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Nigel Harvey

Dear family and friends,
Here are some more details about Saturday night in case you’re wondering.

There are plenty of parking spaces in the seafront car parks.
The front doors of the gallery will be closed til 5.30… but there are pubs and cafes nearby if you arrive a little ahead of time.
Casual and colourful.
Welcome drink from the Harveys.  Then there’s a paid bar.
For Nigel, we honour his love of a scrumptious feast with food catered by Webbe’s, a Diner’s Choice Award Winner 2016.
It’s a ‘bowl’ menu with hot dishes. And of course a little something sweet to follow.
The galleries themselves are closed but we are putting out a selection of Nigel’s work in Portfolios for you to look through.
Nigel’s brother Martin will be the MC for the evening.  Wonderfully, we have 6 or seven people who want to say something.  Those of you who have kindly offered to speak, please make yourselves known to Martin when you arrive and he’ll explain the plan. (There’s always a plan with the Harveys!)
Although there is a balcony at the cafe, smokers will need to go outside the front door.
We will be chucked out at 8.30pm.
And last but by no means least…
In his last few weeks, Nigel was working feverishly to finish off some books of the Environmental paintings he did for the Hastings Trust and accompanying poems.
In accordance with his wishes, we have printed copies and they will be there for you to take away.  Special thanks to his close friends Kevin, Derrick and James for helping him to see his vision realised.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Otherwise, we’ll see you on Saturday evening.
Very best wishes,
The Harveys one and all.



    Nigel was born on 26th May, 1961 in Cwmbran, South Wales. He was just three
    when Arthur got a job on Teesside and with Mum, Lisa and Ian they headed
    North where Martin was born a few years later.
    As children, they were brought up with classics like Wind in the Willows, Winnie
    the Pooh and Disney’s Jungle Disney – Nigel’s incredible ability to see human
    traits in animals has a direct link back to Badger, Piglet and Baloo in these
    magical tales of the natural world.
    Unlike the rest of us, he could assign human personalities to animals in the
    simplest of pen strokes. A donkey with a raised eyebrow. A fox with an evil
    smirk. A horse with a come-hither grin.
    The themes of Wind in the Willows run a thread through Nigel’s life. The animals’
    concern for the Wild Wood. Their strong bond of friendship. Mr Toad’s love of
    buttered toast.
    Nigel always had a vivid imagination and grew up in a world where kids could still
    play in the fields all day, building dens, lighting fires and only coming home when
    it got dark. His free spirit meant he bucked against authority. He didn’t enjoy
    learning at school – far too many boundaries for his liking. Though he did enjoy
    playing football and was often the one kicking the ball at the windows with
    inevitable consequences.
    Fearful he might run away rather than stay in school, Norma and Arthur took the
    bold move to send the 15-year old Nigel to art school in Harrogate 40 miles from
    home. In the days without the internet or even a phone at home, this saw a
    phase that took Nigel out of the family orbit for 10 years.
    In tales he told afterwards, we know Nigel drank his way through art school. And
    though he was busy partying, listening to punk and sometimes stealing traffic
    bollards, his artistic talent carried him through. At Harrogate he won a
    prestigious Arts Council Award to study in Germany. But he was far too busy
    having fun to attend many lectures. And on returning to England – still only 19 –
    he turned his back on a scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art.
    While he didn’t continue his studies, he stayed in student mode frequenting a
    notorious Australian pub in Soho, sleeping on someone’s floor. But by day, to pay
    his way, he was spraying weeds for the Council. And the fun was starting to fade

