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Obituaries
Pip Whitehouse 1932 - 2024
Pip Whitehouse 1932 - 2024

We have been informed that Pip sadly passed away recently.  Pip first represented Warwickshire as a Bridge player at the age of 18.  Pip studied at Saltley Grammar school and went on to Birmingham University.  Following University, Pip returned to Saltley Grammar School as a teacher where he stayed until he took early retirement.  However, retirement was not to last for long, as Pip was persuaded to return to teaching at Solihull School.  Pip was renowned for his immaculate blackboard writing.  

As well as Bridge, Pip enjoyed Rugby – playing in his younger days for Saltley Old Boys, and Golf, where he is described as a very talented player, playing off a handicap of 1.

Pip was known to many of us as a Bridge player.  From the age of 18 he represented Warwickshire at the highest level; it was once reported that Pip went on to represent the County well into his 80s – surely a record!  Pip also served on the Warwickshire Executive Committee (then Council) until 2009, when he retired from his role as Tournament Secretary. 

A gifted player and a stalwart figure in Warwickshire Bridge for many decades, Pip certainly deserves to take his seat at the Eternal Bridge Table. 

 

Jayne Crump 1962-2023
Jayne Crump 1962-2023

It is with deepest sadness that we report the death of Jayne Crump.  Jayne passed away peacefully at the Marie Curie Hospice on 15 June 2023.

Jayne was renowned nationally, if not further, for her outstanding chef skills (particularly cakes!), management of hospitality and catering at West Midlands Bridge Club for over 30 years, and her jovial personality; nothing was too much trouble for Jayne, who will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure and privilege to meet her.

Click here for the Funeral Notice and Flowers/Donations Page
 

John Pyner 1947-2022
John Pyner 1947-2022

It is with deepest sadness that we report the death of John Pyner.

John sadly passed away on April 2 2022 having contracted pneumonia after a recent operation.

Born on 7 January 1947, John spent his early life in Ilford, Essex, along with younger sister Ann and late brother Keith.  He attended Chigwell School, an education which ignited two of his life-long interests: cricket and bridge.  John attended Nottingham University and studied Archaeology  & Classics, graduating with a degree in Classics in 1969.  Despite his love of all things classical, John spent most of his career working in Information Technology, initially at Plessey in Nottingham & Banbury followed by a move to Sandvik in Coventry. 

John moved to Coventry in the mid-70s where his love of both cricket and bridge continued to grow.  In 1975 he presented himself at Coventry Bridge Club in Spon Street and immediately found partners and entered events.  It did not take him long to become an active member of the Committee and to take on Tournament Directing. 

John was asked to join a bridge team in Coventry Bridge League, Wyken, which he was quick to accept when he knew they were members of the Wyken Working Men's Club.  The team was Eddie Kilmurray, Lyn Hilton, brothers Harry & Fred Tutching and Colin & Malcolm Dean; latterly joined by Mike Meakin and Alan Cooper.

Not long after John’s move to Coventry it became possible to earn Green Points (brownie points for doing well in the game of bridge) from special events, and Warwickshire County Bridge Association ran such an event in the King's Norton area which attracted 132 tables (528 players).  John excelled himself in the running of this event, which was the prelude to him becoming a Tournament Director for the English Bridge Union (EBU) in 1981.

Beginning his National Tournament Directing career in 1981, John rose through the ranks to become a European International Tournament Director in 2001 and an EBU National Tournament Director (highest rank below Chief) in 2005. 

During this time, John ran with excellence and professionalism countless local, regional, national and international bridge events involving tens of thousands of players.  John’s knowledge of movements, scoring, laws and regulations was outstanding and players and colleagues had the utmost respect for John’s stewardship. 

Gordon Rainsford, EBU Chief Executive and Chief Tournament Director, writes of John:

John was a hard-working quiet and friendly TD who was an asset to every TD team he was a part of, with the sense of calm he always brought to every event.  For many years he was a stalwart of the Spring Foursomes, where he kept the results notice boards in perfect order with his immaculate hand-writing.  We are fortunate that printed output had arrived by the time he stood down, as he would have been hard to replace!  I remember the first Corwen Trophy I was in charge of, when we had terrible problems with the movement of lines (players).  John sat with me until 2am in the morning, calm and uncomplaining, helping to work through the possibilities until we found the solution.”

