Around & About
A CLUB FOR ALL STANDARDS A PIECE OF STRATFORD
NORFOLK’S newest bridge club is a place where players at all
levels mix happily together. IN 1978 Omar Sharif, the great film star and renowned bridge
The Afternoon Bridge Club (ABC), based at the luxurious new player, came to Stratford to play bridge in the Stratford Bridge
Costessey Centre, only started in February this year but already Congress which had started the year before. Omar, along with his
has 95 members. It meets twice weekly and also holds regular All team-mates P. Stecklemacker, Paul Chemla and the great Boris
Day Bridge events. See www.afternoonbridge.org.uk. Schapiro won the Avon Cup for the Swiss Teams Event.
ABC member and EBU Life Master Nigel Block is a former
President of Norfolk CBA, currently its Chief Tournament
Director, who cut his teeth with University Bridge in the 1960s.
‘I love the way ABC is so friendly and all-embracing in terms of
its membership of both new and experienced players,’ he said.
During the 30 plus years Nigel has partnered 15 Star Premier
Master Lena Taylor, they have competed successfully in county
events and various congresses. ‘I think ABC has the nicest
atmosphere of any of the clubs I have ever played in,’ said Lena,
who admits to being a stickler for bridge rules, regulations and
ethics – and convention cards.
Photo: Mary Johnson
Gordon Fox, Stratford-upon-Avon Club Secretary (far right)
presents the Avon Cup to the winning team
from the Arden Bridge Club
Other winners of this event read like a Bridge Who’s Who,
including Paul Hackett, Kaplan, Pencharz, Rose, Sheehan, Posner,
Sadler, Smerdon, Waterlow, the Orams, Darwen and many more
champions and/or bridge writers, and have included local boy Max
Bavin, who is now the Chief Tournament Director of both the
English Bridge Union and the World Bridge Federation.
Photo: Jane Scarfe
The Avon Cup, engraved with all these great winners’ names,
From the left: John Cass, Val Wyatt, Lena Taylor and Nigel Block has recently come back into the possession of the Stratford-upon-
Avon Bridge Club and was competed for by twenty teams repre-
John Cass doesn’t take his bridge as seriously as Lena. According senting fourteen local clubs on Sunday, July 18th.
to his wife Jacqui – also an ABC member – it took her four years Sponsored by local firm Retirement Securities, the afternoon’s
to bully him into learning to play. ‘But I got hooked very quickly competitive but friendly Swiss Teams competition was enjoyed by
and now I love it,’ said John. eighty players and was directed by Darren Evetts, Chairman of the
Club Secretary Jan Wells runs ABC’s Find-a-Partner service Warwickshire County Bridge Association.
which enables members to play and try new bidding systems The team of Mary Andrew, Margaret Crangle, and Pam and
with different people. Jan herself learned bridge with a work Tony King, representing Arden Bridge Club, won the Trophy with
colleague thirty years ago. ‘We were going to learn to swim,’ she the right to display this wonderful bit of Stratford bridge history
said, ‘but bridge won out in the end – because we didn’t want to for the coming year. Pershore’s Martin Rees, Louie Kennedy, Alan
get our hair wet!’ Boyes and Bernard Palmer were the runners-up. (Mary Johnson)
John and Val Wyatt enjoy playing together. ‘Everyone here is so
friendly that I don’t worry about competing against really good
players,’ said Val. Double your Green Points with an Expert
ABC’s happy mix of experienced and newer bridge players should
Call Dima Nikolayenko
continue as the club’s Bridge Tutor Deborah Rabbidge started
teaching Beginners’ Classes in September. ‘They are our members ( 01438 821882 or 0790 0935393
of the future,’ said Deborah. (Jane Scarfe)
www.ebu.co.uk October 2010 English Bridge 39