EBU 75th Anniversary

Over 75 Years Dedicated to Duplicate Bridge in England

Welcome to the special area for all our 75th Anniversary facts, figures and events

All our members will soon be receiving their special 75th Anniversary issue of English Bridge Magazine. We hope everyone enjoys reading about 75 years of bridge playing in England along with the history of our national bridge organisation.

Please do keep coming back to this section for updates on events and much more. Until next time, happy reading.

Written By Matt Betts


Special anniversary message sent on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Special anniversary message sent on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It can be viewed on the link below.

Read here.


75th Anniversary Highlights

In its 75th anniversary Year, the English Bridge Union will demonstrate the unique appeal of the game, and how children and adults can improve their skills in numeracy, problem solving, team building, mental capacity and much more through playing it. Some highlights include...

  • 75th Anniversary Mixed Pivot Teams Championships in Brighton at the famous EBU Brighton Summer Meeting in August.
  • Journalists' day in London in September. Primary school children will be given the opportunity to introduce the game they love to journalists over lunch.
  • 75th anniversary Simultaneous Pairs - May 2012. See www.ebu.co.uk for more details.
  • A special match between Primary School children and members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Development of Bridge will take place at the Houses of Parliament in November.
  • A special 75th Anniversary House of Lords V House of Commons bridge match with many bridge playing parliamentarians from the past taking part in the event.
  • Special 75th anniversary edition of the members magazine.
  • Awareness days across England to promote the many benefits of bridge for children and adults with an opportunity to give bridge a go.
  • Club parties and events throughout the year.
  • And much more...


The English Bridge Union

The English Bridge Union — the membership body for the game of bridge in England — will reach a milestone on 23 May 2011 when it celebrates 75 years of existence.

The EBU was formed on the 23 May 1936 after a decision by three regional bridge associations for the North-East, the North-West and Yorkshire to create an English national body for bridge. In particular, the EBU was formed so that England could meet with the two other national teams on equal terms: Scotland and Ireland. By the second meeting on 12 June 1936, the EBU had created eight constituent area associations so that it could properly manage the game.

The English Bridge Union is a membership-funded organisation committed to promoting the game of duplicate bridge. It is a non-profit making organisation which uses its funds for providing services to its members as well as the promotion and development of bridge.

The bridge playing community consists of people of all ages, from all backgrounds and all walks of life in villages, towns and cities throughout England.

On 1 April 2010, the EBU ushered in the biggest ever shake-up in its structure by introducing Universal Membership. The EBU now has over 50,000 members and 600 affiliated clubs, allowing the organisation to further the development of bridge. The organisation has eighteen staff members (eight of whom are part-time) based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. It also relies on a huge team of volunteers and a board of eight volunteer directors.

In 2009, the EBU set up the All Party Parliamentary Group for the development of bridge under the chairmanship of Baroness Ruth Henig. The group has concentrated on two major areas of development: introducing bridge into primary schools across the country so that children can experience the benefits bridge provides; and secondly research into how bridge can protect against dementia through regular testing of mental agility, but also through social interaction.

Recent research has proven that undertaking regular mental activity such as playing bridge can significantly lower the risk of developing forms of dementia in our older population. Additionally, research shows that social interaction amongst the elderly can stave off cognitive decline. Playing bridge has also been proven to benefit school pupils, not only in their education but in later years when they have more time available for a leisure pursuit. Bridge helps children to improve their skills in numeracy, problem solving, probability, speaking, listening, rule following, team building, mental capacity and much more. The game provides both high level mental stimulation and social engagement for all ages.

In addition, after seventy-five years, bridge can be played absolutely anywhere. It has been played at the North Pole and at the South Pole; it can be played on the Internet and on your iPhone; and it can be played in over 600 affiliated EBU clubs across England. The EBU also organises many tournaments each year for its members. At the EBU’s biggest event in Brighton during August, over 7500 packs of cards will be used in producing 600 hands of bridge at 100 tables. In total 70,000 hands of bridge will be played during the 10 days. Finally, the EBU runs and organises a whole network of bridge teachers and events for the novice player.

The June edition of English Bridge has a number of excellent articles on the history of the English Bridge Union:

Further information:


A Year of Change



by Matt Betts


Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to all our members

You will be receiving your special 75th Anniversary issue of English Bridge Magazine very soon. We hope you enjoy reading about 75 years of bridge playing in England along with the history of your national bridge organisation. And don’t forget to try your hand at the competition for the possibility of winning £100 worth of EBU vouchers which can be used on the wide range of products from the shop or for entry to EBU competitions.

We will be running events in this coming year to celebrate our 75th birthday including...

