Eccles Community Chess Club is quickly outgrowing its current home, and so is looking for a new venue to host league matches.

The club has exploded in popularity in the last few months, with the lifting of restrictions making it possible for people to play chess in person.

Barbara Farrar has run the chess club for the last year, and seen it grow quickly.

She said: “Originally, it was just three men in a shed, but look at it now! We’ve got players from all over who come because its a fun atmosphere.”

Eccles Community Chess Club on a busy Wednesday night. Image taken by Sam Taylor

Currently members meet every Wednesday at The Station Bar in Eccles Town Centre. The sports bars lively atmosphere welcomes players of all skill levels to sit down for a game.

As well as casual matches, there are also ECF and FIDE rated

Eccles ECF Rated match venue. Image courtesy of Barbara Farrar.

matches which allow more seasoned chess players to test their skills.

Barbara said: “We do try our best to make the club a casual place, but we also really want to be able to compete professionally as a club too. That’s the next step for Eccles Community Chess Club.”

To help with this, the club also has coaches that help players improve while also joining in themselves. One of those is Leila, who has been playing for nearly thirty years. She went on to play chess international player, and now hopes to start her own chess academy.

Leila said: “Chess has changed how I think about everything. How I think about work, my relationships, even love. I think everyone should at least try it. I played chess at a very high level, and now I want to impart my knowledge on to other people.

“Clubs like this are so great when it comes to bringing in new players, but for professional chess you need silence.”

Right now Eccles Community Chess Club’s professional matches are played in Barbara’s house, but its a temporary solution.

She said: “My house is spacious, but it’s not ideal for playing professional league matches.”

Currently, Barbara has her sights set on the recently refurbished Eccles Town Hall.

D.A.Howcroft, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

“I’m in the process at the minute of putting together a proposal saying “We’re Eccles Community Chess Club, you’re Eccles Community Town Hall, let’s work together.

“The first stage is a petition, where people can express their views, requesting funding to hire a venue in Eccles to facilitate Chess,”

Barbara is receiving support from various chess organisations across Salford and Greater Manchester. One of those is ChessNuts, a non for profit group of video producers that film competitive chess matches. It’s also supported by The Station Bar itself, which is the home of their Wednesday night matches.

ChessNuts founding member Nicky regularly visits Eccles Community Chess Club.

He said: “I just love the social aspect of it. There are players here that are way stronger than me, but that’s okay. We want to show that with ChessNuts.”

A Competitive match at Barbara’s house. Image courtesy of Barbara Farrar774

Eccles Community Chess Club meets every Wednesday at The Station Bar, and you can contact Barbara at 07743888585 or by email ChessNuts can be found on Youtube here


  1. Barbara Farrar

    Eccles Community Town Hall is the natural place for Chess in our home town. Please support us by leaving a message.

    Steve Farrar
    Eccles Community Chess Club


  2. Antony Mills

    I believe making Eccles Town Hall the new home of Eccles Community Chess Club will benefit both the hall and the club.

  3. A quieter more suitable venue than the current one used by the club would be of great benefit to the players.

  4. I’d love to get into playing chess and Eccles Town Hall sounds like a great place to do it!

  5. Yes it should be made available for anyone wanting to play. Anything that brings the community together can only be a good thing

  6. Jeremy Peach

    As a visiting team, it is important tye host club can provide suitable facilities to encourage people to play this wonderful game.

  7. David Paylor

    Clubs like these are the life blood of a community so it would great to see the town Hall accommodate them as they grow

  8. Hope you get the venue sorted real soon. It looks a great venue and where beneficial to both parties, it makes sense to do so.

  9. The town hall would be a good venue 🙂

  10. Originally I come from Poland. I have been living at Eccles for 6 years. Barbara gave me the opportunity to do what I love – play chess. Eccles Town Hall will make it a second home for chess players from around the world!

  11. Aidan Rawlinson

    Eccles Town Hall would be a great venue for matches and support a fantastic social activity in the Eccles community.

  12. Mike Piggott

    Playing at the town hall would be a great match, such a great venue.

  13. The current venue is unable to accommodate more than 1 match at a time and as Eccles chess club is in several league competitions it causes huge fixture problems. Eccles community town hall would be an ideal location.

  14. Lindsay Locke

    Great Idea!

  15. A fantastic club, we need to keep the tradition of playing chess alive – in person not by computer. A really friendly bunch, do not be intimidated by the Grand Masters!

  16. Paul Doherty

    The Eccles Town Hall needs to work with Eccles Conmunity Chess Club to make this happen. It can only be good for both parties and the local community.

