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We are trialling a brand new virtual FAP service for ABC Online members. Clink on this bulletin to contact me and say what day/s and times you are available to play and I will send out an email.

Welcome to Afternoon Bridge Club
Christmas closing

There will be no F2F bridge on Thursday 23rd or 30th December.    

How the first Face2Face went

Last Thursday 19 August was a huge milestone in our journey back to normality when we had five tables for our first Face2Face session at the Costessey Centre. It was just so lovely to see people again. RealBridge has been and is great, but it's not the same.

For those of us who were first-timers post-Covid it felt really odd: "Don't real cards look huge?" said my partner. And I had almost forgotten how to operate a Bridgemate. 

We hope even more of you will feel able to join us this coming Thursday 26 August. Even if you don't, RealBridge continues on Wednesday afternoons so the choice is yours.

These are the precautions we are taking:

  • The Stafford Hall is all windows down one side so easy to ventilate and we will position tables further apart than usual.
  • Only North will touch the Bridgemates and East/West players will carry their bidding boxes round with them. 
  • There will be a large bottle of 70% alcohol anti-bac spray which everyone will be requested to use. Or bring your own.
  • We may not be providing refreshments initially so please bring any drinks or food you may require during play
  • Mask wearing is completely optional and players are welcome to do so if they wish, or not do so if they don't.

We request that everyone attending should be double vaccinated and that anyone displaying symptoms of any kind which could be contagious should play safe and stay away. 

See you soon.



Every Wednesday on



Start time 1.30, please be seated at your virtual table by 1.20 pm.

The table money is £1.50 for members, £2 for guests.  Players will be invoiced in arrears every three months.   Guests are asked send us their email address through the 'contact us' facility under 'information' on the left. If you would like to join ABC costing £5 for the year click on the Membership Application button on your left which brings up a simple online form.

To access the sessions click on  'RealBridge Session Link' to the left .   Also on the left there are links to the RealBridge Camera Test and Player Guide. 

If you are interested in playing but are in need of a partner, contact Jane Scarfe through the Find a Partner facility on the bottom right.




David Macro
David Macro

We are sad to report the death in hospital of longstanding ABC and Wymondham Wednesday member Dave Macro after a short illness, having been in poor health for some time. 

Despite all his previous issues of heart disease and diabetes, he died from cancer of the oesophagus.

Val Bobbins, who was one of his bridge partners for 30 years, said how much she would miss him. "He was lovely to play with and so kind," she said. "And we won several events together."

Recently (in Covid terms!) they won the Wymondham Wednesday 2019/20 competition and they played together in the winning 2019 ABC Committee Cup team. Dave is second from right in the photo next to Val holding the cup.

Dave's funeral will be at Breckland Crematorium at 11am on Thursday 29 July then afterwards at the Robert Kett pub in Wymondham at 12.30. No flowers please but there will be an option to donate to one of the cancer charities, as yet unspecified.


Face to facing the Future?
Face to facing the Future?

Tea and biscuits have been consumed (thank you Jan Wells for your hospitality) at the first proper ABC committee meeting since the original lockdown. And here's the photographic evidence.

Due consideration was given to whether lockdown will be fully lifted in June - followed by the lofty question of when you, our members, will feel comfortable returning to face-to-face bridge at the Costessey Centre. And, given the huge success of our online RealBridge sessions, whether we should continue with those too. Perhaps face-to-face one day and online the next?

We thought we'd better ask you and, to that end, our Chairman Sarah Chamberlin has just emailed you all asking how you feel about it. Just in case you didn't receive her message - or are interested in playing with us but not currently an ABC member - please respond ASAP to our Secretary Robert Piller (

We are also hoping some of you might be willing to help run the RealBridge sessions. We need both additional directors and technical support. Jane Edwards and Peter Cotes have been a huge help directing but we need to share the load.

Barbara Baker has taken charge of the technical side, kindly supported by Martin Oates who taught her all she needed to know in order to do a great job. She is now ready to share that knowledge with others who are willing to give it a go and stresses that it is easy to learn and not overly complicated. Not only that but there's a training session available on the RealBridge site. Ask Barbara ( if you are interested in getting involved.


Eastern Counties Cup

Well done to ABC members Gary Putman, Peter Cotes, Chris Mallon and Tam Payne on winning the knock out final in the Norfolk Teams Championship.   The team qualify to represent the County in the Pachabo Cup in June and we wish them well.    

ABC Open Pairs Trophy

Congratulations to ABC members Mike Bolster and Mark Hill in winning the 2020 ABC Open Trophy,  which was played online.  After Lockdown3 we are hoping to be able to do  a socially distanced presentation of the trophy and engraved glasses and get some pictures !

Do you see yourself as a pioneer? Bravely going where nobody has bid before? If so your bridge club needs YOU to become a founder member of ABC Online and help keep Norfolk playing for the duration of the current crisis.

This is the plan. ABC is registering as a club with Bridge Club Live, hoping to set up regular times when we can play with our regular partners and, hopefully, get comparative results in a similar way to normal sessions at the Costessey Centre. We have consulted widely round the county and the consensus seems to be that this UK-based platform would be the most suitable for the purpose. It will cost you £6 a month for unlimited bridge (possibly plus VAT) - after your initial payment of £1.20 for the first 30 days . And online is the only place any of us are likely to play at present so cheap table money.