As well as a passion and expertise for Tournament Directing, John was also a keen player and administrator of the game of bridge.  Joining the Warwickshire Contract Bridge Association Committee in June 1980, he was to serve for some 37 years.  During this time John held a number of roles including Vice-Chairman 2000-2002, Chairman 2002-2004, EBU Shareholder (representing Warwickshire and reporting to the Committee) 2004 until 2014, along with a number of sub-committee appointments. 

Joining the Coventry Bridge Club committee soon after his move to the area in 1975, John served for nearly 50 years.  Most notably for his role as Coventry’s Chief Tournament Director, John was also known to turn his hand to anything that needed attention.  Elayne Meakin recounts memories of the times John had to stand in for the organiser of an event, The Three Spires, which involved providing meals for some 30 players, as well as bridge!

John also led tournament directing training courses both locally and for the EBU.  It is likely that a large number of our current club and county tournament directors will have benefited from John’s tuition, guidance, patience, and support at some point over the years.   

Many will also know John for his work with bridge break/holiday organisers where he, with Maggs, were part of the team responsible for running bridge sessions, teaching, and hosting.

It was through bridge and his move to Coventry that John met, at the bridge table, his wife, Maggs, and they were married in 2004, with their very good friends Mike & Elayne Meakin at their side.  John and Maggs also worked together in Maggs’ business for a short time following his ‘official’ retirement.  In 2017 John & Maggs moved to Norfolk, a county to which his family had moved during his teenage years and one which he came to very much love. 

John is loved and respected by all who knew him, especially his bridge partners, and some of their memories include: 

- He never become angry with his bridge partner and was known to have an interesting comment to hand, “bad luck partner”, being his main reaction to an atrocity he had just witnessed from his central hand opponent ie, his partner! 

- Going away with John was always a pleasure.  He would carefully research the area, where to stay, where to eat, and what to see when there was no bridge being played.  If we were ever out with John and we lost him, we always knew the first place to look was the second-hand bookshops!  Sure enough, there he was with a sheepish look and a bag of books he was trying to conceal! 

- There was one occasion when on the way back from the Harrogate Congress it was suggested, and collectively agreed to be a good idea, that we go the scenic route along the Pennines.  No sooner was it suggested than John was busy planning the route and despite realising that it was going to take forever to get home, he just got on with the directions; John being too nice and caring to spoil everyone’s fun… Although, if we had known how long it was going to take we might have agreed to go the direct route home! 

- John’s main fault was that he was hopeless with gossip!  We always knew when he had some juicy titbit to add to the discussion but ever the gentleman, discretion was always maintained – which we found annoying, but admirable. 

A true gentleman, John was kind, cheerful, funny, thoughtful, very intelligent, and welcoming, he always put others first.  He was never seen to lose his cool and always maintained a level head in moments of crisis. 

John will be sorely missed by his wife, Maggs, sister, Ann, his bridge partners, and all who had the pleasure and privilege to know him.  To you all, we send our sincerely and heartfelt condolences.

As he takes his seat at the Eternal Bridge Table, and the Eternal Tournament Directors’ Table, we bid John a loving farewell; until we meet again, our friend.

 


With appreciation to John’s family, friends, and colleagues,
who were able to contribute to this, thank you.


 

An Online Tribute Page in memory of John may be found at:

https://johnpyner.muchloved.com

The family has requested no flowers, please, but donations to the British Heart Foundation will be appreciated. 
If you would like to make a donation, please do so via the above Tribute Page.  Thank you.

Ian Hendry (15 February 2021)
Ian Hendry (15 February 2021)

We regret to announce the peaceful passing of Ian Hendry at home on February 15th.  Ian was not only a stalwart member of Arden Bridge Club, but also actively supported Warwickshire CBA player development team in several areas.  He particularly enjoyed his involvement with the Schools MiniBridge programme along with a number of other newcomer events.

We send our sincerest condolences to Ian's family and friends at this sad time.

Paul Loweth - 2021
Paul Loweth - 2021

It is with sadness that we report the death of Paul Loweth.

