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Around & About

COUNTY BRIDGE CLUB’S BRIDGE IN BELLA ITALIA

50TH ANNIVERSARY WEEK IN June, thirteen members of Olicana Bridge Club, West Yorkshire,

and three family members spent a week in the beautiful Umbria

region of Italy. They stayed in a wonderfully restored 17th century

palazzo in Geppa, a tiny hamlet with sixteen residents located

high in the mountains above the city of Spoleto. The palazzo – a

listed building – is owned by club member Mike Collier who

bought the run-down property several years ago. Mike has spent

the past five years restoring it to its former glory and the palazzo

is now divided into rooms and apartments of varying sizes, and

was comfortably able to accommodate the visitors from Ilkley.

Two nine-seater vehicles were hired to provide transport to places

of great historical and cultural interest. Driven by Mike and Peter,

the group enjoyed the wonderful scenery and spectacular mountain

views of central Italy on their way to Assisi, Montefalco and Norcia.

Evenings out consisted of dinner in local restaurants, sampling

pizzas, wonderful pasta, wild boar, always accompanied by flagons

of regional wine. Evenings in saw the local farmer’s wife,

Andreina, and her family troop over the lane, carrying great bowls

of pasta, platters of chicken or pork, cheeses and cakes, all local

County BC Chairman Frank Travers with his wife, Jan organic produce prepared for us in the farm kitchen – delicious!

COUNTY Bridge Club, Leicester, marked its 50th anniversary

with a week of celebrations.

Monday and Friday afternoons were normal duplicate sessions

but with prizes. Monday evening was the big event: all Leicester-

shire clubs were invited to join us in a Simultaneous Pairs. Eight

clubs participated (125 pairs). Tuesday evening there was a

handicap teams. Wednesday afternoon a pro-am, with students

partnering established players. Wednesday evening the AGM

followed by a Speedball. Thursday evening was 'Wacky Thursday'

with very distributional hands.

On Friday evening about eighty people attended an anniversary

dinner with guests of honour Sally Bugden (EBU Chairman) and

Nick Stevens (chairman of LCBA) with their respective spouses.

During the evening Frank Travers (Chairman for the last nine

years) was awarded honorary life membership.

County BC has 280 members and owns its own premises. It

runs six duplicate sessions per week and has five teams in the

Leicestershire league, as well as organising various teaching The ‘Geppa Girls’ rehearsing for the ‘Geppa’s Got Talent’ show

sessions and also supervised play. For further information, visit

www.county bridgeclub.co.uk (Peter Halford) Mike had arranged a visit to Spoleto Bridge Club, based in an

elegant building with high arched ceilings and chandeliers. The

bridge was different to playing at Olicana – the Italians rarely

A GROUP of Stourbridge Weight Watchers who use the stopped talking during bidding and also during play! A return

Stourbridge Institute Bridge Room for their weekly meetings tournament took place the following day at Geppa and cash prizes

certainly lost 100 pounds at one session. were awarded to the two top pairs from each club.

It was a very hot day and an exit door was propped open The highlight of the holiday was arguably the Geppa's Got Talent

with an open topped plastic container housing the Bridge night. Compered by Jackie and organised by the ladies, everyone was

Club’s bidding boxes. The Weight Watchers departed after required to do a party piece. The varied programme culminated in

their meeting and forgot the make-shift doorstop. a dance routine ‘choreographed’ by Carole and performed by eight

Later it rained, ruining quite a few bidding cards. The ladies – the ‘Geppa Girls’ – which brought the house down.

Bridge Club had to replace the ruined cards, costing the The final day was spent by many of us ‘resting’ (!) and reflecting

Weight Watchers over £100. (Susan Craddock) on the fabulous time we had in Italy. It was, as they say in bella

Italia, ‘perfecto’! (Mollie Bell)

www.ebu.co.uk October 2011 English Bridge 41

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