1967. The initial meeting to discuss the formation of Ashby Ivanhoe Bridge Club was held on 13 April 1967 at Ashby Community College. It was decided that the Club should meet each Thursday evening from 7 pm to 9.30 pm to play rubber bridge. Duplicate bridge would be played provided that there was the consent of eight or more players. There was no subscription but it was decided that a levy would be imposed to defray expenses as and when required. The Club was affiliated to the College and membershipof the Club was restricted to members of Ashby Community College. The first committee of the club consisted of: Chairman - Mr Snook; Treasurer - Mr A Priestley; Secretary - Mr L. Peake.
It was hoped that there would be bridge lessons in the College at the beginning of the following term.
At the next general meeting of the Club, in October 1967, it was agreed that card tables would be bought with half of the costs being met by the College. An annual subscription of ten shillings was set with table money of one shilling. It was agreed that there would be rubber bridge and duplicate bridge on alternate Thursdays.
Early members included Elaine Hampton, Fred Tomlin, Vera McDonald, Maurice Ranson, Bill Longden and Doreen Hunt.
1968. At the general meeting in May the subscriptions were reduced to seven shillings and sixpence. Club funds were£30.
1969. At the general meeting in January it was agreed that duplicate bridge be played every Thursday evening. Players would draw for partners on alternate weeks. It was also decided that a team should be entered in the Leicestershire Contract Bridge Association(LCBA) leagues. A Merit Committee (including Messrs Ranson, Criddle and Longden) was set up to tabulate results and allot merit points to determine "Best Pair".
At the AGM in May Club funds were £42 and membership was 32. The committee was increased by four ordinary members including Elaine Hampton. Bill Longden was elected Secretary.
Anapplication for membership of the LCBA was pending. Drawing for partners was changed to once every four weeks. Rules and Constitutionfor the Club were agreed. Subscriptions were increased to ten shillings and table money to one and sixpence. The awarding of prize money was stopped.
At the general meeting in November it was agreed that table money would be reduced to one shilling again. Silent bidders and curtain cards were in operation at the Club even though they were not universally liked. Drawing for partners was discontinued. A Pairs Competition was proposed for December with a £5 prize.
1970. There was a discussion regarding the issue of players looking for partners on particular evenings. It was decided that any spare players should phone Elaine Hampton, who would then try to pair up players. In its first year the team came third in Division 4. English Bridge Union (EBU) fees of 12/6 (twelve shillings and sixpence) per player were to be paid by the Club.
As the accommodation at Ivanhoe was unsatisfactory alternatives would be sought. It was agreed to aim for at least 20 boards on Club nights starting at 7 prompt.
There were 17 members at the AGM in May. Cash balances were now £53. Maurice.Ranson took over as Chairman, Mr Snook becoming the Club's first President. Syd Criddle was the regular MC for Thursday evenings and Mrs MacKay was Club Captain. It was agreed that an advert be placed in the Ashby Times to seek new members.
1971. The team finished second in Division 4, winning promotion to Division 3. Accommodation at the Ivanhoe College had improved and so there was no need to move.
A successful Bridge Drive was held to increase funds and money was spent on new boards. Income for the year was £56 and expenditurewas £60. This £4 loss left a balance of £49.
The College held a six-week bridge beginners course. A rubber bridge night was to be introduced to encourage new members. Elaine Hampton became Team captain. Six new tables were purchased at a total cost of £50.
Annual subscriptions were increased to £1.50, but table fees were abolished other than for visitors, who paid 15p.
1972. Syd Criddle took over as Chairman, Bill Longden as Treasurer and Mrs Snook as Secretary. Howell movements were introduced. These received much criticism from some members but were eventually accepted. A second team was entered in the league. The first team was promoted to Division 2.
A successful Club Dinner was held at the Stanhope Arms at a cost of £1.50 per head. It was agreed to make it an annual event. The Club was now in the red, as a result of table purchases.
A table of performance by players at duplicate nights was used for team selection, but was not made public to members. The Flaxdressers was considered as a venue for the Club but was found not suitable.
Around this time a bell was introduced by Elaine Hampton as an aid for the director to speed up play. When the director rang his (or her) bell any players who had not begun the last hand of the board were not allowed to play their hands and were required to take an average.
Annual subscriptions were increased to £1.75