Queen's Park Chess Club (Glasgow)

Founded 1873

The circular calling for the first meeting of the club was as follows:

3 Allanton Terrace,
Crosshill, 22nd September 1873.

Dear Sir, Please attend a meeting of those favourable to the formation of a Chess Club, to be held in Mr Park's Academy, Struan Terrace, on Thursday evening first, 25th curt., at 8 p.m., and oblige, yours truly.
                                           (Signed) Alfred T. Jago. 

As a result of this meeting the club was formed with a membership of 26. The Minute Book recorded the purchase of its first sets and boards, along with another interesting item: "Half-a-dozen spittoons."

 The first president was Dr Ebenezer Duncan, who was connected to the club right up to his death in 1922.

There was no Glasgow Chess League at the time and the national team competitions were many years in the future, but inter-club friendly matches were arranged.

Queen's Park won the 1903 Spens Cup, the second year of competition. The team members on that occasion were J.C. Semple, J. McKee, Dr James Forrester, Charles Macdonald and William R. Pitt. The club also won in 1908 and 1915. As well, they were losing finalists in 1907, 1934, 1935 and 1936.

The 1903 success meant that the club played in its first Richardson Cup competition in season 1903-4. They reached the final after defeating Dundee and Glasgow, only to lose by the odd point to Edinburgh.

The Glasgow Chess League was founded in 1908 and Queen's Park confirmed their ability by winning the 1st Division in the 1908-9 season. They repeated this success in season 1929-30. They also won the 2nd Division in 1931-32.

The club met in a number of premises in the Crosshill area, including the Queen's Park Bowling Club, the Unionist Association at 370 Langside Road and the YMCA at Eglinton Toll. They also spent many years at Turner's Tea Rooms, 441 Victoria Road - this was their clubroom at the time of their 1903 Spens Cup win.

Some other important names: J.M. Nichol, A. Martin, John Morton, A.E. Dodd, J.R.H. Duncan, George Woodburn, John Macdonald, S.C. Weir, W. Ferrie, Dr Moir Crombie, W.R. Carter, Walter Scott, R. Wingate.


Alfred Thomas Jago was born in England but moved to Scotland in early life. He worked for Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and then spent 30 years with Caledonian Railway, latterly as a chief accountant. He died 28 March 1883, aged 56, at 14 Langside Road (also known as 3 Allanton Terrace).


Glasgow Herald, 29 March 1883, p1;16 June 1923, p4.
Falkirk Herald (various issues).

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland