Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
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Improve Your Bridge Workshops

I run regular Bridge workshops, mostly at my house in Broughton.  Many of these are for regular groups of four, weekly or fortnightly but I also do ad hoc sessions which are open to anyone on my email list on a first come, first served basis.  I occasionally run a course with six modules for complete beginners which again is normally a group of four.

If anyone is interested in joining in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me.

These Bridge sessions are informal, hands-on and interactive and good for extending your Bridge knowledge to the next level.  No partner required.

Further details from Fred Hotchen, tel 01794 301 185, mobile 07771 854 347 or email

Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Ann Keighley

Many longstanding members will remember Ann Keighley who sadly died on Thursday the 1st of March 2018.  Ann was a keen Bridge and tennis player and a member of Badger Farm in the 80’s and 90’s, regularly partnering Wini Meikle for many years before moving to Surrey to be nearer her family.

Audrey Lee

Audrey Lee sadly died on Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Audrey was a longtime member of Badger Farm and played as often as she could though not so much in recent times due to ill health.

Audrey loved her Bridge and always played the game with good spirit and humour.  Always polite and courteous to partners and opposition alike, Audrey made Bridge fun and it was a pleasure to play with her or against her.

Lorna Fewtrell

Clare Podger gave me the sad news that Lorna Fewtrell passed away on Tuesday 30 August 2016.

I had personally known Lorna for over 33 years when she came to one of my Bridge classes though some members had known her for considerably longer than that.  Lorna was then  an original member of Badger Farm Bridge Club when it was held in Olivers Battery.  She continued to be a regular attendee right up to just a few weeks before she died and playing  good club level  Bridge at the age of 95 is no mean feat!

Lorna was always extremely polite and courteous at the Bridge table and had a great spirit in her approach to the game.  I remember running a Bridge Weekend in Weymouth in 1985 with many club members in attendance.  I partnered Lorna and although we had never played together before, we had a very sensible session and came top which I think was a great experience for both of us!

Wini Meikle
Wini Meikle

So sad to learn that Wini Meikle passed away on the 1st of October.

Wini had been a member of Badger Farm for very many years, she was the life and soul of the party and her delightful cheery personality always contributed to the friendly club atmosphere.

Wini really enjoyed her Bridge and I was so pleased when she won the Club Championship with Nicky Davey in 2017.

Wini looked and acted much younger than her 81 years as can be seen in the photograph taken in March 2020 when Linda and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Wini and Alan in Florida. Because of the lockdown that was to be the last time we saw Wini.

Sincere condolences to Wini’s husband Alan and the rest of her family.

Sheila Stubbings (4 April 1922 - 24 August 2022)
Sheila Stubbings (4 April 1922 - 24 August 2022)

I am sad to report the passing of Sheila Stubbings on Wednesday 24 August 2022. Sheila achieved an incredible milestone in April when she reached the ripe old age of 100.  

I had personally known Sheila for over forty years when I first started playing competitive Bridge.  She looked after herself very well and when Linda and I last visited her in April, it made me think that in all those years she had hardly changed at all!  

Sheila’s regular Bridge partner for many years was Jeremy Baker.  They had a very successful partnership, a highlight of which was their winning a National Pairs title in the mid-80’s.

I played in many county and national teams events with Sheila and Jeremy and in April 1982 we went to the Jersey Bridge Congress and came second in the Teams with my partner Garth Shilstone.  As well as winning lots of master points and prizes, we had a thoroughly good time away from the Bridge table with glorious weather and I will always remember this as being one of my most enjoyable Bridge experiences.

I also played Bridge with Sheila regularly for many years, often at Badger Farm.  At the Bridge table Sheila was kind and friendly to her partners and opponents alike.  She was a natural card player and often deceptively cunning.  She would come across quite unassuming but had a sting in her tail and many of her opponents foolishly underestimated her capabilities and left the table more than a little bruised. It all provided for great entertainment and amusement!

Away from the Bridge table Sheila was always fun to be with, she had a great sense of humour, she was always cheerful and interested in everything that was going on.  She was also very modest about her own background and achievements.  She originally came from a wealthy farming family in Dumfriesshire and during World War Two Sheila was parachuted into France (and later Belgium) providing intelligence to the U.K. for which she was awarded the British Empire medal. 

Linda and I had the pleasure of being part of Sheila’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2012 with her son Chris, daughters Moira and Jennifer and her wider family.  Jeremy and Anna were also invited and it was a wonderful celebration which we all thoroughly enjoyed and was a treasured memory for Sheila.

Sheila, you will be remembered with great affection by many people from Bridge and beyond.  To me personally you were a lovely Bridge partner and a good friend.

Geoff Smith

I'm very sad to report that Geoff Smith died in February 2021.

Geoff was a master of the Bridge table, always polite and courteous to both his partners and his opponents.  Away from the Bridge table, Geoff taught French at Peter Symonds School/College in Winchester from 1957 until the mid-80's and was fluent in a number of languages.

Geoff was my partner at Badger Farm for nearly twenty years until 2014 when he and his wife Claude moved to Norwich to live near their son Martin.  However, long before my arrival at the Bridge table, 'I.G. Smith' was engraved on every cup and trophy in the County from the early 60's onwards, not just once but time and time again.  Geoff also had great success at national level and, when time allowed, he even played in Bridge tournaments abroad.

