Bridge Report

The exciting things that one gets invited to as Chair of the Bridge Section … Val and I spent a day last week at the Surrey County Bridge Association Chairman’s meeting. Although many of their concerns are not relevant to Roehampton Club, such as falling membership numbers and how to counter this, they do have some concerns that we share.

One topic was relevant to us at Roehampton – how to encourage more learner bridge players into playing Duplicate, through Gentle Duplicate sessions, while persuading those who have played for a while in the Gentle Duplicate sessions to move on into the regular Club sessions. It is quite intimidating for ‘novices’ to turn up to a session they think is for beginners to find it full of very seasoned players.

We are trying to address this problem by promoting Welcome Wednesdays. These are the first Wednesday of the month, so please, regular Thursday players, do come and give the Club Duplicate sessions a go. And to all those who consider themselves inexperienced, please come along – I promise you won’t be intimidated, it will be a lot of fun.

Last Monday we held our handicap Pairs Trophy. As far as the room was concerned we played a regular Duplicate session but the results were amended at the end according to the NGS pair ranking.

Many congratulations to Vera Beim and Susan Sinclair for winning the regular session by such a margin that they stayed on top once the results were adjusted.

Congratulations also to Corinna Evers and Simon Lucas for coming second.


Roehampton have played one Club match against Royal Wimbledon Golf Club (RWGC) this week.

It was very closely contested with some very interesting hands. Despite our best efforts RWGC came out on top by 7 IMPS. Well played to Jennifer Greenwood, Charles Russell, Linda Major, Mikaela Parker, Val Lanceley, Caroline Jenkins, Sue Norgate and Kate Blake. It was a very good evening. RW were excellent company. We played 24 boards straight through and finished the evening with a lovely supper and a couple of bottles of wine to drown our sorrows.

In the London Business House League there was a good win for the Hearts team, and a narrow loss for the Diamond team. As Ralph Evers, Captain of the Diamonds team, reported: ‘The opposition got off to a flying start with 2 slams and a double game swing, and we were well behind at half time. But we recovered well in the second half with a slam and a 5 down doubled penalty. We ended just 6 imps down.’

The Surrey Tennis League have played two matches, winning one by 4 Imps and losing one by 1 Imp – both very close.

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Norrie Buxton lost her fight with cancer and died last Friday afternoon. Norrie was a popular Member of the Bridge Section. A very good bridge player who, though fiercely competitive, still had time to help and encourage those less experienced than herself. Norrie will be very much missed.

I asked her good friend Paul Mendelson to write a few words:

‘Former Bridge Captain and Chairman, Elizabeth Hallifax, perhaps put it best when she described Norrie as a “ship in full sail”. She was a dedicated golfer and bridge player, who played with many of the greats, contributing generously to charities along the way. Only a few weeks ago, Zia Mahmoud sent her a video message, saying the world of bridge needed her and she was to get better immediately!

With Kate Manners, she won the National Ladies Pairs as well as numerous simultaneous pairs, county pairs and Cafe Bridge events. I asked her to supervise bridge aboard the Swan Hellenic ships and she and they fell in love: the passengers with a lady who could arrange friendly bridge all day and still be socialising into the early hours; Norrie and her husband, Tim, with the array of destinations and experiences they encountered along the way. When she became ill, she endured the pain, boredom and humiliation with a sanguine calm, living her life to the full until the end.

Never shy of expressing her opinion, the bridge room has lost one of its great characters. For me, I miss her as a wonderfully relaxed and enthusiastic bridge partner but, above all, as a scrupulously loyal friend who never, ever let me down.’ – PSM


Kate Blake | Bridge Chair