Gift from the Ley Estate

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Some of our newer members may not be aware of the club's prestigious history in the wartime years. Few clubs remained open at that time and with the destruction of the National Chess Center, many strong players were without a place to play. Thanks to the determination of the club officers, West London Chess Club remained open and it's membership grew, with many strong players joining.

Charles T. Ley played a big part in making this happen. He was both Secretary and Treasurer for much of this period and continued as the club's President for some eight years after the war. The period of his 16 years of involvement saw many strong players walk through the door including Sir G.A. Thomas, Vera Menchik, Tartakower and briefly, Capablanca (see famous players).

It is therefore with great honor that we receive from Judith Ley, some of her father's chess memorabilia. We now have an actual copy of the "West London Chess Club War Time Gazette" produced by C.T. Ley during those years, which is valued by chess researchers around the world and is considered to be of national importance since there was very little chess literature produced at that time.

More interesting from the club's point of view, is a second volume of gazettes from 1949 to 1957 and various loose gazettes dating to 1960, which we did not until now have access to. The second volume has a number of proper photographs and news paper clippings stuck in them, giving a better impression of what it was like in those days. We are now able to plug many holes in the club's history around that time.

We also have a number of Chess books a magazines from the mid to late 50s. The club would like to thank Judith Ley for her generosity.