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News Page
This page has information and news of interest to the members. For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".
Bogdan makes the EBU Leader Board
Bogdan makes the EBU Leader Board
ABC member Bogdan Drobny is on a winning streak with 9570 EBU masterpoints - which puts him at second place in Norfolk for 2011. Hard on his heels in 3rd place is Norfolk County President Maureen Kimbley, who regularly partners Bogdan and is also an ABC member, with 8178 masterpoints.

They have just returned from Harrogate where they played together in the Congress, winning the Mixed Pairs. Other congresses where they have competed together include Scarborough, Norfolk, Le Touquet and Blackpool year end where they also won the Mixed Pairs the year before last. The photo was taken at Scarborough.

Bogdan hails (I've often wondered and took the opportunity to ask) from Gdansk in Poland and learned to play bridge at university in 1976. He has the title of International Champion in Poland, which is a bit like our own rankings, and played matches in the Polish Second Division.

Bogdan and Maureen play for the County, usually in team B, when available and chosen by the selection committee. They now play a system called Polish Club rather than Acol or anything more familiar to most of us.

The EBU also ranked Bogdan 10th in the UK for 2011 in the Leader Board Level 3: National (Regional Masters, Premier Regional Masters). That makes him 197th in the country.

He came to Cromer to work in 2007 and swiftly joined Sheringham Bridge Club, which was how he came to partner Maureen after her husband Andy died. He is now firmly established in Norfolk and the UK - and even has a brand new baby granddaughter called Natasha, who lives in Warrington with his daughter and her husband.

Last updated : 11th Mar 2013 16:06 GMT
Hog Roast All Day
  • David Hitcham
  • Chris and Hao in the kitchen
  • Pudding for Chris Darwood
  • Hao the kitchen queen
  • A visit from Brenda Howlett (and Peter)
  • Hog roast
  • Jill and Mal
  • Graham with salad
  • Graham with wine
  • Robbie s second favourite activity - after bridge
  • Sue Falgate
  • Sue with Peter Short and Diane
  • Sue scoops the flowers
  • Fruit butterfly
  • Hao with cancer research display
  • Helen, Brenda and Anne Wiggins
  • James and Deb
  • James and Peter Gaskin
  • Mary with Paul Hutchings
  • Mary with Sarah
  • Nawal with salad

It was rave reviews all round when ABC ran its first Hog Roast All Day - as requested by our members in the recent survey.

"Totally delicious," said Sue Hutchings. The attractive presentation got the thumbs up from husband Paul. "You went the whole hog," he said. "Lovely to have so many salads," said Hazel. Mal wanted to know if we could do it all over again next week? "But not today", said Graham. "I'm full."

"The tea urn was a brilliant idea," said Masuma - referring to the fact that people could help themselves whenever they liked during the afternoon. And Aase Simpson, who caters herself for an annual charity bridge day, gave it ten out of ten. "It's brilliant to come out and enjoy it and not be responsible for the food!" she said.

Oh, do you want to know who won? Of course you do. Congratulations to John Harrison and Nawal Fenwick who came top NS with 61.11% and Peter Smith and Jill Innes who scooped the top EW spot with 63.26%.

Hao Clayton mounted a display of her Washi eggs and home-made carrier storage bags which she sold to raise funds for Cancer Research UK in memory of ABC member Anne Short. The appeal raised £77.50, which has been forwarded to the charity.


It was exceptionally hard work for the catering team as Anglian Water kindly switched the taps off without warning immediately after lunch, so they were forced to wash up by hand using bottled water, rather than use the Costessey Centre's industrial dishwasher. It took until half past five to clear up the kitchen!
 

Last updated : 14th Jun 2013 14:45 GMT
ABC Pop-Up Bridge Club in South Africa
ABC Pop-Up Bridge Club in South Africa
When Paul and Sue Hutchings, Barbara and Peter Warren and Deborah Rabbidge all found themselves in Capetown, South Africa, there was only one thing for it. They set up a pop-up bridge club at the V&A Waterfront which has a view of Table Mountain.

