Sally Bugden

I was born in 1958 in Shepherds Bush, West London where I lived happily with my family and several dozen pet animals until I left grammar school in 1976. I didn’t want to go to university and started working at the BBC, our local employer, until I raised enough money to go to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and train as a stage manager. I had the great pleasure of stage managing my fellow students including Jenny Seagrove, Amanda Redman and Daniel Day Lewis. The great thing about theatre is that every one works together as a team, you are all dependent on each other for the success of the show - I have emulated this method of working ever since.

I met my first husband in 1980 and had twin daughters. The marriage was short-lived and before I knew it I was a single mum with the responsibilities of bringing up babies and earning a living. In 1985 I went to City University and did a few postgraduate courses on marketing the arts and then found myself a job as the public relations officer for the British Theatre Association - home of the nation’s theatre library, publisher of Drama magazine and a theatre training organisation with a membership that ranged from all the television companies to many small amateur theatres, individual actors, directors, academics and students. I became director of the organisation after a few years and I fought the then Conservative government when it removed all our funding. During this period I was approached by the recently merged firm of chartered accountants Baker Tilly who asked me to join them as their director of marketing, they made a single mother an offer she couldn’t refuse and I took up my post!

At Baker Tilly I was in at the beginning and had the great job of constructing a national marketing department, with all the staffing and services it required. It was the late 1980s when marketing for professional practices of both chartered accountants and lawyers was developing rapidly and I became a founder member of the Professional Services Marketing Group. In 1991 I gave up going out to work and began living in Sussex with my new partner and our children from our previous marriages. During my early years with my newly extended family I became a volunteer for a parents’ telephone help line and, as well as being a trained listener, I also became involved with the management of the organisation and registered it as a charity.

In 1995 I started taking bridge lessons, so that I could play bridge with my husband. My first teacher, persuaded me and my fellow students to go to the local bridge club. I still remember the excitement and apprehension - hence my commitment to developing friendly bridge clubs through our partner teacher project and Best Behaviour at Bridge.

In 1998 I began an MA in Information Studies at Brighton University. In 2000, I was invited to join the university’s academic team and lecture in information seeking, information sources and marketing to both under and post graduates. I am also a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust and an occasional marketing and information consultant although my work in bridge takes up most of my time now.

My career in bridge admin started in April 2004 when I was asked to join Sussex’s management committee and then a few months later to stand for the EBU board. During my period on the board I have spent 2 years as Vice Chairman and 5 years as Chairman – retiring from this post in October 2013. I was also Chairman of the editorial board from November 2004 until October 2013. I look forward to my new role setting up and chairing the new charity English Bridge Education and Development which will develop the game across all age ranges, and demonstrate its social worth, including the contribution that playing bridge can provide to the nation’s health and wellbeing.*

Apart from bridge, I love the cinema, enjoy reading and adore my two dogs and long walks in the Sussex countryside.

Read Sally's, A day in the life of... - February 2009

* - Unfortunately due to personal circumstances Sally was unable to Chair the charity following its establishment, and she stood down from both the EBU Board, and as a trustee of EBED, in January 2014.

In November 2014 Sally was honoured for her services to English bridge when she was presented with a Gold Award at the EBU AGM.

Last updated: December 2015