Club President from 1968-1976.
Retired to Hastings after a career in the Government service. He joined the club in March 1958 and soon began to take an active part in its affairs. Both the Club and the Congress were going through a difficult period during his term of office, largely due to financial problems. His cool head and quiet demeanour had a considerable influence in weathering the storms successfully.
He resigned on reaching the age of 80.
R. J. Manfield
The information below was provided by Brian Denman.
Firstly the first name of R J Manfield was definitely Reginald – that is borne out on more than one occasion by the Hastings and St Leonards Observer. You will see that in Reg Cload’s book he was said to be still alive and living at Sutton Coldfield. A few years ago I looked for his name in the register of deaths and eventually found that a Reginald John Manfield died in the Birmingham Registration District in the December quarter of 1993. He had been born on 1.4.1896. Sometimes one gets these things wrong and gets the wrong person, but I think that this Reginald Manfield was probably the Hastings president. We know for example that he resigned the presidency of the club in 1976 when he reached the age of 80 and this fits with the deceased Birmingham resident who was born in 1896. Also very few people live to the ripe old age of 97 and it is very unlikely that there would be two Reginald Manfields of similar age living in a similar area.
As Reg Cload says, Reg Manfield joined the Hastings CC in 1958. He had retired from living in Chelmsford. He soon made an impact in the club and in 1959 he became the treasurer and about the same time the Congress Secretary. In this early period he also seems to have been quite active as a player and at the end of 1958 we find him playing on board 18 for Sussex in a match against Kent and also playing on board 2 for East Sussex in a match against West Sussex. He is, however, probably best remembered in Sussex as a correspondence player. He shared the Sussex Corrrespondence title with Richard Power in the 1965-66 season and in the 1966-67 season he won the tournament outright. In those two competitions he did not lose a single game.
When he became president of the club, he took on the role of congress chairman and it was about this time that he gave up the treasurer’s position. There is an interesting report in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 6.11.1971 about a new medallion of office which was worn for the first time by Manfield at the AGM. The medallion was designed and executed by Mr L J Medhurst of the College of Further Education and was made in memory of the late A A Angel. Reg Manfield was invested with it by Mrs N Angel and a photograph of the presentation is given in the newpaper. I wonder if the medallion still exists.
In the final days of his presidency the Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 25.9.1976 reported that Reg and his wife had just celebrated 50 years of marriage.
I have the scores of two wins for Reg Manfield, one draw and two losses. In one of the wins his opponent missed an easy mate and for this reason I will not be giving it here. In the other win Reg was somewhat fortunate to survive, but his winning combination is quite pretty. In the drawn game Reg was a pawn up at the end, but agreed a draw. The last game was played against Dordrecht, Holland, a twin town for Hastings. Once a year sporting events were held between the two towns and chess was sometimes part of the competitions. One year the events would be held at Hastings, the next at Dordrecht.