    In 1986 Nigel went to visit his brother Ian in Hastings one weekend and the rest
    of his life was set. His young and restless soul found a spiritual home by the sea.
    He initially worked at the Hastings Observer as a graphic designer, and then at
    the Hastings Trust as an illustrator, forging the close friendships that lasted well
    over 20 years.
    When he settled in Hastings, he came back to the family, too.
    Even though Mum and Dad stayed in the North, then went to Australia, and then
    to Wales, Nigel never again missed Christmas. He developed skills as a
    formidable sous chef to help Mum in the kitchen and played silly Santa, starting
    the tradition of giving small cheap things in unfeasibly large boxes. And amusing
    us all with drawings of reindeer who’d had too much sherry.
    Much to the chagrin of his siblings, he usually won at any game they played;
    always raking in the money at Monopoly. Or getting the most points at Nintendo.
    Or wiping away the field at tiddlywinks. Even playing marbles as young as four
    he showed the sporting prowess, strategic skills and creative flair that served
    him well in chess.
    In Hastings, he joined the Chess Club and played competitively, reaching the
    English Chess Federation Grade of 185 when the average grade is 134. This is
    well above the grade of County Master level. His opponents’ notes show he was
    considered a formidable foe.
    His philosophical approach and an experimental attitude to risk could make him
    an unpredictable player. Just as his relaxed personal style and social ease could
    make it easy to underestimate his intellectual abilities.
    On the work front, Nigel’s life took an unexpected turn with jobs at the Castle
    Museum then the Anne of Cleves Museum in Lewes that qualified him as a
    curator for the Hussar regimental museum at the Redoubt Fortress, Eastbourne.
    For the family, there was the ultimate irony that the Harvey least likely to obey
    authority was employed by the MOD. In many respects it was the making of him.
    Colonel Robert Crichton wrote to the family: “(Nigel) was the perfect curator;
    artist, draftsman and carpenter with a penchant for rolling up his sleeves and
    getting on with it. He was also quite brilliant at handling the sometimes difficult
    politics at the Redoubt – always calm, considered, kind and supportive of his
    friends and colleagues.”
    Nigel especially loved working with the volunteers at the Redoubt. He was greatly
    humbled by the difficulties they had faced in war and loved the gibing, the jokes
    and the camaraderie. During his illnesses he took strength from their own trials
    and experience. “Harvey” is from the old French for ‘battle-worthy’. He showed
    us all in these last few years how to fight illness yet not be defeated in spirit.
  • Though Nigel has gone, he stays with us in a treasure trove of creative work. He
    certainly had natural talent. But he also spent a lifetime studying his heroes:
    illustrators like Mervyn Peake and Quentin Blake; masters of sea and sky like
    Turner; impressionists like Monet; the watercolorist Bonington; Japanese
    woodblock artists, Hiroshige, Hokkusai, Utamaro; maestros of the line drawing like
    Inspired by them, Nigel didn’t have one style, but many. And he didn’t just draw,
    paint, design and carve. He expressed himself creatively in murals, oils,
    caricatures, watercolours, oils, acrylics, etchings. And he didn’t just draw. He loved
    language too, reading classics like Hemingway, P.G. Woodhouse and Dylan
    But perhaps Nigel’s greatest inspiration was the natural world. He saw colour and
    wonder in everything. The shapes of clouds. The wind in the trees. The dewdrops
    on cobwebs. Most of all, he was inspired by the sea. He loved the rugged coast of
    Cornwall. And he relished his commute on the coast train from Hastings to
    Eastbourne. It gave him a chance every day to watch the endless shift of greens,
    blues, greys; to observe how the horizon could fade away in a white mist; to see
    the flashes of red, gold and yellow in the sunset.
    Look at the natural world with Nigel’s eyes and you will see beauty every day. And
    you will be thankful for every day, just as he was.
    Nigel has left us many legacies. Not least are the hundreds of drawings and
    paintings. And the decade’s worth of illustrated diaries that document his travels
    and the daily travails and titters at the Redoubt. Few people escaped his sharp eye
    and swift pen for a caricature.
    His other great legacy is the love and affection his family and friends hold for him.
    At his Funeral on December 28th two of his close friends paid tribute to him. And
    the family chose this passage to be read out. It’s an ode to friendship from Antoine
    St Exupéry, one of Nigel’s favourite authors; from a book called Wind, Sand and
    “Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be
    manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared
    memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels,
    reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed.
    If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade.
    For such is life. We grow rich as we plant through the early years, but then
    come the years when time undoes our work and cuts down our trees. One by
    one our comrades deprive us of their shade, and within our mourning we always
    feel now the secret grief of growing old.
    If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the
    balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no
    fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion
    bound to you forever by experiences shared.”
    Also at his Funeral, Nigel’s cousin Christine read from Dylan Thomas, another of
    Nigel’s favourites. The Prologue to Under Milk Wood has Nigel’s spirit woven
    through it. For not only does it evoke images of the Old Town in Hastings where
    Nigel painted the beach and boats for over 25 years, it is stuffed to its fishy gills
    with playful language, “sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing
    In 1994 Nigel wrote to Lisa, “I am sitting on Hastings beach again… the pages of
    my Sunday newspaper plop into the waves and swim out to sea. I have always
    loved the sea and the beaches. Someday, when my time comes, when the sands
    of my time run out, I hope to be laid to rest on a beach somewhere.”
    On February 4th, Nigel’s family and friends will meet to celebrate his life and
    work at the Jerwood Gallery which is right there on the beach in Hastings. By
    then, we will have scattered his ashes and he will indeed be there; forever in the
    blue-green of waves, in the shifting clouds, and always in the cool blue of the