They dubbed it The Rabbit Bridge Club. Think about it. Hutches, Warrens, Rabbit-ges .... and bridge and wine in unequal quantities, as rumour had it. And rumour generally does have it, of course.

Needless to say Sue and Paul could not survive all that fine food and sightseeing without indulging in an evening of real bridge. They played at a club in Stellenbosch - and came second with 56.75%.

"The opposition weren't up to much" opined Sue. So modest, for one so young.

The picture was taken by the only non-bridge playing member of the sextet, Deborah's husband Charles. History does not record whether he felt out of the loop but no doubt his customary good humour prevailed.
Last updated : 14th Jun 2013 15:14 GMT
The Perfect November Outing
  • Alan Wilson and Neville Hill
  • All Day runners up NS
  • Barbara Hacker and Anne Cooper
  • Brian Cole, Kathy Liversidge and Mal Loveridge
  • Christine admires her raffle flowers
  • Christine poised for lunch
  • Colin and Masuma
  • Iris and Colin
  • Jill Innes and Peter Smith runners up EW
  • John King and Andrew Thurston
  • Margaret, John Copson and Hazel
  • Maureen and Bogdan with Melvyn winners EW
  • Melvyn uncorked
  • Sue Hutchings, Helen and Brenda
  • Sue Pulley and Kevan
  • The lunch queue
  • Vicky pours wine
Winter is here and nights are drawing in - which is all the more reason for All Day Bridge!

The latest ABC event attracted a full house to the Stafford Room at the Costessey Centre and delivered fun and competition in equal measures.

As Brenda Wilson put it: "It's always a lovely day out with friends."

Winners were Mariea Kerr and Chris Darwood NS with 58.04 and Bogdan Drobney and Maureen Kimbley EW with 60.71. Runners-up NS were Masuma Ali and Lena Taylor.


If anyone would like a full-sized copy of any of these pictures which is suitable for printing just email janescarfe@gmail.com and it will be on its way to you.
 
Last updated : 20th Oct 2013 16:47 GMT
Tribute to Peter Falgate
  • Bon appetit Peter!
  • Peter shows Jane and Sue his photogenic side
  • Peter and Robbie - just take my advice and you ll make 3NT!
  • Jacqui Cass, Peter and Sue Falgate
  • Sue Falgate, John and Jacqui Cass and Peter

Peter's many friends at ABC were eager to pay tribute to one of the club's most popular and best-loved members, who sadly has died from pancreatic cancer.

They recalled how he always had a twinkle in his eye, a kind word for everyone and how warmly he greeted opponents arriving at his table.

The most frequent comment was the one from Hao, that he was a true gentleman - expanded by Lena to:
He was a gentle man, and a true gentleman. Eileen Townsend thought there should be more Peters in the world. Masuma said she wished her family could be just like Peter's - a sentiment heartily endorsed by all of us who attended his moving and heart-warming funeral.

And there was no shortage of jokey memories either. Paddy recalled the time Peter revoked with the ten of spades - and how she and her partner Andrea teased him for ever more about it. He took it in such good part, she said.

Peter himself used to joke about how Robbie, five years older than him, used to beat him up at Langley School when he was a lowly new boy and Robbie a senior.
”I don't think I'd have slippered him,said Robbie, in shocked tones. Well he probably wouldn't remember, would he, not having been on the receiving end!

And Peter was a generous fan of this website. Whenever I arrived at the club he used to say:
Where's the camera? Where do you want me? Make sure you get my good side!

We were all privileged to be treated to Peter's good side - indeed we never encountered any other - and we miss him greatly. Farewell Peter.

 

Last updated : 20th Oct 2013 16:47 GMT
Stop Press - Robert Cooper Scoffs Seafood!
  • Best Team Photo
  • David Hitcham s wife Lorraine with Jeannette
  • Paddy and John Bradley
  • Robbie Celebrates With His Best Girl
  • Top Table at Cookies

 

 

Paddy and Deborah organised a get-together of as many of Robert's ABC friends as could be packed into seafood eatery Cookies in Salthouse on the North Norfolk coast.

