Dinah Stocken was called to the Bar in 1967 and, after a short time as a solicitor, was appointed a District Judge in 1989 and a Recorder in 1994. At that time there were only seven other women at her level of judge out of a total of about two hundred and fifty. Dinah is married to former EBU Chairman Peter Stocken and they have three sons, who are all successful bridge teachers, and a daughter who now only plays very occasionally.
How did you start playing bridge?
My aunt, Alice Bridgewater, was a very good county player, but did not want to teach me from the start and so I learnt at Trinity College, Dublin, where I met Peter: some would say that we played too much to the detriment of our studies! My aunt then continued the teaching process.
How often do you play?
Sadly I play competitively no more than four or five times a year with occasional forays on-line and I do some bridge teaching for my eldest son, Jack. I am looking forward to retirement in 18 months’ time, when I hope to play more often.
What does bridge mean to you?
I love the intellectual challenge and of course it is immensely satisfying when you get it right – rather like golf, which is another hobby and which I also look forward to playing more of later. Apart from that, I am an avid reader and a garden-potterer with my Ipod.
If you could change one thing about bridge, what would it be?
I am glad to see that the EBU is clamping down on bad behaviour at the table and I hope it will continue to do so.
Name up to four people you would invite to your Dream Dinner Party.
Jane Austen, F. E. Smith