  17. A great idea that I support 100%

  18. I hope Eccles Community Chess Club will give us more opportunity to play chess. It would be the most suitable place for all of us.

  19. I hope Eccles Community Chess Club will give us more opportunity to play chess. It would be most suitable place for all of us.

  20. Marcial Flores

    Eccles Community Chess Club needs a bigger venue to hold its regular club matches and Eccles Town Hall would be the best option for these events.

  21. Eccles chess club has become a fantastic community club. It now needs facilties not only to maintain its club members and visiting teams but to also support its future growth. The local town hall would be ideal for this fantastic club and members

  22. Leila peymani

    Silence mind silence , chess
    The place for playing chess should be very quiet and silence because chess is part if mind silence. As a professional chess player I could not play in the club because of noise. Please help to solve this problem.

  23. Ashley Freeman

    I don’t know the town of Eccles too well but good to hear the growth. I quite liked the station bar but a bigger, quieter venue might please most players

  24. What a fantastic idea to have chess at the Eccles Town Hall!! Such a great way of getting the community together, I can say from personal experience that chess is a brilliant way to help improve mental health and well-being and people of all ages can get something positive from it. Good look Eccles Chess! 🙂 x

  25. Great idea!

  26. Great idea, the station bar is even louder than me, and whilst Auntie Barbara’s house is a lovely venue and does cracking food a venue that can support multiple matches is needed!

  27. Eccles Town Hall would be a fantastic location. There is lots of local chess talent that can put Eccles back on the map!

  28. Superb idea!

    It’s been a great help especially over the last few years.

  29. Eccles chess club have been great at supporting other local clubs and deserve the space to play.

  30. I think it would be great both for the chess club and for the Town Hall. It would become a fitting centre for chess in the area and admired across Greater Manchester

  31. Andrew Shingleton

    I think chess at the town hall is a great idea and I hope it happens soon.

  32. Adam scoular

    Being a competitive chess player and coach, it’s vital that Eccles chess club finds a new location to hold the matches, with all the hardwork that has been put in from Barbara Farrar to keep the growth of chess developing in the local area. The Townhall is pivotal point in Eccles and with what better opportunity would there be to create a new home home for the chess club, it’s about brining all forms of back grounds, religion, beginners, experts (haha), adults and a safe environment for youngsters to develop in a mind game that can change views of life.
    Get the kids of the street
    Let’s come together

  33. Phil Armstrong

    I support this idea and hope it comes together soon, fingers crossed 🤞

  34. As a seasoned chess player, I think that having a good and central venue for chess tournaments will increase tourism from other cities and/or countries, with benefits for all the Eccles commercial activities, from B&B to restaurants to small shops in the neighborhood.

  35. I support this idea.

  36. David Anthony Richardson

    Playing league games in a venue such as the town hall seems to make sense to me. Grandiose rooms, immaculate silence….perfect. I joined the club a few month ago, and am playing my first league match tomorrow at Barbara’s house. I am looking forward to it, but it seems a bit unfair she has to house the matches when there’s a perfect option staring us in the face.

  37. Frederick Crane-Robinson

    I back Eccles Chess Club for bigger and better things!

  38. Eccles Chess club is a great club. I developed my chess technique by frequently attending and playing tournaments. Bunch of nice people to be around with 🙂

  39. Akin Ayeni Soyoye

    Town Hall would be the best place to accommodate such an important game, which improves mental strength and contributes to strategic thinking and decision making process …

  40. Chagdarsuren

    I am a medical Student from Mongolia and play chess for Eccles. I was made very welcome and the Town Hall would be very good for Chess!

  41. Stephen Horrocks

    Come on council. You have a great community resource that gives kids and adults alike the chance to learn a great skill if they have a place to gather and play. Saying no and leaving it unused must be a sin.

  42. Nicholas Murnin

    Barbara Farrar is one of the hardest working and enthusiastic club managers I have had the pleasure to meet. Our Aim is to promote over the board chess clubs such as ECC. In our view, chess stimulates a whole host of cognitive skills, learning, creativity and empathy.
    The reason I started the project was to show an aspect of chess which is often overlooked, the social dimension of chess clubs. I believe our ability to socialise is a fundamental part of the human existence. Socialising promotes exactly the same cognitive functions I have mentioned above, which are paramount to our health and wellbeing. Eccles chess club, and any other chess clubs, are much more than a place where we meet to play a game or two. They are community hubs where we can meet others who share similar interests in a safe environment. Our communities have suffered a great deal over the past two years, with many of our social spaces closing and more people than ever before, feeling the pain of social isolation. I feel it is the duty of local authorities to help our communities by providing clubs such as ECC with much needed support and accommodation.

