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Look out for cafe bridge events, usually playing around 25 hands in five different cafes. It's a great way of enjoying social bridge combined with coffee/tea or something stronger as well as lunch on your way round. In recent years the OBA has run one such event in May in Henley and the Abingdon Bridge Club has run one in October in Abingdon.
In 2017 and 2018 the County ran the Oxford Festival of Bridge offering a 4-day programme with seminars, friendly bridge sessions, a Cafe Bridge event around Oxford and other social events such as going to a museum or enjoying tea/coffee at a local venue. Whilst the county has no plans to repeat this in 2019 it will be considered again in 2020. Meanwhile if a club would like to run such an event in order to attract existing bridge players who have not so far ventured into club bridge we now have useful experience which we would be happy to share - perhaps a one day event might be within your compass even if four days requires rather a lot of organisation!
This was the fifth year of this event, based at the Leander Club in Henley.It was started by Barbara and Peter Jordan when Barbara was the county social representative, and this year was run by Jax Hovell and Joan Bennett. It continues to be VERY popular, and always fills up to its 60 pairs with a waiting list. This year it was yet another lovely day, the scoring was done incredibly efficiently by Victor Lesk of BriAn bridge and the winners were NS David and Marilyn Jones, EW John and Annette Chamberlain. £700 each was donated to MS Research and the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children, both organisers having an involvement with those charities. The full results can be seen on Wallingford BC site.
This event took place in wonderful autumn weather, with 60 pairs taking part, and bridge played at five venues. The base for start and finish was Cosener's House (pictured), which provided a lovely lunch to those who 'landed there', although report suggested that everyone enjoyed their lunches. The overall winners were Howard Arnes and Bridget Watson. Additional NS winners were Joe Eskinaz & Alexis Cochrane, with EW won by Peter & Suzanne Litchfield. Over £1,300 was raised for Flexicare which provides help for the whole family where there is a member with a disability. It was run, as usual, by Kevin and Ruth Carter, although this year, Ruth retired her bicyle.