Denis Lane RIP

The Association received some sad news on Sunday, Denis Lane passed away at tea time on Saturday 22nd February.

Denis was a keen supporter of chess in the Blackpool and Fylde area over a period of many years.  He officiated both as the Press Secretary and the League President during this time. Our thoughts are with his family.

Reminiscence – Phil Raynor (Chairperson, Blackpool & Fylde Chess League)

I first got to know Denis when I became the Secretary of Blackpool and Fylde Chess League in about the year 2000 at which time Denis would have been the President (an honorary role) and the Press Secretary.  Fairly quickly we came up with a scheme to populate the static content of the League’s website with a detailed bulletin of the League’s activities – Denis sent me long hand-written letters containing the content.  It is a good job I was a fast typist!  These bulletins frequently contained jokes and anecdotes often at the expense of Preston and, in particular, Brett Lund.  Although he was always particular to describe Brett as the “Lancashire Champion” when this was the case.

His narrative of the games was always at its most lively when ideally Blackpool but also some other “genuine” Fylde club were in the ascendency.  This did not happen very often, alas, mainly due to the strength of Preston.

During all of this time he hosted the meetings of the League Committee:  first at his home in Blackpool and then at his daughter’s in Preesall, where he moved in later life.  During all of this period, he was a prolific letter writer and kept in touch with the goings-on of the League contributing generously to its finances.

He lent me a book once which was the British Chess Magazine of 1937.  On P. 251 there is a description of the British Boys’ Championship where Denis represented the Northern Counties Chess Union (he must have been about 14 at the time) – sponsors paid for travel and hospitality at the Hastings Club where the matches were played.  Denis finished in 4th position in Section B with 2 points out of 6.  In the same volume, he has marked an account of the BCF Congress at Blackpool which was played at the Imperial Hotel and included notable British players of the time including Golombek.