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11th Jun 2024 14:52 BST
1st Feb 2024 10:45 GMT

Agenda for the No Fear Bridge Club AGM 

8th February 2024 at 9:15

  1. Apologies: 
  2. Approval of 2022 Minutes
  3. Chairman’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report 
  5. Subscriptions and fees for 2024/25
  6. Election of Committee
  7. Any other business
Learn Bridge
Bridge keeps your mind fresh and active

Certain mental exercises can offset some of the expected decline in older adults' thinking skills. They show promise for maintaining cognitive abilities needed to do everyday tasks such as shopping, making meals and handling finances, according to a new study. The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Dec. 20, 2006, Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that some of the benefits of short-term cognitive training persisted for as long as five years.

Beyond middle age, people worry about their mental sharpness getting 'rusty.' This study offers hope that cognitive training may be useful," notes Richard Suzman, Ph.D. ".. relatively brief targeted cognitive exercises can produce durable changes in the skills taught.

Health Benefits

Want to stay healthy?  Play Bridge!

A study by a University of California-Berkeley researcher indicates that playing Contract Bridge leaves people with higher numbers of immune cells. This helps them fight off disease more effectively.

Read the article published on the BBC website

Bridge delays Dementia

Many people believe that learning and playing Bridge can defer the onset of Dementia and also reduce its impact in the early stages once it has started to develop. It is not claimed to be a panacea: Dementia that arises from causes other than merely aging, as well all its forms in their advanced stages need more formal methods of treatment.

Mindgames such as crosswords and Suduku all have some benefit – However as a preventative Bridge is unique

This is because of the elements of:

  • personal and social contact
  • numeracy
  • strategy
  • logic

Individually and in combination these all contribute to the maintenance of mental agility.

Most importantly all these aspects can be enjoyed at what ever level of intensity you prefer.

Bridge is also an extremely inexpensive pass time as only a table and a pack of cards are required.

Because Bridge focuses on peoples' minds and how they work effectively players are respected for their playing ability regardless of gender, race creed and social background.

Download details of  Bridge Lessons starting in September

Social Benefits

The game of Bridge opens up a wealth of new opportunities, both during the day and at night, to meet other like minded people.

  • Bridge offers genuine company with endless pleasure, with a bit of exasperation at times.
  • Bridge makes you think, sometimes for hours after the game has finished
  • Bridge interests both the older and younger generations alike.
  • Bridge players are not interested in a person’s social or ethnic background or any of the prejudices that we all encounter occasionally. All that matters is the game itself and the pleasure or challenge that it presents.
  • Bridge is one of the few pass times where a person unknown may arrive at the start of a game unaccompanied and if at all possible a partner to play with will be found.

So, get in touch with Bedford No Fear Bridge and start playing now!

Long Working Hours

The BBC Reported the results of research undertaken by a team on Finnish Academics on the link between long working hours and the appearance of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.

2214 Civil servants were assessed for the effects of long working hours over a 5 year period.

It was found that Alzheimer type symptoms were displayed with a loss of some short term memory, problems with reasoning, and difficulty with word recall, where long hours (55+hours per week) were worked.

Read the full academic report

Is this a problem for UK? – Read on and visit our page entitled "Work life balance"


UK working week – extract of report from the European Industrial Relations Observatory Online

Survey of Working Hours throughout the Entire 27 EC Countries.

The report shows what has been the British experience for nearly a century.- that the UK has the longest working week of any West European Country.


The detailed figures for 2007 are as follows (the ranking is in parenthesis with some interesting country comparisons) :-


Collective Bargaining Agreed Hours per Working Week

UK – 37.3 hours (3rd shortest -Denmark 37, France 35, Bulgaria/Estonia 40)


Actual Working Hours per Working Week

UK – 41.4 hours (3rd longest – Bulgaria 41.7, Estonia 40.7, Spain 39, Fr. 37.7)


Statutory Working Week

UK – 48 hours (longest, but shared by many others, Bulgaria/Estonia 40)


Statutory Maximum Hours per Working Day

UK 13 hours (one of longest though several the same,Bulgaria/Estonia 8, Fr 10)


Collective Bargain Agreed Hours for Civil Service

UK 36 hours ( 4th shortest, though an average, Inland Revenue 41-42, Bulgaria/Estonia 40, France 35,Italy 32.9!!

The figures confirm what has been known for many years.

  1. The UK has some of the longest working hours in the western world.
  2. The difference between agreed working hours and actual is a cultural matter. Almost certainly a covert way of converting some standard pay to overtime pay to increase the actual weekly pay packet. This is connived at by UK management and the Trade Unions. By contrast foreign employers in the UK (Japanese, South Korean etc) apply annualised hours with a guaranteed weekly wage. Actual working hours are “flexed”to meet seasonal production needs.
  3. The long hours worked in the UK will have a massive impact on Work/Life Balance. By contrast the more evenly applied approach of foreign employers must be beneficial. However I have not investigated whether any research has been undertaken to test this.
  4. The Statutory Rules on working hours seem to enshrine the subterfuge on pay rates/hours that UK management and the work force seem indulge in
  5. The figures on the Civil Service make it tempting to draw the conclusion
  6. that they make sure that they work reasonable hours. However see the other appendix entitled “Long Working Hours and Alzheimer’s that seems to refute this.
Worklife Balance

There is a view held by many that too much focus on work can have a bad effect on on our mental well being. This is particularly the case where our work consists largely of mental effort in one area or on one subject.

The problem has been aggravated by the heavy use of computers as a work tool. All too often there is a tendency to work through a lunch break to complete a task on a computer or, to use the modern language, ”workstation”

This pattern of behaviour can actually be counter productive as has been shown by some research.

Bedford No Fear Bridge Club will be starting an Introductory Bridge course in September at Wixhams