Summertown Bridge Club celebrated its 20 year anniversary in 2012, and we now reflect on how this initiative to have a friendly bridge club for younger players in Oxford has become the large, still friendly, successful club of which we all enjoy membership today!
Few of our current members will be acquainted with Chris and Doreen Onslow, who had 'played a bit of bridge at university' and wanted to improve upon this in a relaxed environment. At the time, Chris was the Manager of the former Douglas Bader Sports Centre and also the Head of Sport at St Edward's School, so the venue for a new club was no problem!
Eight people convened in the large exercise hall on the first floor of the sports centre in January 1992. They bought two tables and some playing cards and the only person at that first session, who is still a member of the club, was Sue Campbell (then Sue Anslow.) Sue played then, and for many years, with Stuart Coltman and other founder members who were present were Phil Blanchard, Henry (?) and an unusual French woman called Monique of "didn't I play zat well!" fame. Sue was appointed 'Chairman', Chris Onslow 'Treasurer' and Doreen 'Secretary!' None of them had much idea about bridge but all returned home full of good cheer and with no concept of what they had started.
In the regular Monday Duplicate session on 17 November 2003 Mark Hannon and Sean Terry set a new all-time club record with their score of 81.25%. This beat the previous record set a couple of years previously by about 5%! The record is all the more remarkable as Mark was directing on that evening, it being only the second time he had ever directed. (It is often said that directing is enough of a distraction to cost, on average, some five percentage points.) For the record, Mark and Sean played 20 boards of which 13 were outright tops.
Children in Need
SBC has a history of raising very large sums for the Children in Need charity. For a number of years we raised more than any other bridge club in the country. We probably still raise more than any other club if reckoned on a per capita basis. We can all be proud of being part of such a generous club. In recent years we have been helped by Maison Francaise waiving the cost of rent on our Children in Need night and would like to express our gratitude to them. Click here to see the total donations between 2002 and 2018.