Paul passed away suddenly on Saturday 2 January 2021.  Paul was a serving member of the County’s Conduct Committee and although the Committee’s services were rarely needed, he was always willing to support and play his part in proceedings.  Paul's inimitable style and charisma will be sorely missed when we return to face-to-face bridge, but as with our bridge friends who have gone before him, we bid him a fond farewell as he takes his place at the eternal bridge table.

Our sincere condolences have been conveyed to Paul's wife and family, and we extend those to his friends.  

Margaret Wort 1936-2020
Margaret Wort 1936-2020

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the death of West Midlands Bridge Club President and Chairman, Margaret Wort.  After suffering a short illness, Margaret passed peacefully away at home on Thursday 10 September 2020.

Margaret spent many hours working on behalf of the Club, joining the Board of Directors in 2003 and becoming Chairman in 2008, a post she held until her death.  In 2015 the Board unanimously agreed to appoint Margaret to the position of President of the Club.  She will be greatly missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing her. Margaret was a popular and regular player in Warwickshire Events.

We send Margaret’s family and friends our sincerest condolences at this very sad time.

It was Margaret’s wish that her funeral with family and close friends only.  So, as she takes her place at the eternal bridge table, we bid her a fond farewell. 

Ian Thompson 1943-2020
Ian Thompson 1943-2020

Ian had been fighting his pancreatic cancer with great fortitude for some time but finally succumbed on 20th August.  He had been a generous and hard-working member of Worcestershire CBA since resuming playing the game around the turn of the century.  His work as Education Officer extended into delivering a variety of teaching experiences both in Worcestershire and beyond, mainly in Warwickshire. 

Ian’s first bridge success in Worcestershire was in winning the Championship Teams in 1967/68 and one of his most recent was winning the same event in 2018/2019 – having won it a further ten times in between.  He also won the Phillipps Heats in 2018/2019 and was in the team leading the First Division of the League in 2019/2020 before Lockdown intervened.  His other successes in the County are too numerous to mention here but can be found on the County Honours Board.  His successes were not confined to Worcestershire, having won the Goodman Cup (Warwickshire’s Championship Teams event) in 1970/71 and 1974/75.  In 1971, partnering John Greenhalgh and representing Warwickshire, he won the Pachabo Cup.  More recently, he won the Warwickshire Pairs League Division A in 2016.  He was a member of the Worcestershire team that won the National Counties Teams of Eight in 2013/14, having won the Dawes Trophy that same year.  He won the Gerard Faulkner Salver in 2005 and, as a result, going on to represent England in the European Seniors Teams Championship in 2006.

Outside of bridge, Ian worked for IBM for many years and, on his “retirement”, turned his considerable talents to IT consultancy work for the NHS.  He was also Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Parenting Project charity. 

Ian had lived in Alcester with Loraine, his wife, for many years.  Our thoughts are with Loraine, his wife, and his daughters, Shona, Hannah and Joanna.  He was a generous and kind friend as well as an excellent and enthusiastic bridge player.   We will miss him.

Source: Worcestershire CBA Website.

Derek Andrews 1928 - 2018
Derek Andrews 1928 - 2018

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Derek Andrews.

Derek passed away at his home on Monday 20 August 2018, following a fall.

He was best known for his unswerving support of his late wife, Yvonne, who devoted over thirty years of service to Bridge in Warwickshire; was a Life Member of the County, and a Dimmie Fleming Award Winner. Derek, with Yvonne, were dedicated supporters of local events long after Yvonne retired from Office, attending almost every event in the Warwickshire calendar.

Following Yvonne’s death in 2016, it was clear to those who knew Derek well, that the loss of his wife and bridge partner was profound, and left a huge chasm in his life. Even so, Derek continued to support the West Midlands E team in Division 3/4 of the Warwickshire league.

Derek continued to play bridge and made some new friends. He was a very thoughtful player, and was always happy to help others through the medium of giving regular lessons. He greatly missed being across the table from, and at times sparring with, Yvonne – even when he was in trouble – but now, taking his seat opposite his beloved Yvonne at the Eternal Bridge Table, their bridge will finally be in perfect harmony with each other for all eternity.

Our sincere condolences go to Derek’s family and friends.