Brian Eley

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Ernie Lazenby
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:10 pm

One could reasonably conclude that positive pro active action by the BCF/ECF would have led to massive adverse publicity with the potential to have a devastating affect on junior chess. As I said in a previous post I have for a long time been troubled by the fact Eley could be found and brought to justice but never was. One must ask why. Criminals, alleged or otherwise, often need the help of friends to evade capture and he will have had friends.
About 14 years ago I wrote the child protection policy for Cleveland chess association because we did not have one! Its still in force today.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Paul Cooksey » Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:26 am

Ernie Lazenby wrote:
Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:10 pm
About 14 years ago I wrote the child protection policy for Cleveland chess association because we did not have one!
Which is something to be proud of, earlier than most organisations.

I mentioned safeguarding earlier in the thread. Whatever the failings of the past, I do think https://www.englishchess.org.uk/safegua ... en-policy/ is something the ECF did well.

I understand Justin's view the lessons of the past should be learned. I am certainly not arguing against it. But I would argue the most important thing is chess organisers follow the best modern practice.

John Upham
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by John Upham » Fri Jul 01, 2022 9:51 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:26 am
Which is something to be proud of, earlier than most organisations.
I was involved with a junior organisation that you are familiar with in which the Secretary point blank refused to consider the notion of both a Child Protection Policy and a Constitution. Eventually after much effort from others he stepped down from that organisation and then, from the side lines, attempted to tear it apart and create a rival junior organisation that would take away the others membership.

The consequence of this is that a once viable junior EPSCA county has been converted into two unviable EPSCA organisations.

At an EPSCA AGM he agreed not to poach players and following that immediately reneged on his undertaking.

J.
Last edited by John Upham on Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Townsend
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by John Townsend » Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:28 am

I'm disappointed that John Upham has used a thread about Brian Eley to criticise another chess organiser. If it is who I think he means, he does not post on this forum, but he is a very capable person with years of relevant experience whose judgement I would instinctively back in preference to most others'. He has served chess very well and doesn't deserve this public criticism.

Paul Dargan
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Paul Dargan » Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:37 pm

I’ve wondered whether to add to this thread and what to add for some time. After Eley no longer had BCF roles he was still very active in County Junior Chess.
Those not close to the case are probably unaware that Eley ran residential “coaching weekends” 3 or 4 times a year in Doncaster. My recollection is that everyone stayed in the “Alma Transport Lodge” and that the playing venue was a Scout facility. This was in the early-80’s so my recollections are not perfect – but I recall two sections of 16-20 juniors. The format was five classical time control games with post-mortems with strong adult players and guest lecturers on the Saturday afternoon.
He also organised junior trips to local congresses – booking B&B accommodation. I remember the letter to parents said something about providing some supervision to “prevent the worst excesses” on these trips.
As others have said there were card games back at the accommodation, sometimes alcohol and some juniors were definitely invited back to Eley’s room.
I do have a clear recollection of my father (junior organiser for Northumberland back then) having a sense when speaking with some leading Yorkshire ex-juniors that they “hated” Eley and he wasn’t sure why they would have such strong feelings. Then he got a phone call from the father of a Yorkshire junior who happened to work for the same company as him asking whether he knew what had been going on at the training weekends … this was about the time of the police complaints.
I have no doubt about the seriousness or veracity of the allegations made against him. I think that’s probably all I want to say on this public forum.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Nick Ivell » Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:38 pm

I attended a couple of those Doncaster sessions in the 1970s. I neither saw nor experienced anything untoward - which is not to say that nothing untoward ever happened.

