Friday, 20 July 2012

Restyling the Hastings Chess Club Website

I've spent most of the last few days working at my computer on the website of Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club. This morning I replaced all the oldstyle pages with my newstyle more open and light design. The historical aspects now appear in a separate section, the home page emphasising the current activities of the club.

I've also improved the Gallery by actually showing the photos in smaller form (so-called thumbnails) as links to the larger images. There is also a separate History Gallery, where the photos of past Presidents and Champions link to their biographies.

Another innovation is a page with links to all the games (about 200) that appear in the biographies. At present they are just listed, but eventually they will be grouped according to opening. (Some of the older ones were handicap games.) This makes them much more easily accessed. I don't think many members realised they were there, to be played through.

Having finished this, and the sun shining at last, I thought it was time I had a bit of exercise. So took a brisk walk as far as the old bathing pool at West St Leonards and back via West Hill Road. Ended up with a shower and a rest before tea.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Acoustic Problems at BHA AGM

I went to the BHA AGM in London today. Overslept, so caught a late train and arrived at London Bridge station at 11:55. As usual the ticket I was issued with, which states "London Terminals" as the destination rather than London Bridge, would not allow me to pass through the barrier, but the inspectors there seem to allow one to pass through the gap at the side without bothering to check anything.

I walked over London Bridge, where lots of tourists were photographing Tower Bridge which has the Olympic Rings suspended from the walkway. Then past the Monument and up Gracechurch street to Bishopsgate. The BHA meeting was at the Bishopsgate Institute, in the Upper Hall whch I'd not seen before.

I sat down to listen to the Education and Promotion session which was already in progress, though the acoustic was very poor. There was a break at 13:15 for a tour round the Library downstairs, where some archives were on display. I wish I could find time to go there to do some historical research. Back in the Hall the BHA Choir was entertaining, but I couldn't make out many of the words they were singing.

Then there was the Report by the Chief Executive (Andrew Copson) who was as usual quite amusing. Then the AGM proper began, and I stayed as far as the end of the address by the Chair (Robert Ashby). However I was having increasing difficulty making out what he was saying.

This was due to the bad acoustics. I could hear a deep background noise, which may have been reverberation, or perhaps from some other source such as the air conditioning. Others didn't seem to be bothered, but I do have sensitive hearing, as you can maybe tell from the size of my ears.

By that time the strain was making me feel distinctly ill. I complained about the acoustic problem to the staff at the back of the Hall and decided to catch the early train back. So a bit of a wasted journey in many ways.