As we know, Robert hasn't been well enough to play bridge with us recently but he was on fine form for wining and lunching.

"It was lovely for me because I hadn't seen most of the people there for many a long week. It was absolutely delightful and I thoroughly enjoyed it," said Robert.

"For lots of people Cookies was a new experience - especially having to go over to the pub for a wee  - but it was just great to see so many people from ABC and I loved every minute of it."

We were the sardines packed into the shed which passes for a restaurant- eating every other kind of seafood imaginable and extremely yummy and jolly it was too. They don't have a licence so everyone took their own wine - and it wouldn't have been worth taking any home, would it?

There's talk of a repeat fixture later in the summer.

 

 

Last updated : 20th Oct 2013 16:48 GMT
We have survived the Open Swiss Teams!
  • Chris David Hitcham and Deborah with Mary Smith
  • Hao Clayton
  • John Bradley where did I put that board
  • Mal and Sarah
  • Melvyn sorts boards
  • Our esteemed Competitions Secretary
  • Our long distance travellers
  • Runners up Brian and Valerie Barrett Peter Ison and Jane Aylett
  • Takes more than a bit of snow to stop us
  • The room
  • The winners with Mary Smith LR Charles Melvin Nawal Fenwick Mary John Harrison and Tom Melvin
  • Snowballs anyone
  • The room

 

Well done to each and every one of the 72 keen bridge players who braved the Met Office weather warning to take part in the Swiss Teams. We've got the photograph out in the snow to prove it.

Congratulations to John Harrison, Nawal Fenwick and Tom and Charles Melvin for winning the event with a stonking 108VPs - and scooping 205 MPs!

And commiserations to Robbie Roberson's team which couldn't get to us after a car breakdown in the snow - which was a great shame. They were much missed.

And a special mention in despatches for the wonderful James Tullett, who push-started six cars to get them away in the snow at the end of the afternoon.

 

Last updated : 20th Oct 2013 16:50 GMT
Cake and Cava for the Queen
  • We hope Her Majesty approved
  • Hao on Thursday
  • Paddy, John Cass, Hao and John Bradley with the Wednesday table
  • Thursday cakes
  • Thursday Loyal Toast
  • Wednesday Loyal Toast
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was such a good excuse for a party that ABC celebrated twice - on the Wednesday and the Thursday before the Bank Holiday weekend.

It was a huge team effort, masterminded by Andrea and supported by large numbers of club members whose cake baking skills were worthy of The Great British Bake-off. From lemon drizzle to gingerbread and coconut to John Bradley's magnificent chocolate gateau and Deborah's carrot and pineapple creation it was a gourmet cakefest - all washed down with a toast to the Queen in Cava or non-alcoholic sparklers.

The presentation skills were a revelation - what a brilliant idea of Jacqui Cass's to cut up her traybake into little rounds and stand them on cake papers with miniature flags. Noted for future reference! Not to mention the flag-iced buns and supreme gingerbread - Andrea's already given me the recipe for that and I'm sure it's on offer to anyone else who'd like to replicate it.

A huge thank you to each and every one of you who slaved over a hot oven, set up, decorated tables, poured drinks, packed the kitchen to clear up afterwards and help wash 70 champagne flutes - or even just threw yourselves into the spirit of the occasion and celebrated with us.

It was a week to remember, when ABC congratulated the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee and celebrated being part of our bridge club.
Last updated : 20th Oct 2013 16:54 GMT
Sunshine for Summer All Day
  • David, Derek, Andrew and John B
  • Deb and Gerry
  • Hao doesnt find life a Breese
  • Jane and Chris Sadd
  • More yummy lunch
  • Robbie and Hao
  • Ruth, Grainne and Suzanne
  • The winners Jane and Gillian, Masuma and Sarah
  • Tony, Deb and Gerry
  • Yummy lunch

It was rave reviews all round for the lavish Waitrose buffet and the latest All Day - salmon, ham, quiche, wraps, new potatoes and salad. Even the cheese was gourmet. "Absolutely fabulous lunch," said Tony and Gerry. And many others. The raspberry gateau, cheesecake and gorgeous local strawberries weren't half bad either. It's a wonder we could play bridge afterwards!