ECF voting reform

Dear All,
The ECF Board has issued a Consultation Paper on possible voting reform to replace, or significantly amend, the existing Council.  The paper is available here .  If you haven’t already done so, I request that you read the paper with a view to the SCCU making a consolidated response, possibly coordinated with the other Unions.
The objective is to put this Paper, possibly amended in response to the current consultation exercise, to the Finance Council in April.  If any of the proposals gains sufficient Council support, a fully detailed proposal would be developed to put to the AGM in October this year.  As amendments to the ECF’s Articles of Association would be required to implement any of the proposals, any vote at the AGM would need at least 75% in favour in order to be adopted.
Section 12 of the Paper refers to one member of the Board expressing a minority view over the desirability of such reforms.  I put my hand up to being that Board member.  In this email I shall attempt to set out reasonably briefly my concerns and seek your views on whether you think they have validity or are misplaced.
The background to this Paper can be traced back to a Council vote that led to the setting up of the Independent Constitutional and Governance Review, which reported its findings (the “Pearce Report”) ahead of the 2015 ECF AGM.  The Review considered the question of representation of Direct Members in the light of some suggestions that Council be replaced by a system of “one member, one vote” (OMOV), but came down against such a change.  In particular, I highlight the following paragraph from their Report:
“The current tiered structure enables would-be administrators to gain experience at local, county, congress and possibly Union level before taking national roles within the ECF, and we note that many current and past ECF Directors and Officers have done so.  We think that any change to OMOV would involve the ECF in considerable expense with little benefit and possibly considerable detriment, since it would break the linkage between the ECF and the local clubs, Chess Leagues and Chess Congresses which are the lifeblood of chess in this country.  Accordingly, we recommend that the ECF should not replace Council by OMOV in any form.”
Whilst I wouldn’t suggest the way Council operates is entirely above reproach, I find myself in a high degree of agreement with this finding of the Review.
Despite this pretty unequivocal finding of the Pearce Review, the question of possible reforms has continued to be raised in recent Council meetings.  The ECF Governance Committee has taken up the question and provided advice to the Board, with this Consultation Paper being the outcome.  It suggests a number of possible proposals that could be put to Council that go beyond just a simple full replacement of Council by OMOV.
The fundamental driver behind these proposals is summed up in the very first “Key Point” at the start of the Paper:
“The Directors acknowledge the concern that the existing constitutional arrangements do not adequately reflect the interests of Direct Members”
More accurately, this should read “the majority of the Directors”, for this is where I already start to part company from the proposals.
In the background is also a fundamental question over the nature of the ECF; is it a federation, a members’ organisation or some hybrid of the two?
It would be easy to misrepresent my views as being anti-democratic and against the views of the membership being honestly and accurately represented.  I don’t doubt that some in the wider chess community, including some of the more vocal forum contributors, would attempt to do so.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  My concern is that I’m not convinced that any of the proposals would result in better or more democratic representation of the membership than the present Council set up.  This is in the context of my experience indicating that the vast majority of members simply aren’t interested in ECF matters beyond paying, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, their annual membership fee.  I strongly fear that any method involving direct voting by individual members would achieve only a very limited response and thus be vulnerable to being usurped by minority interests and agendas.
It has never occurred to me over the 5 years that I’ve served on Council that I was there to represent any organisation as some form of corporate entity, rather than as a local community of chess playing members.  It is certainly incumbent upon us, as Council Members, to do our best to ascertain and reflect the views of those members we represent.  No doubt some take this more seriously than others, but I fail to believe that large scale replacement of Council Members reasonably elected or appointed by the various organisations, by directly elected Council Members (either wholly under Option 2 or partially under Option 3) without clear cut constituencies, would achieve a better or more democratic outcome.
Reflecting the view expressed by Pearce, I fear that breaking the links with the Unions, County Associations, Leagues and Clubs, and the many volunteers within them, that have been the bedrock of English chess for a century or more, is something we do at our peril.  At a recent Board meeting I summarised this concern as risking throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  This earned me the retort “what baby?!”, adding to my concern that at least some of my fellow Directors have come to see the likes of the Unions and County Associations as irrelevant, and probably annoyingly irrelevant.
I could go on to make a range of detailed comments against each of the proposals, but I’d rather leave it at this point for you to consider how, or even whether, the SCCU should respond.  Do you see this matter as being of sufficient significance that we should hold a dedicated Executive Committee meeting to discuss it?  Time is of the essence.  The ECF consultation ends on 12th March.  A date of Friday the 3rd of March has been suggested to me as a possibility for such a meeting, but even that would be too late to try to coordinate views with the other Unions.  I’m sorry I couldn’t share this with you sooner, but until the Paper was published I felt constrained to respect Board confidentiality.




