Arthur Albert Rider

Arthur Albert Rider

A A Rider. was born in Kennington in 1881. In 1914 he married Florence Ann Jenkins in Lambeth. His wife died on 28.2.1953 and he himself passed away on 24.1.1954. at the age of seventy-two
one of the early censuses lists him as a solicitor’s clerk. he came to Hastings to retire and in 1934 ran his first Boy’s Congress. In 1935 he became joint Assistant Secretary of the club with Miss Lewcock and in 1937 became joint Secretary with A F Kidney. In 1938 Kidney became president and Rider ran the secretary’s job on his own.
The Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 30.10.1937 gives a good example of his interest in junior chess. It reported that during a few weeks of vacation he toured schools in order to get the boys interested in the Boy’s Congress and travelled as far as the Midlands for this.also British Girls’ Championship received his devoted attention in the formation of a girls’ competition, though this did not come to pass until 1953 not long before he died.
During the War he was a tower of strength. As many other clubs closed, Rider was determined to keep the Hastings club open even though it suffered bomb damage. A number of friendly games were played with Brighton during this period. Rider worked at the Army Records Office at Ore in this period and he played chess for Ore Place and the Baptist Church in Wellington Square.He was a religious person and was Superintendent of Sunday School for a while. Presumably this was at the Wellington Square church, but was also a member of the independent Baptist Church in London called Spurgeons for thirty years.
In 1946 an anonymous member of the club presented the Rider Shield to the club for the Sussex schoolboy who got the highest score in the British Boys’ Championship. the shield still hangs in the club.
After the war Rider played a significant role in the restarting of the Hastings Congresses acting as one of the Controllers and later as Congress Director,
He also had to make plans for a new premises for the club as the lease on the Carlisle Parade began to run out. He was chess columnist of the Hastings and St Leonards Observer newspaper from 1949 to 1953. In 1952 the International Chess Federation awarded him the honour of being appointed as an international judge following the work that he did for the Christmas Congresses.
His platform on such occasions will be sadly miss his familiar and genial presence, with a pipe in his mouth, a twinkle in his eye, and the ever-ready smile to brighten the proceedings.
To Arthur Rider chess was a life interest.Though not a very strong player, he liked playing the game:but in a real sense he preferred to live the game.
After a.great deal of travelling in his younger days, he settled down in Hastings He had held office in the club,since 1934
In.August 1953 he became seriously ill.At the Annual General Meeting,in 1953 he tendered his resignation,on account of ill-health the club refused to accept his resignation ,
Far too often he had been heard to say that he dreaded the day when he would be unable to visit the club For the first time in 1953 he missed the Christmas Congress but his condition worsened despite visits to the hospital and nursing home. it was his wish to return home there he passed away on Sunday, January 24th.
The funeral service was held at Wellington Square Baptist Church. The minister, the Rev. F. V. Mildred, paid tribute to Mr.Rider’s faithful membership,to his many Christian qualities,and to his
long and devoted work as superintendent of the Sunday School. . . ,
A few days before his death permission was granted for the British Boys Congresses to be moved away from Hastings. He was very ill at the time, but it is unlikely that this would have been something he would have approved of after all his work in promoting the junior congresses in the town .
ln the international chess arena,as in much else,the Iimelight is thrown on the performers. They take the stage: they enrich life with their skill.
Too often,little is known of the personalities behind the scenes who make all this possible:of their
capacity for unremitting and self-sacrificing work, of their gifts for organization,of their powers “to see things whole” combined with great attention to details,of the wisdom and diplomacy which remove friction and set the wheels running smoothly.
Amongst such!A.A.Rider was a notable example.These will long keep his memory green, and will inspire those who take up where he left off..
By
Marc A Bryant and Brian Denman