The Bedford Chess Club had revolved, certainly since I first went there in 1972, around W.A. (Sandy) Cordon.
A local schoolteacher, Cordon had always given the impression of total integrity and fair-mindedness. It was for these reasons that I had often thought that he would make an excellent magistrate or even a judge.
I think that I had actually said this to other members of the Bedford club, although I am not 100% certain about that.
What I do know is that I had thought yet again what a fine magistrate he would make just a few days before Clare and I bumped into him on the steps of the Bedford Courts on the afternoon of June 2nd 1988.
This was the first time in my life that I had visited a law court. I had long wanted to see what the judicial process was like and had finally gotten around to it that day.
It was especially unlikely for us to have coincided, for I had spotted him on his way into the courts and, out of a sense of shyness and gaucherie, had actually delayed going in, to try to avoid a meeting.
However, this did not work as we met as he was on his way out.
He explained that he was just dropping off an item there.
That was the only occasion that I ever ran into Cordon outside of a chess context.