  • 75th Anniversary Mixed Pivot Teams Championships in Brighton at EBU Summer Congress in August
  • Journalists’ day in London in September. Primary School children will be given the opportunity to introduce Minibridge to journalists over lunch.
  • A match between Primary School children and members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Development of Bridge will take place at the Houses of Parliament in November.
  • A 75th Anniversary House of Lords V House of Commons bridge match with many bridge playing parliamentarians from the past taking part in the event.

We are delighted that our Women’s Team have qualified for the Venice Cup in this, our 75th anniversary year. The Venice Cup, the most prestigious womens world event, takes place this October in the Netherlands. As always we will keep you posted on the event, the play and results.

This is also the year of the Junior European Championships. We are sending two teams, our Under 20s and our Under 25s – individuals in both teams won Silver in the World Bridge Championships in Philadelphia in 2010. Once again, we will keep you up-to-date with the action and results on your EBU Homepage.

In this, our 75th anniversary year, we will continue the work started three quarters of a century ago, to develop duplicate bridge in England. Look out for services to our affiliated clubs including a new club manager’s handbook, an enhanced simultaneous pairs programme and the launch of the newly elected National Club Committee. We will also be looking to the future to attract more volunteers at national level to build on the investment and development that has been made over these 75 years from those dedicated to the game.

Don’t forget to let Matt and Elena know about any special events you might be holding to celebrate our birthday.

I wish you the very best for this coming year. Enjoy your bridge whether you are playing at club, county, national or international level.

Sally Bugden, Chairman, English Bridge Union


Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday to us!

The English Bridge Union has been around now for 75 years; there are only a few national bridge organizations around the world that are older.

A few weeks ago I was reading some obituaries of a few of the EBU’s illustrious bridge administrators and early elder statesmen. It is very clear to see how tirelessly these great bridge players worked to set up our Union in those early days. In the minutes of the 12 June 1936 it is possible to see names that now adorn our competitions, such as Lederer and Phillips, as well as seeing the immense detail they covered to set up a national organization, in those days without any technological assistance.

Over the last few years, the organization has gone through many changes – most notably when we changed to Universal Membership last year. It has been a challenging but fulfilling time to be involved in the administration of a venerable institution such as ours.

We are working on a few ideas to involve the membership in our Anniversary celebration year and I hope that as many of you as possible will join in.

I would like to wish all of our members, volunteers and staff a happy 75th Birthday.

Barry Capal, General Manager


Happy Birthday from the World Bridge Federation

Dear Sally

It is with great pleasure that, both personally and on behalf of my colleagues in the World Bridge Federation, I am able to offer our sincere congratulations to the English Bridge Union and its members on this, the occasion of their 75th Anniversary.

The history of bridge and of the WBF in particular has, from the very start, been enhanced by the contribution of the English Bridge Union and its Officers and Managers and by the performances of its great champions.

The WBF has appreciated the support of the EBU also in recent years and we are especially pleased to note the success of your teams at World level, and trust that you will continue to compete successfully in the International Arena in future.

We look forward to a continued excellent relationship with the Union in years to come.

Un abbraccio to you, your colleagues and all the English players.

Gianarrigo Rona

President, World Bridge Federation


Happy Birthday from European Bridge League

In my capacity as President of the European Bridge League, I am delighted to be able to congratulate the English Bridge Union and its members on the occasion of their 75th Anniversary.

There are few Federations within the League that have been in existence for such a long period, and it is a credit to the organisation that they have managed to develop such a stable Federation over so many years.

The European Bridge League has appreciated seeing the English Teams competing in the European Championships with considerable success. It is particularly pleasing to see your Youth teams doing well and we are sure this is a very important factor in the development of bridge in your Federation.

The European Bridge League looks forward to working closely with the English Bridge Union in years to come and to welcoming the English Teams to the European Championships in future.

Yves Aubry

President, European Bridge League


Happy Birthday from the WBU

Dear Sally

The Welsh Bridge Union is very pleased to congratulate the English Bridge Union on its 75th Anniversary.The home unions have worked well together for many decades to promote the game we all love, and England’s contributions to that cooperation have been many and vital.

We have all enjoyed the friendly but highly competitive home internationals for the Camrose trophy, which also dates back to 1936. England have been the most successful nation in the Camrose, and you may be celebrating your 50th victory quite soon.

We wish you every success in the future, and look forward to celebrating our centenaries in 23-25 years' time!

Adrian Thomas


Undeb Bridge Cymru - Welsh Bridge Union


Happy Birthday from the SBU

Congratulations to the EBU on its 75th anniversary.

