Jim Proctor, whose 88th birthday would have been on 27th November. Jim Proctor was the longest serving member of the EBU Tournament Directors' panel at the time of his retirement in 2016. He joined the panel in 1974, and had held the top rank of National Tournament Director for several decades. At the Summer Meeting in 2016 he was made a Life Member of the EBU for his services. Gordon Rainsford, Chief Tournament Director, wrote at the time of his retirement: "I’m very sorry to see Jim go. He’s been on the EBU TD panel for more than four decades and every TD who has ever worked with him has learned a huge amount from his hard work, attention to detail, knowledge of the Laws of Bridge and command of movements. I hope his retirement will give him time to play more bridge!" Jim was interviewed for the October 2015 issue of English Bridge during the Summer Meeting in Brighton, in preparation for his 80th birthday, which he spent directing at Porthcawl Bridge Congress. That interview can be read here.
In July 2016 Jim received a commendation from the Yorkshire CBA. This was presented at the Scarborough Summer Congress - Jim was playing in the congress for the first time in many years having previous been chief TD at the event. Jim wrote this biography in March 2015 when he was still active on the EBU panel of TDs. "Jim was born in Wakefield in 1935 but was brought up in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, before it became a 'new town'. He was educated at Skelmersdale Methodist School, Ormskirk Grammar School and St John's College, Cambridge where he read mathematics. His first job was computer programmer in the civil service at Cheltenham. He drifted in to bridge tournament directing, and became a 'B' in 1974, and 'A' in 1976 and a 'National' in 1982. Tournament directing conflicted with work so he resigned from the civil service in 1978. He has lived in Scarborough since 1987 and is still enjoying tournament directing in his late 70s."
EBU Chief TD Gordon Rainsford, who interviewed Jim for English Bridge on the occasion of his 80th birthday, said “This is very sad news. In common with all other EBU TDs who worked with Jim, I learned a huge amount from him as well as enjoying my games partnering him at the Summer Meeting in Eastbourne.” We extend our sympathy to Jim's partner Kevin and all his friends around the country.
David Dickson of Avenue Bridge Club remembers Jim:
"Following his retirement from the EBU, Jim frequently boarded a train (railways being one of Jim’s passions) from Scarborough to Brighton. Invariably a woolly hat, sweater and Covid mask (worn round the chin), would arrive at The Avenue Bridge Club in Hove, and underneath was Jim - a polite likeable friendly gentleman ready for action at the rubber bridge table.
Jim will be remembered for a few of his bridge eccentricities – he invariably led a trump at trick1; he invariably commented after a failure to protect ‘no protection’ in a broad Northern accent; latterly he frequently ‘made a claim’ by throwing all 13 of his cards on the table and left it to others to gauge the validity of the claim.
Following the rubber bridge, Jim would eat the same dish, at the same Curry house, at the same table.
For as long as we play Rubber Bridge, Jim will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all his friends at The Avenue Bridge Club."