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Obituaries
Addis Page 1943 - 2021

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Addis passed away in the early hours of yesterday [Sunday 27 June] at his care home near Guildford. He had been taken to hospital with what was diagnosed as untreatable double pneumonia, and was returned to his care home for his last few days.

Most of us are aware that Addis was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease several years ago, an inevitably degenerative condition against which he struggled manfully, both bridge-wise and socially. When it became clear that he couldn't safely continue to live alone, he moved to a care home close to elder son Richard in early 2019.

Bridge was a major part of Addis's life, as both player and administrator. He and I first met over a card table at the Dorney whist club and, when Burnham Bridge Club was formed in the 1980's, we were founder members. Our first success in the bridge world was as Burnham Pairs Champions in 1986/87!

Addis hugely enjoyed his bridge, both at club, county, and national level, and kept the trophy-engraver busy particularly in Berks & Bucks events, winning the Rex Avery County Pairs, the Swiss Pairs [twice], and the Mixed Pairs [twice]. At the national level, we were regular visitors at the main EBU Summer Festival in Brighton, supporting both the EBU and the local brewery in equal measure. He was a Life Member of both Burnham Bridge Club and Berks & Bucks CBA.

But Addis gave much back to the bridge world. He served as Burnham Chairman for several years, Berks & Bucks Chairman for four years, and sat on the EBU's Tournament Committee for some 15 years. He was delighted to be asked to serve as the non-playing captain of the Berks & Bucks Tollemache team in 2010.

Addis's family would like to express their tremendous gratitude to those of his bridge-playing friends who went the extra mile in supporting him, particularly in the latter years, when his deteriorating condition meant he could often be very confused. I'll never forget my last visit to the care home, just pre-Covid, when he was extremely confused, and any sensible conversation was impossible. But I started talking about bridge events which I knew had been particularly notable for Addis, and the transformation in him was incredible. I'd obviously penetrated deep into his memory banks, he had a beer and a glass of wine and, by the end of the lunch, he was laughing and joking with us. That's a memory that will stay with me forever.

This is a bridge club website, so I've concentrated on bridge-related aspects of Addis's life but, as many of you will know, he was an assiduous socialiser, particularly when it came to dinner parties. Even in his latter years of living alone, he still thought nothing of catering for a dozen dinner-guests.

So, goodbye old friend, lost but never forgotten.

Nigel Lancaster

Stephen Gore, 1941 - 2020

Stephen's funeral took place today, Tuesday 22nd, and can be followed via the link on the Berks & Bucks website.

It's with great sadness that we have to report that Steve passed away at around 10:00am at Wexham Park Hospital yesterday [Monday]. It's come as a great shock, as I don't think many of us realised that he'd been ill for a while - so much for the Covid-enforced social distancing we're all enduring in these times.

We've been in touch with Steve's sister Valerie, who tells us that she's found the outpouring of fond sympathy from Steve's countless friends in the bridge community to be very comforting.

Steve graduated in History at Leeds University in 1962, and it may be during his under-graduate years that he took up bridge. But bridge aside, Steve came from an avid card-playing family, Solo and Partnership Whist being games that were taken very seriously. In latter years, Steve enjoyed inculcating family grandchildren into the fold via Knockout Whist.

Another great interest of Steve's were quizzes of various forms, whether in newspapers, on radio, or on television. His general knowledge was legendary, and he won the BBC Brain of Britain competition in 1986. It was the norm at various congresses that we mere mortals among the regular attendees would get as far as we could with cryptic and general knowledge crosswords before seeking out Steve to apply the finishing touches [which he almost always did!].

I'm sure I'm speaking for the many Burnham players who were fortunate enough to count Steve as a partner and friend when I say he will be very sorely missed.

Kevin Elstow

We're sad to report the death of Kevin in hospital on 23 December. He had been a frequent visitor to Burnham, particularly on teams evenings.

Anders Wallen

Many of our members will already be aware that Anders passed away in hospital on 5th March, following a severely debilitating stroke the previous week. In his time as a Burnham member, Anders had captained one of our league-of-8 teams, and of course he had served as both Treasurer and Chairman of Berks & Bucks CBA.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Eva and her family.

Len Handley
Len Handley

For those members who would like to pay their last respects, Len Handley's funeral will be at 11:00am on Monday 23 September at Amersham Crematorium, and afterwards at The Hit and Miss pub.

We asked long-time friend and bridge-partner Chris Burley whether we would kindly let us have his reminiscences:

I first met Len in 1955 when I joined the Harrow bridge club, where he was already a well-established and successful member. His wife Elizabeth was also a prominent member of the club, where they won many events and had a team in the Harrow League, later to become the Middlesex League. I gave up playing bridge when I got married, but kept in touch with Len, who moved to Tunbridge Wells. He was again a successful member of the bridge club, and served for many years as secretary of the Kent County Bridge Association.

Later Len moved to Henley, and played for Wycombe in the Berks & Bucks league-of-8, whose team won the first division for several years in the 1980's and early 1990's. When one of their team-of-4 quartet, David Small, left the area,  Len knew by then that I had retired and was living in Beaconsfied, and persuaded me to take up bridge again. Len and I had a very happy partnership for many years, our successes including the B&B championship pairs twice and the county teams knock-out.

Sadly, Wycombe Bridge Club closed in the 1990's, but the four of us [Colin Harrison, Robin Gardner, Len, and I] transferred our affections to Burnham, where Len continued to play until four years ago. When advancing years forced Len to move to a residential care home, Steve Gore, David Beever, Graham Dickens, my wife Delia, and myself would visit him to play bridge once a month. We were able to celebrate his ninetieth birthday with him last January.Chris

Alan Boothroyd - In Memoriam
Alan Boothroyd - In Memoriam

Alan died suddenly and unexpectedly at home on Sunday 20th January.  Alan has been a longstanding member of Burnham and up until this season has always been a keen and helpful member of our League of 8 teams.  Bridge was important to Alan and also to Sandra, because it enabled Alan to keep up an independent social life, enabling him to get out, meet friends and talk with them as well as play bridge to a high standard.

He will be sorely missed not only for his bridge skills but for his composure and ability to cope with adversity.

The funeral takes place at 2:00 p.m. on February 13th at Slough Crematorium, and at SBBC afterwards, members invited.

Robin Gardiner (R.I.P.)