The Scottish Bridge Union well remembers the founding of the English Bridge Union as the National Organisation — the SBU was 3 years old at the time.

At that time the British Bridge League and the National Bridge Organisation were in competition, and neither was qualified to select an English team for the new Camrose Trophy, presented in 1936 and first played for in 1937. So the English Bridge Union came into being, and it has gone from strength to strength.

The SBU congratulates all your players, who have enjoyed so much success, and wishes them further triumphs over the next 25 years.

We are grateful for all the assistance the EBU has offered over all these years, and trust that the special relationship will continue to our mutual benefit.

"We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne"

Happy birthday — and many of them

Michele Alexander
Scottish Bridge Union


Happy Birthday from the Northern Ireland Bridge Union

Dear Sally

On behalf of the Northern Ireland Bridge Union I am delighted to have this opportunity to welcome the English Bridge Union to the 75+ club and to offer it our sincere congratulations and best wishes for the future.

Since its foundation seventy-five years ago on this day in 1936 the Union has done splendid work in promoting, at all levels, the game that gives us all so much pleasure (and, I fear, on occasion, heartache as well). I would single out for special mention the wonderful example it sets in introducing the game to young people, particularly at a time when there appear to be more exciting forms of entertainment to enthral them. Its work amongst schoolchildren, and especially primary schoolchildren, will hopefully instil a love of bridge into new generations and ensure the future of the game.

In common with many other bridge players in Northern Ireland I have had the pleasure of participating in some of the excellent competitions run by the Union and enjoyed the camaraderie that accompanies them. I have always been made very welcome and I know the NIBU does its very best to reciprocate when friends from across the water come to play here. I look forward to more friendly rivalry in the future – and, hopefully, a long-overdue win for Northern Ireland in the Camrose.

A Very Happy Birthday to the Union, and many more to come.

Yours sincerely

Alan Sharp

President of the Northern Ireland Bridge Union


Happy Birthday from the Irish Bridge Union

Dear Fellow Bridge Players

The Irish Bridge Union sends its best wishes to the English Bridge Union on its 75th anniversary. We hope you have many more years of success in promoting the game from International to club level. Please pass on our congratulations to all your members.

Yours sincerely

Dr Alan Hill

joint Hon. Secretary (IBU)


Happy Birthday from the ACBL

To our friends at the English Bridge Union:

Please accept our congratulations as you observe your 75th anniversary. At the ACBL, we are planning our 75th anniversary celebration for next year, so we recognize the importance of this milestone in the organizing of bridge events and the promotion of the greatest game on earth.

We wish you the best in your efforts – which no doubt mirror ours – to get the word out about the benefits of bridge for young and old. We look forward to welcoming members of your organization as competitors at our North American Bridge Championships.

Best of luck to you in your important work on behalf of bridge.


Jay Baum

Chief Executive Officer

The American Contract Bridge League


Happy Birthday from the Australian Bridge Federation

The Australian Bridge Federation is delighted to congratulate the English Bridge Union on their important milestone of celebrating 75 years service to their bridge community. The EBU assisted an exchange of teams for our major Congress at the Gold Coast. Several Chairmen of the EBU have graced us in past years in attending the Gold Coast Congress.The EBU played a significant role in the establishment of the Commonwealth Nations event, played in the host city of the Commonwealth Games.

The EBU has always been helpful in sharing material and information with Australia. Sally Bugden and Barry Capal have been generous in providing valuable advice.

I have no doubt that Bridge will continue to flourish under the good goverance of the EBU.

Keith Mc Donald


Australian Bridge Federation


Happy Birthday from New Zealand Bridge

On behalf of NZ Bridge, its Board and its 14200 members I extend congratulations and best wishes to the English Bridge Union on the occasion of its 75th Birthday.

Your history demonstrates that as an organisation your commitment, enthusiasm and endeavour to grow the Game of Bridge has remained constant despite the various challenges encountered during those 75 years.

Of the many initiatives the EBU has implemented over the past 75 many years, the setting up of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the development of bridge (2009) under the Chairmanship of Baroness Ruth Henig is certainly one of its most exciting.

To identify the benefits bridge can provide to primary school children and the elderly and then develop and implement programmes for these age groups creates opportunity to encourage many more potential bridge players either current (elderly) or in the future (primary school children).

I am sure Bridge Administrators in many countries where Bridge is not a Curriculum Subject will watch with interest as this Project progresses.

Well done and Best Wishes for success in the future.

Enjoy your Bridge and the celebratory social activities at this time and throughout your 75th Birthday year.

Warmest Regards,

Kay Nicholas

Executive Chairperson NZ Bridge