S F Dalladay

In 2007 I was asked to provide information about Samuel Frederick Dalladay. He did not win the club championship nor was one of the club presidents, but he was a member of the club for many years and had an interesting and unusual occupation. For these reasons I feel that the information about him should not be filed away and forgotten.

He was born in the December quarter of 1864 in the West Ham Registration District. He became an organist at the age of 12 and as a young man ran an academy of music at Hackney. Whilst there, he gave many recitals at the Albert Hall, Crystal Palace and at the International Inventions Exhibitions. He was a friend of the famous Dr Bernado and gave a number of his recitals at the latter’s meetings, accompanying a choir of 700 voices. When he married in 1886, he moved to Folkestone, where he opened an academy of music. At this institution he had a staff which gave instruction in all types of musical instruments. He was the organist at St John’s Church in Folkestone and in 1903 he started building organs.

Just before the start of World War I he moved to Hastings and his membership of the chess club may have started at this time. He founded the Sussex Organ Works, which remained open until 1939. Sometimes he built instruments for churches throughout the country, though most of his work was in the southern counties. Some of his organs were installed in Hastings churches. He invented a combined pipe organ and piano and the first such model was installed in the Hastings Public Hall Cinema in 1915. He composed a number of hymns and other church music.

There was not a great deal of chess played during the Great War, but afterwards Samuel played in many matches for the club. He was a regular competitor at the Hastings congresses and took part in most of the Sexton Cup matches when Hastings and St Leonards teams competed with Brighton and Hove and the Rest of Sussex in a triangular competition. He also played several matches in the McArthur Cup competition. Until the mid-1960s the Hastings and Brighton chess clubs were not allowed to field ‘f’irst-class’ county players in their teams. Samuel was not a top county player and was therefore able to represent the club in this event. He played in the winning Hastings teams of 1928 and 1932 and his name appears on the McArthur Cup shield for these successes. He also played in a few games for the county, but this only seems to have been when the matches were played in Hastings over a large number of boards.

He was evacuated in 1940 and although he made several short visits to the town, he did not return to live permanently in Hastings until 1945. He was then appointed as a vice-president of the club. He had been particularly useful to the club in the 1920s, for not only did he act as the librarian, but he was also instrumental in the club’s move to 7 Carlisle Parade in 1922. He was one of nine club members who bought the lease for that house and formed themselves into a limited liability company using the initials C.P.H. These stood for Carlisle Parade, Hastings, but H E Dobell, the club’s president, suggested that Chess Players’ Home might be an alternative rendering.

Samuel was particularly keen on quick games and it has been estimated that he played a few thousand games with W H Jones, his favourite opponent. He died on 23rd January 1955 at the age of 90. In his will he left £100 to the club and according to the Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 19.12.1958 this was to be spent on furniture and fittings. However, the same newspaper of 17.10.1964 reported that five new boards had been purchased through the Dalladay fund and a silver plate honouring him had been attached to one of the boards.

I enclose the score of one of his games:

Gurd,AD – Dalladay,SF [A34]
Sexton Cup Rest of Sussex v Hastings, 14.03.1936
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.Ne5 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bd7 9.Nxd7 Qxd7 10.0–0 e6 11.d4 Rd8 12.Qa4 Bd6 13.Rd1 a6 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.dxc5? Bxh2+ 16.Kxh2 Qxd1 17.Qxc6+ Rd7 18.Bb2 Qh5+ 19.Kg1 Qd5 20.Qxa6 0–0 21.c6 Rdd8 22.c4 Qf5 23.c7 Rc8 24.Qb7 Qc5 25.a4 Rfe8 26.Qf3 Qxc7 27.Qg4 f5 28.Qh4 e5 29.g3 Re6 30.Rd1 Rh6 31.Qg5 Rf8 32.Rd5 Qb7 Source: Sussex Daily News of 26.3.1936. Played at Eastbourne on board 20. 0–1

Brian Denman 23.5.2013

S F Dalladay

Est. 1882