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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
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.




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.


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 !

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.

26th January 2022
Club Pairs
RealBridge 1.30pm
27th January 2022
F2F Club Pairs
Costessey Centre 1.30pm
2nd February 2022
Club Pairs
RealBridge 1.30pm
9th February 2022
Club Pairs
RealBridge 1.30pm
F2F Club Pairs
Director: John Denis
Scorer: John Bradley
Club Pairs
Director: Peter Cotes
Scorer: Barbara Baker
F2F Club Pairs
Director: Peter Coates
Scorer: John Copson
Club Pairs
Director: Peter Cotes
Scorer: Barbara Baker

The Championship Teams will be on 9th January, which is a qualifying event for the EBU’s Pachabo Cup; it is also a Green Point event.  Following the restrictions imposed in the recent Government announcement in response to the risks of the Omicron variant, the NCBA has made the decision to play this on RealBridge with apologies to those who wished to play F2F.     The entry form is on its website Norfolk Contract Bridge Association, Norfolk, England ( 

Then on the 16th January it will be the Barbara Dick-Cleland and Buxton competitions for players with less than 500 and 5000 master points respectively.  Keep an eye on the website for details on whether this will be F2F or RealBridge. 


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