Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - February 2008

Sponsored by The Steel Charitable Trust
Edited by Guy Whitehouse
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Obituary for Tom Barbour

Stan Lovell writes: Tom Barbour died in hospital on Christmas Eve 2007 aged 80.  Tom was taken into hospital during the night of 23rd-24th December suffering with a heart attack and died a few hours later.

Tom attended several of our chess events during recent years.  He particularly enjoyed social events such as the minor Tournament - as it was - and the Theme Breaks run by Peter and Celia Gibbs.  Tom will be remembered more for his musical ability and for his warmth and kindness than for his chess ability.  Tom had many friends and he was always ready to offer encouragement, friendship and support to those who needed it.

The BCA was just one of the many organisations that benefitted from Tom's support including: the Visually Impaired Musicians Association (VIMA), the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Guide Dogs, British Wireless for the Blind Fund and his church. Tom was a devout Roman Catholic and played the organ at Sacred Heart Church, Middlesbrough for sixty years.  It was in this Church that Tom's funeral service was held on Monday 7th January 2008.  He will be greatly missed by his many friends and admirers.

Lilian McCarthy has kindly allowed me to include extracts from a tribute she prepared for some of the many associations who benefitted from his support: “I always found Tom to be fair, kind, considerate and caring.  Always there for me through thick and thin, always ready with a sympathetic ear or ready to share in my joys.  Tom hated injustice and would always stand up for anyone whom he felt had been unfairly treated.  He had a constant desire to keep learning and always enrolled at Middlesbrough College for some course or other and I have no doubt he would have done so again this year if he had lived.”