Focus on…..Bristol Bridge Club
by Andrew Urbanski

Bristol Bridge Club is fortunate in having owned its excellent premises for many years. This has meant that the club has been able to offer its members a superb environment for playing bridge with marvellous facilities, most of which have recently been refurbished to a very high standard, including a licensed bar. A significant benefit of having dedicated premises is that a strong programme of teaching can be undertaken – there are 4 teaching sessions per week – and the club also offers its members 3 daytime bridge sessions per week in addition to the 4 regular evening sessions.

In common with other clubs who are lucky enough to have a strong education program and thereby feed new members into the club on a regular basis, it will come as no surprise that Bristol BC has a large membership – 593 at the last count. The club manager just hopes they don’t all turn up on the same night!! Sessions are well attended, thanks in large part to the efforts of the club manager, Stephen Royal, and the club committee. Some county events and regional qualifiers are also held at the club with the result that Bristol was 6th in the national table of clubs in terms of player numbers last year, down one place from the previous year.

In addition to the choice of playing times, there is tremendous variety in the types of session run. There are several sessions per week which are attended mostly by improvers, including a supervised play session on a Monday evening. The stronger sessions are Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the main club events are held. Once a month there is a percentage pairs and a handicapped percentage pairs, the best 8 scores over the year winning the trophies. Also once a month are an imped pairs sessions, a ‘premier pairs’ limited to 7 tables of stronger players and a handicapped teams event all with cash or wine prizes. Whenever there is a 5th Thursday in the month the club holds a ‘Friendly Thursday’ when improvers are invited to partner some of the stronger players in the club. There are also once-a-month ‘Sociable Saturdays’ with a buffet supper where everyone brings something to eat.

Following redecoration of the club 2 years ago when substantial improvements were made to the club, work on completely refurbishing the kitchen area and associated facilities has been recently undertaken and is nearing completion. New table top scoring devices will soon be replacing the one’s purchased when they first became available. As a result, you will go a long way to find a more well-appointed club than Bristol Bridge Club, so if you are in the area they will welcome you for a game (providing a host for you) so you can see for yourself!

The club’s website can be found at or you can call 0117 9291846 and speak to the club manager, Stephen Royal.

Club membership is £20 p.a. and table money is £4 for members and £5 for guests.