First of all thanks to all the members of the committee for the various tasks they undertake throughout the year and their help in the organisation of regular events etc. Their work behind the scenes and sharing the jobs around helps to ensure the smooth running of the club. Special thanks once again to John Dobson for his efficient scoring and maintenance of the website.
Three committee meetings have been held over the past year since the last AGM.
Following decisions taken at those meetings it was decided that instead of the Spring buffet, which had become somewhat expensive, we would have a hot menu instead and on the whole this seemed to be welcomed by the members. It was still a convivial evening and meant that the cost was not prohibitive.
It was agreed that we would mark the occasion of the club's 40th anniversary by having a special meal in Spring 2016 and Marilyn Dexter and Jacqueline Price agreed to look into arranging this with the help of our Treasurer. Many thanks go them and I am pleased to say that the event will be going ahead at Auckland Castle on 28th April. It was also decided that a new trophy be awarded to the pair who finished top on the club night nearest to the date of the founding of the club (April 8th) except for 2016 when it would be one week before the anniversary dinner. Thanks to Brian Myers who organised the purchase of the trophy. In future this would be presented at the Spring Meal, rather than at the Presentation Evening in November.
David Latner, who had been a member of the club when it was first founded and who had also been a stalwart and officer of the club for many years, was invited as guest of honour. Unfortunately, owing to advancing years and ill health he declined and so it was decided to invite Val Gibson, Chair of the North East Bridge Association and her husband to be guests of honour and present the trophy.
Members should be assured that special permission has been negotiated so that members will be able to park their cars in the Castle grounds on the night.
Three events were held, a Spring Meal, the Presentation Night and the Christmas Party. These were all well attended and enjoyed by those who were there. Once again a host system operated so that all members could attend with or without a partner. Thanks to Marilyn who acted in this capacity at the Presentation Evening.
The committee acknowledged that aggregate scoring at social events had proved problematical. At recent events some wrong pairs had claimed prizes owing to errors which occurred from their calculation of the net score. To try and alleviate this, at the next event scorecards were checked by members of the committee but despite this, it later transpired that a non vulnerable slam had been scored as vulnerable and this again led to prizes being awarded to the wrong pair. It was agreed that in future we would try and use computerised scoring on the night using Match Points. This worked at the prize giving dinner and results were available within minutes of the end of play.
The Christmas party once again was a purely social event and as in 2014 scores were not uploaded to the EBU so that there could be elements of party bridge without affecting members' NGS ratings. Many thanks to all those who attended for making this a convivial evening and for providing an excellent buffet.
Before leaving the topic of the social events thanks must go to the catering staff at the Golf Club for the quality of the Spring Buffet and Presentation Evening carvery both of which were excellent.
Thanks also to Jane and Marilyn for the fun and games at the Christmas Party and to all the members who attended for a truly marvellous buffet. Thanks also to Peter and Claudette for sourcing the wine and winners’ prizes.
Members’ Participation in Local and National Events
Over the past year BABC participated in 5 evenings of the EBU Simultaneous Pairs events.
We enjoyed a great deal of success in these competitions and our top Pairs nationally were:
· Stratified Spring Pairs 12th March 2015 – Marilyn Dexter and Jacqueline Price - 13th nationally with 61.44% and 2nd in Band B (228 pairs)
· EBU Spring Pairs 7th May 2014 – Audrey Bainbridge and Barbara Boothroyd - 64.1% - 46th nationally with 61.47% (752 pairs)
· EBU Summer Pairs 30th July 2014 – Malcolm Dawson and Michael Crowe - 63.06% - 15th nationally (465 pairs)
· EBU Autumn Pairs 10th September 2014 – Malcolm Dawson and Michael Crowe - 58.35% - 47th nationally (372 pairs)
· British Winter Pairs 7th January 2015 – John Dobson and Iain Gordon - 3rd nationally – 71.30% (504 pairs)
In the annual EBU Master Points awards annual lists Malcolm Dawson finished 4th on the Level 4 leader board and Joan Crompton 2nd at Level 5 within the NEBA area.
Other club members took part in the NEBA, Harrogate, Scarborough and Westmorland Congresses over the course of the year.
In 2015 Bishop Auckland entered a team in the Kempson Cup competition and although they were defeated heavily by Clive Owen's team in Round 1, and were subsequently entered into the Plate competition where they reached the final, eventually losing to Val Gibson's team. Team members were Malcolm Dawson, John Dobson, Roger Carpenter, Audrey Bainbridge, John Little and Brian Myers.
Dave and Maggie Thompson, who play together at Durham but with other partners at Bishop came sixth at the NEBA Senior Pairs event in September and where they were presented with the NGS prize.
Maggie also took third place at the Gazette Cup held at Darlington in September partnered by Joan Crompton, narrowly finishing above her husband who together with Audrey Bainbridge came 7th at the same event.
Dave, Maggie and Joan together with John Dobson finished 6th in the Niman-Israel Cup in January. This competition involves each player partnering the other three for one of the three sets of boards which are played.
Brian Myers and Denise Barham-Hall who are a regular partnership at Darlington, finished 8th in the Mixed Pairs event at the 2016 Harrogate Congress where Louise Badcock and Audrey Bainbridge finished 4th in the Open Pairs, only 0.23% behind Jason Hackett, one of the international Hackett twins who was partnered by Roger O'Shea.
Other club members also took part in the Harrogate, Scarborough, Westmorland and NEBA Congresses.
Congratulations to the winners of the various Club trophies:
- Master Points Trophy – Roger Carpenter,
- Carpenter Bowl – John Dobson/Iain Gordon
- Latner Trophy – Claudette Whitton/Peter Whitton
- Walker Bowl – John Dobson/Iain Gordon
The highest average scoring partnership in 2014/15 was Roger Carpenter/Peter Lisle with 57.66% and the best individual performance was Peter Lisle with that score.
We have welcomed several new members to the club over the past year and membership, although relatively small, has remained stable as we have inevitably said goodbye to others for various reasons.
Finally my thanks to the golf club for allowing us to play Bridge in a very welcoming environment.
M Dawson – AGM MARCH 2016