We all need to work together to get through Covid-19 and out the other end. So we are offering a warm welcome to members of all other Norfolk clubs to join ABC Online free of charge until the end of 2020. You just need to let Jan Wells have your name, EBU number, phone number and email address. Email

That is in addition to registering with BCL As they put it: "To benefit from the CLUB facilities each club member must be a full member of BCL." The trial month for £1.20 is their incentive to try it out now. This is how it works and three of us have already done it at time of writing this so definitely do-able by bears of average brain. With only moderate difficulty!

You go to the BridgeClubLive website, sign up and pay your £1.20 for the highest grade membership Then, on the CLUBS page (which then becomes visible from the home page of BCL if you click the Members tab at the top of the screen and then Clubs), you will see all the clubs which have signed up. Click on ABC and you will see your other club members who have joined BCL - listed, as they put it, by ALIAS. By which they mean something like the identity they gave me which is JaneS45931. That will enable you to play on BCL any other time you like with anybody you choose. Our hope is that we will also be able to set up an ABC Online bridge room at specified times notified by club email but that is a work in progress. In the meantime we will be able to take part in any competition or game with our regular Norfolk partners.

I played 10 boards in the Social room yesterday - if I'd played 12 I'd have got onto the leaderboard which I now know - and received an email telling me I'd played boards 42-51 in the Social Bridge Event and got 52%. You can chat by text as you play and the partner and opponent were friendly and pleasant. When my partner Omarj excused himself briefly I discovered that the opponents were locked down in Portugal and Italy respectively. I would have enquired further but Omarj returned and wanted to restart play!

Now you've read all that you are ready to register with BCL which you do by clicking here to go to their website. It is a bit complicated - well, I found it so - but achievable with a bit of persistence.

Lastly, you'll have to bear with us. Taking a bridge club online is a new thing for us and we will all be learning as we go along. Our club secretary Robert Piller is leading on this project and his email is  Do get in touch with him with any further questions - and especially if you can share your experience of playing bridge on-line as he would appreciate all the advice he can get!

Wendy Gee and the Big C
Wendy Gee and the Big C

Our annual Wendy Gee Teams event in aid this year of the Big C had an excellent 11 table turnout which meant lots of money for Norfolk's own cancer charity.

Congratulations to the crack winning team of John and Penny Stroud, Maria Budd and Adrian La Chapelle who swept to victory with a lead of 11 IMPS.

Wendy was a much-loved ABC member whose life was cut much too short by cancer. Now her husband Ron is carrying on her dedication to bridge by learning to play himself - although he would be the first to admit that it will be a long time before he achieves her standard!

By Royal Command
By Royal Command

Congratulations to ABC member David Hitcham whom the Queen has honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Aylsham Show and Holt Rugby Club.

David himself is typically self-deprecating about the recognition: "I am delighted, honoured and humbled," he said. "I know that there are so many other people out there who do just as much."

Apologies that the only photo I could lay my hands on in the club annals is this rather old one of him facing the camera at the bridge table. A testament, perhaps, to a man who says little but does a lot.

What happens in Newbury Stays in Newbury
What happens in Newbury Stays in Newbury

Team ABC Away took on all comers at our annual jaunt which took place this year at the Doubletree by Hilton in Newbury North.

To say we covered ourselves in bridge glory would be a slight exaggeration, but Val Bobbins and John Copson managed a second place and Peter and Jan Pennington-Smith a third. The gossip won the trophy - but what happens on tour stays on tour. Val is already planning our 2020 extravaganza so you'll have to go if you want to know ...

Our star performance was reserved for the retail therapy when all ABC female followers of fashion swerved the Saturday seminar and headed into Newbury in a six-seater taxi. Word swiftly swept round the retail emporia that Norfolk was in town and Norfolk was spending and we were welcomed everywhere with wild enthusiasm.

If everyone looks jolly in the photo it might be because one particular hotel barman got a trifle confused and seemed to think that wine is served in glasses holding at least half a pint. Surprisingly no-one sought to disabuse him. (I confess by the time on Sunday night when I took that photo I was on the decaff tea instead but I'm a shocking lightweight).

Huge thanks as ever to Val for organising the bunfight and looking forward to next year.

1st December 2021
Club Pairs
RealBridge 1.30pm
2nd December 2021
F2F Club Pairs
Costessey Centre 1.30pm
8th December 2021
Club Pairs
RealBridge 1.30pm
9th December 2021
F2F Club Pairs
Costessey Centre 1.30pm
F2F Club Pairs
Director: Jane Edwards
Scorer: John Copson
Club Pairs
Director: Martin Oates
Scorer: Barbara Baker
F2F Club Pairs
Director: Jane Edwards
Scorer: John Bradley
Club Pairs
Director: Peter Cotes
Scorer: Barbara Baker

The re-arramged Norfolk Contract Bridge Associaion  AGM will he held on Zoom on Sunday 28th November at 9.30am.   The Zoom link is on the home page of their website Norfolk Contract Bridge Association, Norfolk, England (  The NCBA  hope you will be able to join in as its Committee needs your views in order to plan the various Bridge events for next year and so that any issues you have can be followed up and addressed.

NCBA is registered as a Charity and is managed by the Trustees. The Trustees are elected by the members and there is a vacancy for another Trustee. The function of the Trustee is to ensure NCBA meets its objectives as set out in the Constitution which can be found on its website. Anyone interested in taking on this role please contact the NCBA's Secretary, Chris Mallon.



The Afternoon Bridge Club is affiliated to the EBU and the NCBA (Norfolk Contract Bridge Association).