John Townsend
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by John Townsend » Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:41 am

Please note that Edward Winter has added an interesting sentence to his feature article on Brian Eley, concerning the latter's "reported death" and referring to the Yorkshire Chess Association:

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/eley.html

Winter normally remains neutral in such matters if he has no other information.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Jul 04, 2022 10:06 am

John Townsend wrote:
Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:41 am
Please note that Edward Winter has added an interesting sentence to his feature article on Brian Eley, concerning the latter's "reported death" and referring to the Yorkshire Chess Association:

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/eley.html
The Find a Grave website says limited information is shown for the first 3 months after death so more information might appear there soon.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Nick Burrows » Mon Jul 04, 2022 10:07 am

John Townsend wrote:
Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:41 am
Please note that Edward Winter has added an interesting sentence to his feature article on Brian Eley, concerning the latter's "reported death" and referring to the Yorkshire Chess Association:

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/eley.html
Reported Death of Brian Eley

If you don’t know about Brian Ratcliffe Eley then you do not want to know, but for the information of those who do know, there are reports doing the rounds that the Yorkshire-born former British Champion died in Amsterdam on 06/04/2022.

The sole evidence for this appears to be an entry on the Find a Grave website, which says a person named Brian Russel / Ratcliffe “Ray” Eley’, born 06/07/1946 died in Amsterdam on 06/04/2022, and is buried in De Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats, i. e. The New Eastern Cemetery, in Amsterdam. The plot is given as “Vak 65, no 039 first level”. (Vak translates as “compartment” or presumably “space” or “plot”. Why is “first level” in English?)

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/240 ... liffe-eley

One problem is that people can create such entries on such websites without there being any substantiation - and some innocent errors have been made in the past (e. g. a post to the wrong cemetery in the correct town). Usually, it is possible to upload an image of the grave, which goes a long way to supporting the entry, but in this case there is no such image. So, in theory, this could be a hoax entry, but it certainly rings true. On the other hand, who would add such an entry?

There are only 572 entries recorded as posted for this cemetery, 57% with photographs, so clearly the cemetery authorities do not routinely post all burials etc on this website, so the entry was presumably created by a private individual, but who?

The name given suggests the subject used the names Russel and Ray, perhaps to help conceal his identity’. The quoted date of birth matches the year and quarter of registration of the birth, but anyone could pay money for a copy of the birth certificate to embellish a hoax. More-tangible corroboration would be reassuring.

John Upham
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by John Upham » Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:00 pm

A contributor to this thread is well-known for discussion coincidences so I thought I would mention one...

The chess supplies company, Chess Direct Ltd from Mexborough appears to have recently ceased trading:
Ordering has been temporarily suspended
and
Chess & Bridge Ltd will continue to provide services to Chess Direct customers. Thank you for your patience.
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Roger Lancaster
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:33 pm

John Upham wrote:
Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:00 pm
A contributor to this thread is well-known for discussion coincidences so I thought I would mention one...

The chess supplies company, Chess Direct Ltd from Mexborough appears to have recently ceased trading:
Eley seems to have disappeared from the Rotherham area circa June 1991. On 30 May 1991, a company formations specialist registered Chess Direct Ltd at a PO Box address in Mexborough in nearby Doncaster where two directors (A J Butterworth and Ms W A Manley) were appointed the following month. It seems a reasonable hypothesis that this company acquired Eley's chess business. There would be nothing unlawful, in itself, there. However, it would raise some interesting questions - particularly as the company chose to stop trading about the time of Eley's presumed death - as to what and how much Mr Butterworth, who is known to the ECF, and Ms Manley, who seemingly isn't, know or knew about the Eley affair.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:45 pm

"The chess supplies company, Chess Direct Ltd from Mexborough appears to have recently ceased trading:"

Andrew ran the bookstall at Frome and informed us he was retiring, and had made arrangements for disposal of the remaining stock, so there is nothing sinister about the quoted bit.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:48 pm

Yes, he was at the South Lakes Congress last month and told people then it was one of his final events.

(and this, of course, was *before* Eley's demise was first announced)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

John Upham
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by John Upham » Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:46 pm

It was interesting to discover that

Winifred Anne MANLEY, DoB : November 1947
Brian Ratcliffe Eley. DoB, 6th July 1946

Again, just a coincidence.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Brian Eley

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:52 pm

I was one of many people at Scarborough Congress last October when Andrew Butterworth was invited into the hall to receive a round of applause after he announced his retirement from running his chess business at the end of that season. Anne Manley (known by her middle name) served at the bookstall for many years until she retired a few years ago and many players will know her.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

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