1990's – Decade of Slow Decline


At the start of the 90's the club was still very strong with a good

(Albeit declining) number of members playing in the big concert

room of Greenlands Social Club. Unfortunately the numbers, for

various reasons, continued to reduce throughout the decade. This

inevitably caused difficulties in sustaining the previous high status

and success of the teams which via the “Viscious Circle Scenario”

led to more leavers. We may have been past our peak but by mid 90's

we still had very strong players including A.Hynes, P.Kitson,D.Joshi,

N.McSheehey , M.Bethel & K.Hurney. Strong players including

L.Wheatley, T.Hurney, I.Truscott & myself and also many good loyal

club players including B.Allsop,R.Collett, F.Cassidy, S. Johnson and

many others. In season 93/94 the club made extra effort to persuade

Keith Arkell to help us out for one season which was rewarded by

becoming Birmingham League Champions for a third time.

In 95/6 our B'ham D1 team finished a respectable mid table position,

D2 were relegated and D5 just missed promotion in 3rd place.

Having now lost some of our strongest players, we could no

longer avoid D1 relegation in 96/7. Next season 97/8 we performed

brilliantly to be champions of D2. Mid table D3 but were relegated

from D5.

In the 90's, St James had internal competitions as well as other league & cups

and a quarterly newsletter by K.Hurney. One of our trophies was the Fred Parker Trophy.

By doing this research , I realised who Fred Parker was. On many different nights

when all was silent with serious league matches going on in the Greenlands concert

room., you'd suddenly hear an elderly gentleman from our club shout out :

“ I've made a balls up !! “ , that i've just learnt , was Fred Parker.

He without doubt deserved a trophy to be named after him but it was

probably for been a long serving respected member of the club rather

than his incredible ability for accurate but brutal analysis of his moves !!

Greenlands Social saw more profit in Bingo than Chess and so invested

in refurbishment of “OUR” room (How Dare They !) Consequently by

September 1997, it was time to hop over the road to Austin Rover Club.

This bought with it eventual finance problems with £20 week room charge

between lower number of members. Eventually after much begging they

reduced it to £10 week.

Our first team was no longer genuine D1 standard but somehow

survived 98/99 before relegation in 99/2000

Problems, problems …. but we are experts at survival !!

There can be no better proof of our stubborness to survive than the following :

(This time on the board, Division 1 survival by ex-member Kevin Hurney)

St James needed Kevin to draw against Andrew Grant (Lichfield) to keep us

in Division 1. It took FIVE sessions of play and 130sh moves before the final

outcome was , you've guessed it : DRAW !!

Lets hope next century brings an upturn ….. ?

More News

The Early Years – From Church to Pub !!

The Early Years – From Church to Pub !!

21st Century – To Today  ----    Down but Not Out !!

21st Century – To Today ---- Down but Not Out !!