At the AGM last season, it dawned on us that the numbers were reaching a crucial level, and something had to be done about it and fast ….or we would be facing a slow and tortuous extinction. Indeed, we were forced to cull on of our teams, The Templars, for this very reason. We had toyed for around three years with the pushing ahead of the website as a means of attracting players as well as a means of communicating and enjoying chess reports, games etc, though nothing was ever really done about it.
The falling attendance was a wake-up call. We had around fourteen members at that time. The first thing we had to do was to make the website more attractive and to add more spice to it. To this end, with his keen and insightful ideas Brian Cunningham proved invaluable and we bounced many projects back and forth, and spent countless hours polishing up the website. We agreed to have members add anything that wanted to put out on the website within reason. We also added a couple of “roving reporters” Nathan and Harry, and were delighted and impressed by the coverage, and banter.
Suffice to say it was a raging success and month by month we watched as more and more players responded…the number of hits zoomed, and even more surprised we were that the number of newbies increased to dramatic proportions. It hit a plateau a month or so ago and we now have double the number from last season, though I am sure quite a few of those members (five or six) will drop out through one reason or another. However, more new members will certainly come in…already one or two newbies have shown their faces, and both Brian and myself remain convinced of the validity of having a fine website to be proud of.