Gillian Hall and Jane Scarfe certainly managed the feat, as they were the NS winners with 64.86%. And Masuma and Sarah Chamberlin scooped the EW prize, chalking up 61.36%. It was a great day all round.

Last updated : 30th Nov 2013 13:39 GMT
Charity event for Norfolk Bone and Joint Appeal
  • Andrea, Liz, Chris and Wally
  • Andrew and David Ellis from the UEA
  • Chris thinks we should have strawberry teas twice a week
  • David Ellis with Sarah and Christine Sadd
  • EDP photographer on the job
  • Hao balloons into action
  • Hao enjoys a well deserved break
  • Keith Tucker with Sue and Suzanne
  • Let s have a strawberry tea every week
  • Raffle prize time
  • Sue and Suzanne and the raffle close up
  • Sue and Suzanne and the raffle
  • Sue calls the numbers
  • Table for four
  • Ten minutes to kick off
  • The Strawberry Queen
  • Photograph from the EDP feature, reproduced courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
  • Handing over the cheque at UEA - Sarah, Jane, Keith Tucker and Prof Bill Fraser

STOP PRESS - We are thrilled to bits to announce that our strawberries and sparkling wine event raised a stunning £871 for the Norfolk Bone and Joint Appeal, thanks to a huge amount of hard work and brilliant teamwork from all involved. Besides which - we had a fantastic afternoon!

ABC is proud to have staged the first fundraiser of all for this groundbreaking cause on Thursday 18th July with a special bridge afternoon at The Costessey Centre, introduced by venerable Norfolk consultant orthopaedic surgeon Keith Tucker.The photograph of him with Sarah Chamberlin and Jane Scarfe, which appeared as part of a two page spread about the Appeal, is reproduced above by kind permission of the Eastern Daily Press.  The formal launch of the £3 million Appeal was was held at the Assembly House in Norwich on the evening of Thursday 18th July, the same day as our event.

We had originally intended to limit the afternoon to 16 tables but demand for tickets was so great that we upped it to 20. There was a break half-way through the afternoon for scones, strawberries, jam and clotted cream plus home-made cakes kindly made by members and Prossecco generously donated by the wine business Harper Wells - because its owner Ed Wells wanted to thank Keith Tucker who introduced the ABC event for saving his mother Jan 20 years ago from ending up in a wheelchair. Massive thanks also to Suzanne Gill and Sue Hutchings who organised a hugely successful raffle and to ABC members who provided lavish prizes - some of which, especially Hao Clayton's freshwater pearl necklace, Andrew Thurston's picnic lunch for three on board his boat on the Norfolk Broads and Nairne Plouviez's bridge table - were auctioned separately.

ABC would like to thank all the members who worked so hard to make the event a success as well as those from our club and across the county who attended the event, bought raffle tickets and helped to make the afternoon so enjoyable. And a huge thank you to Gabriel Ip for acting as our non-playing Tournament Director for the event. And lastly the EBU who licensed the event for district points, which helped to increase the turnout especially from further afield.

About the Appeal

The Norfolk Bone and Joint Centre will be a hub of excellence for fundamental research and its translation into new treatments for painful and debilitating conditions focussing on four key areas - osteoporosis and related fractures, Paget's disease which is a bone disorder, the degenerative joint disease Osteoarthritis and joint replacements.

It will form just one element within the planned Norwich Medical Research Building which will provide over 4500m2 of state of the art facilities at the heart of the Norwich Research Park and working space for 160 people.

