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www.ebu.co.uk 55

February 2020 English Bridge

Audrey Quinton, who provides English Bridge

with many cartoons (and our fantastic last

Christmas cover) has started a light-hearted bridge

blog which can be seen on

http://bridgeplayerblog.com

(Disclaimer: No kittens were harmed in the

making of this cartoon)

Amazing Club Number 3 by Samantha Kelly

I

s there a shortage of EBU clubs with afternoon

sessions? If the experience of Surrey's Bookham

Afternoon Bridge Club is anything to go by,

perhaps there is. Fifty years on from its founding,

the club has grown from an initial membership of

just 19 members, to 210 (and a waiting list) today.

The club marked its 50th Anniversary with a

celebratory bridge session (of course) and tea,

complete with special pens for every member -

including founder member Jean Suckling who

received an Honorary Life Membership Award.

Chairman Neil Higgins believes that one of the

main attractions of the club is its afternoon

sessions. Neil's view is that clubs with more than

one evening session a week would do well to

consider moving one of them to an afternoon,

especially if numbers are falling. Afternoon Bridge

is particularly popular in the winter when dark

evenings and badly-lit car parks would deter some

members from playing in the evenings.

There is more to it than that though. Although

playing in the afternoon is a key attraction, so too is

the friendly atmosphere which the club has worked

hard to create and preserve. There is a break in the

middle of the session for tea and coffee, along with

biscuits and cake served for members. The club sees

itself as open to all levels of player, something which

is also very important - you do not need to be an

expert player to be sure of a warm welcome.

In its 50th year, the club is so popular that it is

short of space and has a waiting list for

Bookham Afternoon Bridge Club

membership. Typically, new applicants have to wait

for nearly a year before they can join. That said,

non-members are welcome to play, except on the

first Monday of each month. It is particularly busy

then, as another organisation uses one of the rooms,

which means less room for playing bridge.

Members do get the benefit of member-only

events though. These include the annual Christmas

party and special opportunities, such as an Andrew

Robson Masterclass. Member-only events are held

throughout the year with attendees raising funds

towards an anniversary charity account. The

proceeds are shared between three charities with a

contribution going towards youth bridge

development in Surrey.

The club does not host its own teaching or

improvers' sessions as yet, but it does advertise such

courses in the area and highlights a 'what's on' at the

beginning of each session for those interested.

A friendly game of afternoon bridge will never go

out of fashion. Indeed, it seems to be gaining in

popularity so we wish everyone at Bookham BC

continued success for the next fifty years.

Is your club thinking of running an afternoon

session or starting a Membership Campaign? Or

indeed, if you feel you tim@ebu.co.ukce or help with

maintaining and developing your membership

numbers, please contact our Membership

Development Officer, Tim Anderson at

tim@ebu.co.uk r

click

link

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