Monday, September 22, 2014

History Boy 2

Back in July the Blog reported, in the post History Boy, Paul McKeown's splendidly erudite and entertaining presentation (at the City Lit in London) about an episode of chess in days of yore. Now there's another effort coming along, though Paul's will be a hard act to follow: this time it will be your blogger talking to the excellent Streatham Society about "Militant Activity: Chess in Victorian Streatham, and Beyond" on Monday 6th October.

Details of the venue, "Woodlawns" 16, Leigham Court Road, SW16, are on their website. Visitors are welcome, and there's no admission charge. The chairperson will make the ritual opening move at 8.00 pm, and time will be called at 10.00 pm.
Illustrations, above and below, from
the Streatham Society's Programme of meetings
Paul had the advantage (if advantage it was) of addressing a chessed-up audience; but I feel a bit apprehensive about how to pique an interest in chess from a roomful of sceptical local historians. Perhaps I could do a magic trick. Who knows, it might get me a mention in the Society's talk (3rd November) on the subject of Streatham's once famous variety acts.

But I hope my attempts at humour won't fall flat; when it comes to the talk early in the New Year (6th January) about Recent Local History Discoveries,...

...I don't want to be exhibited as the chap who died on stage.

If you are down Streatham way on 6th October, why not drop in.

History Boy  
History Index



Brendan O'Gorman said...

Leigham Court Road is fairly long. Is No 16 at the Streatham Hill or Crown Lane end?

ejh said...


Martin Smith said...

Yep, Streatham Hill, also that's the nearest overland station; otherwise tube to Brixton and 10 minute bus ride to Streatham (routes 109, 118, 133, 159, 250 and 333).

Jonathan B said...

It’s a very short walk from Streatham Hill Station. Maybe 5 minutes tops.

Jon H said...

Mornington Crescent.

Martin Smith said...

Mornington Crescent? Not in Streatham it isn't.

Jon H said...

Martin Smith said...

For anyone out there still tuned in: this is the link that Jon H helpfully provided - for the benefit perhaps of our overseas readers not familiar with the venerable BBC Radio 4 comedy series "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue".

Unfortunately my last comment might have worked better delivered verbally in our local boozer than on the page; it was intended to indicate that you wouldn't get away with that claim of a win in the spoof game "Mornington Crescent" down here in Streatham.

It must be the way I tell them.

I really think it is now time to put this thread out of its misery.

Anonymous said...

Delighted to make my first comment on S&B, and delighted to note Martin's lecture in my diary. Thanks, Martin for the obliging comments, and the best of luck with your own lecture.

- Paul McKeown

Martin Smith said...

Thanks Paul. See you there!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to miss it, Martin, I had a meeting at short notice that evening that I really could not not attend.

How did it all go?

Paul McKeown

Martin Smith said...

Sorry you couldn't make it, Paul.

They seemed to enjoy it: they couldn't play chess (except for a few mates from the chess club), so talked about the origins of the club in the late C19th, and the chess personalities who passed through Streatham: Staunton, Gunsberg/Mephisto, Aleister Crowley, and Mary Rudge. Only one chess position throughout - mad Aleister's variation of the Muzio.

They now want an item for the Streatham Society Newsletter.

Once was enough!