The key partners in this exciting project - Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and University of East Anglia - believe that this new Centre will make discoveries that save millions of lives, not to mention millions of pounds in healthcare costs. But we, the population of Norfolk, need to get behind it to help make it happen. See http://www.uea.ac.uk/difference/home for all the latest information on the Appeal.

Last updated : 30th Nov 2013 13:40 GMT
Barbara Dick-Cleland and Buxton Trophy
Barbara Dick-Cleland and Buxton Trophy

 

ABC's very own Paul Hutchings and his partner Graham Ware scooped top spot with 63.89% in the Barbara Dick-Cleland Trophy for less experienced bridge players. It was Paul's very first county match.

"It's always pleasant to be out playing bridge in such good company - and winning is the icing on the cake," said Paul, who, it must be said, was seriously chuffed.

"But it is a particular honour to succeed in this competition because my wife Sue is a previous holder of the trophy in the distant days when she was under-qualified enough to enter. I now hope to emulate her meteoric rise to the higher echelons of Norfolk bridge!"

Slightly more experienced players competed simultaneously for the Buxton Trophy, which was won by Jane Bolton and Fiona Bradford with 59.89%

Paul's partner Graham Ware, who has just returned home from three years in Virginia, USA, was making what he hopes will be the first of many appearances at the Costessey Centre, home of ABC.

Graham originally learned to play bridge at school in London aged 11 but did not play properly until he joined the RAF in 1981.

"I have played on and off since then (mainly off) due to work commitments, but having recently retired after 31 years, I am looking forward to playing catch-up on the bridge front."

That might involve a crash refresher course in ACOL after several years of SAYC - or Standard American Yellow Card - and something called 2 over 1. From Sunday's results it sounds as if he's already cracked it.

The free of charge event on 3rd March was organised by Christine Buchanan, who roped in several senior county players to help, including Norfolk President Mary Smith who presented the trophies.

"The idea is to encourage more people to come to county events and join clubs," said Christine.

A total of 18 pairs competed in the Buxton Trophy, with 14 in the Barbara Dick-Cleland, some of whom had never played at club level before.
 

 

Last updated : 30th Nov 2013 13:47 GMT
Heather Dhondy workshop
Heather Dhondy workshop

International bridge player Heather Dhondy gave a seminar at ABC following her triumph in the World Championships when the England Women's Team scooper the silver medal.

She is pictured here with club committee members - L-R Deborah Rabbidge, Chairman Sarah Chamberlin, Heather Dhondy, Hao Clayton and John Bradley.

Last updated : 1st Dec 2013 17:26 GMT
An EBU Visitor to Norfolk
An EBU Visitor to Norfolk

EBU Club Liaison Officer Andrew Urbanski visited ABC as part of his whistle-stop tour of Norfolk, during which he dropped in and played at several venues.

 

“The idea is to get feedback from the grassroots organisation,” he said. “Sometimes people think of the EBU as purely international, but there are 600 clubs round the country and we need to know if there’s more we can do for them.”

 

Andrew said that the EBU’s international players are doing well but it is equally essential to bring on new talent and encourage younger people into the game. He was impressed that ABC is focused on teaching– and encouraging students to join the club.

 

“Clubs with good teaching programmes do well and those which don’t are struggling,” he said. And he added that the EBU is totally committed to training new bridge teachers – with over 200 having successfully passed through their training course in the past three years.

 

He suggested that ABC might consider organising seminars to enable Norfolk’s best players to share their expertise with club members.

 

In discussion, Andrew agreed that, with hindsight, the EBU should have involved the clubs more when setting up Pay to Play. But, as Roger Amey pointed out, the EBU had lost 10% of its membership over 10 years and something had had to be done.

 

Andrew said he thought P2P was good value for money for EBU members. “You get stuff,” he said. “If you think about it, any specialist magazine now costs at least £4 which makes English bridge six times a year worth £24.”

 

After which he sat down to enjoy an afternoon’s bridge, partnering County President and ABC member Mary Smith. They didn’t come top. Roger Amey and Gabriel Ip did. Mary has asked me to point out that she and Andrew didn’t come bottom either!