In his time Geoff played various bidding systems including Precision and Blue Club.  Over the decades Bridge has changed a lot and has become more and more competitive.  With me Geoff reverted to Acol but he always kept abreast of new conventions and methods.  It was a pleasure for me to partner Geoff as he was a solid and accurate player, had excellent judgement and he always made the Bridge interesting and fun. 

Geoff was renowned for being the best card player in the South of England and invented a superb defence signalling mechanism called Smith Peters which is widely played today.  The hand above shows Smith Peters at its finest.  

East opened 2NT, West raised to 3NT and I was on lead with the South hand.  

I made the obvious lead of a top spade.  Declarer won in hand and played a top diamond.  Geoff ducked and won the continuation.  There was a reason for this.  He didn't know whether to return a spade or switch to a club.  

On the diamonds I played the 7 followed by the 2, a 'Smith Peter' which indicates a desire for a switch rather than to return the suit led.  If I'd held the Ace of hearts instead of the Ace of clubs, I would not have 'petered' as would have wanted a spade return.

Geoff duly switched to the Jack of Clubs at trick 4 and Declarer could no longer make his 3NT, losing the Ace of diamonds and four clubs.  Had Geoff returned a spade (which many others did), Declarer would have taken four diamonds, three hearts and two spades for 9 tricks.

Geoff was particularly talented in defence.  He would bravely duck when others might be afraid to, he always knew what to switch to and I never knew him to keep the wrong card at the end.  A very talented player and a great partner.  RIP Geoff and thanks for all the great games.

Eva Jensen

I’m sad to announce that Eva Jensen died on Thursday 18 January 2018 after being taken ill suddenly the previous weekend.

Eva was a popular member of Badger Farm and had been a regular since its start in 1984, playing in those days with Jenny Smithers.  Jane Bolwell was a best friend of Eva’s and had known her for 28 years.

I think I must have known Eva even longer than that and I will always remember her for her nice manner at the Bridge table and her cheery approach to the game which is exactly what makes Badger Farm such a friendly Bridge Club.

Eva’s regular partner in recent years was Verna Petty and although Eva had not been coming much during the last few months, she was intending to resume again in the spring and sadly that is not now to be.

Dr John Moore

I am very sad to learn of the passing of John Moore on the 1st of October 2018.  John was not a member of Badger Farm as he played at Fawley Bridge Club which also played on Tuesdays but John and I played regularly together when I first played national Bridge in the early 1980s.  We enjoyed considerable success both at county and national level and in 1983 we won the Stars and Masters, a Pairs event held in London and, later that year we won the Sobranie Teams Championship, also in London with Jeremy Baker and Garth Shilstone.

Not only was John a very good Bridge player, he was a true gentleman at the Bridge table, calm and thoughtful and always polite and courteous to the opposition.  Away from Bridge John was a keen athlete and took part in many marathons.

Connie Penfold

I am sad to report that Connie Penfold has passed away aged 92.  Christina Leach-Lewis rang me to say that Connie died on Thursday 10 January 2019.

Connie was a delightful lady.  She was always very jolly and lived life to the full and was here, there and everywhere even when she became less mobile.

I remember Connie coming to one of my seminars in Stockbridge a few years ago when we were looking at action after an opening weak no trump.  Connie overcalled 2♣ on 19 points and a four card suit.  I asked her why she hadn’t doubled but apparently she had never doubled one no trump as she thought it was too unfriendly!

Due to ill health Connie had not been able to get to Badger Farm since the summer of 2017.  I was always hoping she would come again at some point but sadly that wasn’t to be.

Stan Trussler

Andrew Beadle has emailed me to let me know that Stan Trussler sadly died on Wednesday 7 October 2015.  I gather Stan had been unwell for some time.

Andrew and Stan played very nicely together and had been a regular partnership at Badger Farm for many years until a couple of years ago and I think everyone will remember Stan for being a real gentleman at the table, always very polite and courteous.

Phil Philbrick (1918-2015)

Some of our original members will remember having a very enjoyable weekend of 'Bridge with Phil' in Weymouth organised by Phil Philbrick.  Well sadly Phil passed away on Saturday 20 June 2015 aged 96.  Phil ran many Bridge events, particularly in the 80s and 90s and I had the pleasure to run some of these with him, including a couple of Christmas and New Years in Gibraltar.  Phil was charismatic and an archetypal sergeant major, running his events with military precision.  I will miss his good sense of humour as Phil always aimed to make the Bridge friendly and fun.

Betty Weeks

I am sad to report that Betty Weeks died on 4th April 2015. Betty was 94 and had been a member of Badger Farm until she stopped playing a few years ago.  

I had personally known Betty since 1980 when I first started playing Club Bridge in Winchester and played Bridge with Betty many times.  Betty loved her Bridge which provided her with many decades of enjoyment and many friends.  She was a good spirited player and it was a shame when she had to give it up.

Juliet Edwards

Juliet Edwards sadly passed away on 16th January 2015.

Juliet had been a member of Badger Farm for around 25 years, nearly always partnering Jean White.   Jean and Juliet played well together and were a composed and thoughtful partnership but at the same time they were always polite and friendly to their opponents which is exactly what Badger Farm is all about.  We will miss Juliet's presence at Badger Farm.