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WECU Council Presentations

Left home at 12.50 for the WECU Council Meeting at Ilminster, and as General Secretary was stocked up with spare agendas and sets of minutes, in spite of having sent these out well before – (there’s always somebody that’s forgotten to bring their copy). There had been several apologies flagged up and I had expected a relatively small attendance, but this was not the case as 13 showed up, filling every seat round the table. 

Phil Meade as retiring President took the chair and it had been tacitly agreed beforehand that he would steer things through to the end, even though Deputy President Malcolm Steevens of Dorset would swap offices with him when the Election of Officers item was reached. 

Wearing his other hat as Fixtures Secretary (he has many others at home, he told us) he presented his summary of the past season’s results, and his proposed programme of fixtures for 2010 – 11, already approved by the Executive in March, was ratified. 

2009 – 2010 Results. 

Div. 1 (H. Meek Cup) Corn Devon Glos Hants Som Pts. Pos.
Cornwall XXX 5 Def. 0 5th
Devon 11 XXX 10 8 11 7 1st
Gloucestershire w/o 6 XXX 8 8 4 2nd=
Hampshire 8 8 XXX 8 3 4th
Somerset 5 8 8 XXX 4 2nd=


Div. 2 (Wayling Cup) Devon Dorset Hants Pts. Pos.
Devon XXX 10 w/o 4 1st
Dorset 6 XXX 0 3rd
Hampshire def 10½ XXX 2 2nd

 2010-2011 Proposed Programme: 

Rd. 1 Sat. 16th Oct. ‘10 Glos v Corn Dev v Dorset Som v Hants
Rd. 2 Sat. 4th Dec. ‘10 Dev v Corn Hants v Glos Dorset v Som
Rd. 3 Sat. 22nd Jan. ‘11 Hants v Dev Glos v Som Cornwall (bye)
Rd. 4 Sat. 12th Feb. ‘11 Corn v Hants Som v Dev Glos (bye)
Rd. 5 Sat. 12th Mar. ‘11 Dev v Glos Dorset v Hants Corn v Som

 Entries for 2010-2011 season based on current information.

  WECU WECU   ECF Stages        
  Div. 1 Div. 2              
    (bds) Open Minor U-180 U-160 U-140 U-120 U-100
Corn Yes No              
Devon Yes Yes (16)     Yes        
Dorset No Yes (16)              
Glos Yes No   Yes          
Hants Yes Yes (12)   Yes     Yes    
Som. Yes No              
Wilts No No              

 Devon had won both cups and their team captain, Brian Hewson received them from the President.

Devon Captain, Brian Hewson (l), receives the Div. 1 Cup from WECU President, Phil Meade.

Brian Hewson receives the Div. 2 Cup from WECU President, Phil Meade.

This opportunity was taken for President-elect, Malcolm Steevens to make a presentation to Frank Kingdon in recognition of his near half century service to Dorset chess, which coincided with the length of time he had been with the Union.

WECU President-elect presents Frank Kingdon with commemorative plaque.

  Frank Kingdon first appeared on the westcountry chess scene 48 years ago, in 1962, when he became Secretary of the Dorset C.C.A. and their delegate to W.E.C.U. shortly after moving to his present home in Weymouth. This was his first stepping-stone into chess organisation. 

By 1969 he had switched to becoming Correspondence Chess Co-ordinator for Dorset and Grading Officer for WECU and the Union Delegate to the BCF. 

In 1976 he was elected WECU President, and as soon as he stepped down from that post he was elected President of Dorset, a role he reprised in the late 1980s. In the mid-1980s he took on the post of WECU’s Fixtures Secretary, a job he did until retirement at the 2009 Council meeting, when he was elevated to the status of Life Vice-President. 

He was a founding member of the Dorset Congress in 1964, which he recalls as starting at the former club at the Winfrith Atomic Energy Establishment of which he was a member, before settling in Weymouth. He ran this for many years until ill-health forced his retirement in 2008, after which no-one could be found to replace him in the short term – he was literally irreplaceable. The event has now been incorporated into the Bournemouth Bicentenary Congress in October 2010. 

Although a naturalised Dorset man, Frank is, in fact, a Devonian. He was born in Plymouth in 1929 before moving to the tiny village of Puddington, between Tiverton and Crediton, and finally to Exeter at the age of 3. There are still family connections in that area as he has a sister in Exmouth.  He attended Hele’s School in Exeter before starting his national service in 1947 with REME where he trained on servicing computers, which in those days were as a big as a house.

After being demobbed he became a pioneering atomic scientist, working first at Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment, the main centre for nuclear power research in the UK. It was the site of Europe’s first nuclear reactor in 1946, and once housed as many as five reactors. Later, he transferred to Winfrith, a UK Atomic Energy Authority site, near Dorchester, which opened in 1958 and was used for nuclear reactor research and development until the 1990s. 

Frank Kingdon with plaque.

                © R. H. Jones 2010

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