Last updated : 1st Dec 2013 17:29 GMT
The Gift of Life
The Gift of Life

When ABC member Anne Short was dying of a brain tumour her husband Peter and their three sons did not hesitate. Anne was on the organ donor register and had always made her wishes clear: “We knew what she wanted and we all felt exactly the same,” said Peter.  “When the hospital transplant team approached us, we agreed immediately. And afterwards it helped the grandchildren too to know that some good had come out of it.”

Two people received Anne’s kidneys in life-changing operations after her death in February 2013 and other tissue helped in medical research.

Shortly afterwards the Order of St John, working with the NHS Blood and Transplant Service, decided that organ donors should be nationally recognised. Peter received Anne’s posthumous United Kingdom Award for Organ Donation from Richard Jewson JP, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, in a ceremony at The Great Hospital in Norwich presided over by Brigadier Alasdair Wilson OBE, the County Priory Group Chairman of the Order of St John.

There were 1212 people honoured in the first series of awards up to March 2013 which sounds wonderful – except that there are now over 7000 people awaiting transplants, of whom three die on the waiting list every day.

Peter wanted to tell his story to encourage more of us to sign up as organ donors and, hopefully, ‘Add life and give hope’ which is the wording on the citation. You can register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

Last updated : 12th Feb 2014 20:08 GMT
Robert Cooper
Robert Cooper

We are sad to report that Robert, pictured at the club with his bridge partner Deborah, died on 29th November, aged 70, after battling lung cancer for three and a half years.

He was a much-loved founder member of ABC and a stalwart of Eaton Golf Club, who enjoyed nothing more than socialising with his many friends. He will be greatly missed.

 

Last updated : 12th Feb 2014 20:15 GMT
The Ultimate Bridge Match
  • Dancing the night away
  • Mr and Mrs Pennington-Smith
  • Signing on the dotted line
  • The Dancing Divas

Romance is in the air as well-known bridge players county Competitions Secretary Peter Smith and Jan Pennington have become joined in name as well as marriage - as Peter and Jan Pennington-Smith.

Jan talked Peter round gently to the idea of changing his name too:

“I didn’t want to be Granny Smith,” she said, “And Wellington Pennington-Smith suits my black Labrador perfectly!

The Norfolk bridge wedding of the year was lavishly celebrated at a ceremony and reception at Caistor Hall with 90 guests, including 25 bridge friends, who played parlour games before ending up with a Ceilidh.

“My knees didn’t get back to normal for 10 days but it was worth it!” said Jan.

Last updated : 17th Aug 2014 17:11 GMT
Val's son the Multi-Marathon Man
Val's son the Multi-Marathon Man

ABC member Val Bobbins' son Tom has now run four Marathons in five weeks for Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer and EACH - East Anglia's Children's Hospices. He is hoping to raise £8000 in total. And, what a surprise, he says: "A week is not long enough to recover and run another one!"

Now Norfolk bridge players have boosted his fundraising by £100 as Nawal Fenwick held the play-off for the county team champions at her home. It raised £100 which she has given to Tom as sponsorship for his runs .

Tom managed a personal best of 3 hours 23 minutes in Rome - followed by 3 hours 39 minutes in Paris despite hurting his ankle.But it was 3 hours 52 in London on the hottest day of the year so far and 3 hours 53 in Madrid.

He said: "Over the last 12 months I have come in contact with, or known so many people affected with various forms of cancer and I want to raise some money to help a bit". He stressed that he will be funding all travel and accommodation himself and every penny donated will go to the charities. "Please donate as much as you can to get us to the target!"

Tom is now considering The Forces' March in Devon in May. This event consists of running 135 miles over five Marathons in five days.

Proud Mum Val said: "I think he's mad but they are such good causes and he's determined to do it. Please support him if you can."

You can donate by going to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thomasbobbins

Last updated : 21st Oct 2014 16:41 GMT