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Past locations

The club has mostly convened on Wednesdays at it's primary venue. Some years, the club also met on Friday or Saturday, often at a different location. The primary venues know are as follows:

  • The first known location for the club was somewhere in Notting Hill [25].
  • The club was reincarnated at the Railway Arms on Goldhawk Road on 26th September 1893 [22]. The pub no longer exists, but it used to be located just beside Shepherds Bush Marketopposite The Bushranger at No.55 (originally called the Railway Tavern). The club did not stay there long. Incidentally, the market did not exist at that time, it was created after the original Shepherds Bush station was replaced by the current one further north and Goldhawk Road station further south in April 1914.
  • In March 1894, the club moved to the Richmond Hotel Shepherds Bush[76]. In July 1895, a friendly match was held there against the Ladies Chess Club -West London won 10-3[27](p219). We think this venue might now be the Richmond Arms pub or simply "The Richmond" at 55 Shepherds Bush Road W6. The origins of the name is thought to come from a short-lived wide-arc of railway line that connected the London and South Western Railway line from Richmond (now the District Line) to the West London Line (a short link from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction) and the Metropolitan Railway (now the Hammersmith & City Line). The link was intended to allowed easier travel across London, but was quickly replaced by other developments. The arc started from Grove Road station Hammersmith (also gone), peaked at a station on the south corner of Shepherds Bush Common and finished at Kensington (Olympia).
  • In 1897 the club's headquarters was the Grove Tavern, Hammersmith[30](p226). This has possibly become the Grove Bar and Restaurant at 83 Hammersmith Grove.
  • In 1899 the club met at the Brook Green Hotel Hammersmith[28](p48)opposite Brook Green on Shepherds Bush Road, which still exists today. At the time it was a relatively new Hotel, dated 1886.
    The club headquarters remained here for over 12 years, meeting on Monday and Friday evenings from 6:00pm until midnight [37]. When the proprietor died, the Hotel passed into the hands of certain brewers and it's first manager was the amateur international football player Stanley Briggs, who readily agreed to the club retaining its room on the original terms and conditions. He did not remain "Mine Host" for very long and new management had other plans for the venue. Finding suitable chess venues was difficult in those days and the club went wandering, meeting "here and there" without finding anywhere suitable.
  • Early in 1916, the club changed its venue to meet at The Athenaeum,Godolphin Road, Shepherds Bush on Mondays and Fridays [20](Feb-p65).
  • The problem of finding a suitable venue became so acute that it was only the kindness of Sir William Bull Bt., MP for Hammersmith that saved the club from disbanding [37]. He lent the club his offices as a temporary meeting place.
  • Suitable quarters were eventually found at Hampshire House, Hampshire Hog Lane [48] Hammersmith, an old riverside mansion being run as a social club [37]. The club had a fine room (the old picture gallery) capable of accommodating a 50 board match. The club's stay at this venue came to an end when a fire damaged the building.
  • The club once more struggled to find a home and stayed briefly at a Church library in Kensington in the neighbourhood of the next venue in Stratford Road [37].
  • Between 1941 and 1966, West London Chess Club met at 23 Stratford Road W8 (pic)[38][4][5][6]. The club records describe the venue as the "South Kensington Conservative Association". The cost of this venue was the main reason for moving, though it has to be said that the club suffered through loss of membership for doing so. Chiswick is simply less central, making it that much more difficult to get to.
  • In the latter half of 1966, the club moved briefly to the Greater London Sports Club 1A Airedale Avenue Chiswick [10]. The address happens to correspond to the home address of the second team captain J. Greene, who actually lived in the sports club. The site has since been demolished and reconstructed as a modern sports facility (probably now The Hogarth Health Club).
  • Then from January 1967 to present, the club meets in Chiswick Town Hall[1][8]. The club inaugurated the new premises with a simultaneous display by grandmaster M. Botvinnik on January 28th [12]. The former world champion won 21 and drew 5. Later that year the club reports inChess magazine that the club was thriving at its new location and having held another simultaneous display with the British Champion Jonathan Penrose.

If you have GoogleEarth installed, you can look at the geographical distribution of club locations by downloading this placemark file.

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