founded optimism.

"En Passant"


                                                                                                     Continued ....