You may not know that the origin of the name Harvey means ‘battle-worthy’.
But you certainly know that Nigel fought to the end with courage, grace and incredible good humour.
For the rest of the Harveys, these last few months have truly tested our mettle. But in the weeks since Nigel’s funeral we have been reminded over and over again of Nigel’s incredible talents, his love of life and his unwavering ability to see humour in most things.
After the sadness of the funeral, we look forward to remembering Nigel as we knew him. In all the happy memories. And in his creativity.
So I’m confirming the date and time of the Celebration at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings Old Town.
Saturday 4th February
5.30pm to 8.30pm
Dress code: smart casual and colourful.
Venue: The Jerwood Gallery cafe/bar overlooking the beach.
Food will be provided. 
We need to confirm numbers by this Friday so please RSVP if you will attend. And with the names of anyone else who will come with you.
We will be sharing a selection of Nigel’s work over the last few decades. It will just be a small part of the many, many paintings, drawings and sketch books.
Aside from the work, Nigel’s legacy is in the happy memories, friendships, excursions, jokes and shared treats (bacon butties and cakes seem to play a prominent role).
Many of you have shared your touching and funny stories with the family already.  We’d love you to share them with the assembled friends.
So please also let me know if you would like to speak for 2-3 minutes.
We are very much looking forward to seeing you all.
Very best wishes,
The Harveys


John Driver

John Driver

it is with much regret that I have to inform the membership of the death of John Driver

John was a member of the club for over 10 years serving on the committee and taking an active role in the library and the Friday night tournaments which were revitalise under his control

John ceased to be a member of the club some three years ago on health grounds

John was making one of his rare visits to the club on Friday night when he collapsed and died

I am sure I speak for all members when I say that he will be sadly missed and my condolences go out to Eva and her family

Marc A Bryant



Nigel Harvey

We’re moved and honoured by the fact that so many people have expressed a wish to attend the funeral next Wednesday.  The time of year has not proved to be impediment we thought it might.

To accommodate Nigel’s popularity, we have been able to organise a larger room at Eastbourne Crematorium.

This means that the service will begin at 4pm instead of 3pm. 

And we will be at the Priory Court Hotel in Pevensey until 7pm.
We hope this small change doesn’t bring any inconvenience.
Would you please pass this message along… I have lost track of all the messages and individuals who have been in touch.
Best wishes,
The Harveys

nigel harvey


I have been reminded to say something about funeral flowers.

Aside from some evergreen boughs we are taking from our family gardens, we are honoured to say there will also be a Regimental Wreath.
Apart from this, we ask that you do not send or bring personal flowers but instead make a donation to St. Michael’s Hospice.
Their care of Nigel in his last few weeks was exceptional – attentive, gentle and wholly dedicated to his pain management and comfort.
It’s hard to believe that given this intensely personal end-of-life care, only one third of St Michael’s funding is from the NHS – the rest is from donations.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you from all the Harveys.

Nigel Harvey

For members who would like to attend the Funeral*, I will forward a separate email with details. Ideally, they should email me so I can include them on the communications.

Nigel Harvey


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