  43. Barbara thanks for your efforts.
    Now we should play chess in the town hall.
    Thank you so much Barbara for letting us play chess in your House

  44. Dave Stuttard

    Playing chess at the town hall would be grand.

  45. Alex Sosnowsky

    Moving to Eccles Town Hall would be a fantastic move,not only for Eccles Chess Club, but for the whole of the Eccles community. It would be the next step in the metamorphosis from a little club playing in a hut, to one of the best and strongest clubs in the country.

  46. Pantelis Papathomas

    The town hall is a perfect place for the chess club. It is also a better environment for kids to attend rather than a pub basement

  47. I was a novice at chess and Barbara and others give me fantastic support as I learn. I think Eccles Town Hall would be an A1 location.

  48. The town hall seems the right place to hold these matches. It’s not like chess players will disturb anybody and the club is a great asset to the Eccles community and they deserve a nice venue for league games.

  49. Dr Austin Elliott Archivist, Manchester Chess Fed'n.

    The Manchester Chess League has been going continuously since 1890, and the history of the league features clubs representing, not just areas, but also particular professional groups (‘Manchester Warehousemen & Clerks’) or via ethnicity (‘Manchester Jewish Social Club’), or educational allegiances (e.g. ‘Manchester Grammar Old Boys’ or University teams ). There were also many clubs based on particular large local employers in different parts of the cities of Manchester and Salford, and named for the firm concerned. Basically, the history of the chess leagues since the late 19th century mirrors the history of Manchester and Salford, and of the surrounding boroughs and towns. There’s enough there for a whole tribe of local social historians and graduate students to delve into. This preamble is all by way of saying that civic identity and local clubs and pastimes are linked – it’s as true for the chess clubs as for the much better known football clubs. So a civic centre like a town hall is a natural home for the local chess club. It would also be a timely recognition of all the work Steve and Barbara Farrar have done to revive Eccles Chess Club.

  50. You have my support here

  51. Barbara Ward

    This would be another step towards instilling a better community feel into Eccles Town Centre. To let even more people aware that there actually is community room available

  52. I would never thought of the old town Hall as a chess venue but I think this is the right choice and well deserved given the growing interest in Eccles chess club. Well done Barbara so far and I hope I’ll have a chance to play in the old Town Hall soon.

  53. It’s surely better to play league matches at a community place such as the Town Hall rather than someone’s house. Isn’t this the kind of social activity the community centre is for?
    It appears many of the local chess players are in agreement with this therefore I also support this suggestion.

  54. Trustee of ECHO

    In response to this, please note ECHO had a booking with the Chess Club back in 2020 unfortunately the Government closed everything down. From 2020 ECHO has not be in receipt of any future bookings from the Chess Club.

    This smear campaign along with the petition from one person prior to contacting ECHO, is not only one sided but totally unjust.

    On Saturday 23 April 2022 ECHO received a completed potential booking form from the Chess Club which the Trustees will discuss at the next Trustee’s meeting.

    The Trustees will then engage in a “professional and courteous” conversation with the representatives from the Chess Club.

    The moral of this story is to engage with ECHO first. The Trustees and Volunteers are very friendly.

    • I wouldn’t let them use it after the underhanded way they have gone about this.

      • Stephen & Barbara Farrar

        Dear Colin

        We have been open and honest in all our dealings with ECHO. If you would like more information please telephone us 07743 888585 Barbara

    • Stephen & Barbara Farrar

      There are some misunderstandings here. This is not a smear campaign.

      This campaign is about obtaining a list of supporters for the purpose of obtaining external financing which would include the hiring of the Hall. This is not an attempt to book the Hall.

      The booking from the chess club in 2020 was an entirely separate matter. It was a self-financing chess congress that had to be postponed because of covid.

      We did not attempt to make a booking on 23 April. Eccles Community Chess Club submitted an outline proposal with regards to the hiring of the Hall and for it to be discussed by the ECHO Trustees and for us to be informed of how our outline proposal should be amended for it to be as suitable as possible.

      We will of course contact the Trustees when we have a more detailed proposal to put forward assuming our outline proposal is acceptable to the ECHO Trustees.

      Stephen & Barbara Farrar
      Eccles Community Chess Club

  55. Julio Calcina

    I fully support this.

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