Job Half Done
Been working away in my garden again. Trimming hedges, cleaning woodwork. Work to turn it into a full allotment is now in full swing. Unfortunately we inherited some decking from the previous owner, which we’ll use until it gives up the ghost and then take out. Had to clean it up. It was a slippery hell. Not anymore!
After an acrimonious relationship with Sue Chadwick – the President of Brighton & Hove Chess Club – over the last two years or so, during which time she repeatedly insulted me and persistently refused – when asked – to apologise, I lost my temper and resigned from the club’s committee and stood down as webmaster. Soon afterwards I apologised to Sue for the manner of my resignations but the apology was not accepted. A second apology was also not accepted. A third apology was accepted and I was reappointed as webmaster. Sue then issued a series of instructions to me to change the website to advertise the club’s new venue. Many of these emails were offensive, with passages emboldened or italicised for no apparent reason. As soon as I had completed the changes necessary to synchronise the website with the new venue, the committee unanimously sacked me as webmaster. This is no way to treat anyone.
During my five years in the club, I have:
- written the club’s constitution which was unanimously adopted at the subsequent AGM
- produced the club policies regarding compliance with the law for the supervision of children and vulnerable adults at the club
- paid for the domain name registration of brightonandhovechessclub.org for over ten years (a little over £100)
- created and maintained by far and away the best website that any chess club in this country and much further afield has
- provided various blogs for the club
- provided email services
- republished online Brian Denman’s book on the history of chess in Brighton
- scanned at high resolution the club’s 19th century minute book – a real historical artefact – to preserve it for future generations
- made 20 odd films to promote the club
- repeatedly assisted various committee members with IT skills
- recruited people to the club and the committee
- organised a rapid play congress with 86 players in 4 divisions in Brighton, restarting the notion that there was a market for chess events in Brighton, a success which others have built on afterwards
- set up a chess charity, donating close to £1,000 of my own money, the residue of which (about £500) has been donated to the club (when my debts were well in excess of £18,000)
- created an international fixture for the club – the now annual match against Dieppe
- played over 99% of my games in the internal tournaments
- played for the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th teams
- been the most active club secretary possible
- promoted the club on my independent and much read blog, Scrapper Duncan
- and countless other things besides
However, for some reason, for Sue Chadwick, sorry seems to be the hardest word and now the committee has sacked me without any warning only a few weeks after reappointing me and immediately after I had done loads of work in turning the website around to ensure that every last detail was accurate for the new venue and up to date. Additionally I have been made aware that a majority of the committee have expressed the view that I should leave the club. Despite that, I was prepared to carry on and to assist with the changeover to whosoever the new webmaster was to be – the last email I sent to the committee gave detailed instructions on how to change over the webspace and the domain name.
However, I have now discovered that Sue Chadwick has been spreading a lie about me: that I have been banned from a hotel in Dieppe. This is a bare-faced lie and a deliberate slur on my good name. This is not an innocent mistake; she has never even mentioned it to me (to check the facts). Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the hotel in question issued me with a refund after my key failed and I could not get back in at night.
For me this is the final straw. I am not prepared to remain a member of or assist the club any further. Quite simply, enough is enough! I am leaving the club today, with immediate effect. My remaining match fixtures are hereby cancelled. A disagreement, even a really serious one, is one thing, but now Sue Chadwick has now crossed into new territory. I don’t think anyone in the club would stay and help once the club’s leadership acted towards them in this way, especially if they had promoted the club to the extent that I have done. I am closing the club’s webspace today and will be issuing a refund by cheque, which I’ll post to the club’s treasurer’s home address as soon as I can. I have given detailed instructions already on how the club can transfer the control of the domain brightonandhovechessclub.org to themselves; I will act on those instructions when I receive them from the committee – except that it will have to be someone other than Sue Chadwick who contacts me.