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Club member, Ken Turner, wrote this about the history of the club:
“Ilford Bridge Club was formed in 1975, at a time when there were at least a dozen clubs in the area, as a breakaway group from Seven Kings Bridge Club, where the level of competition and parking problems became intimidating.
“We identified St George’s Church, at Gants Hill, as a suitable venue, and initially (ambitiously) held sessions on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Soon Membership was over 100 and we moved from a small first floor hall into the Main Hall, but operating Thursday evenings only, a small Group of the Saturday players continuing to play in each others’ homes (in fact right up to the late 90’s). The pleasant atmosphere attracted many senior County players, as well as learners and improvers and teams were successful in County events.
Probably our best known Member was the veteran International player, Martin Hoffman, (when he was not at home in Geneva) always with a ready joke*
“Despite having a somewhat tattered Constitution, soon a small handful of helpers were running the Club including the present couple Don and Doreen Ross, and AGM’s are still held. We initially employed Directors including, among others Danny Roth (who used to offer his many books at special prices) but as the average age increased, (our Honorary Member Stella Schupick holder of over 100 000 Master Points retired at 98 a couple of years ago) and Bridge became less popular we were left with a small group of players, with just a few survivors from our early days including Rosa Pukasz (whose husband Joe was a Founder Member).
“The Club recently moved to a brand new hall in the 6th Form building of Valentines High School (Perth Road entrance) which is wheelchair accessible and we have attracted a few new Members, to join our loyal supporters.
“*A typical Hoffman joke concerned the nonagenarian who, following an excellent health checkup attributed his condition to playing Bridge. The Doctor understood why his mental condition was excellent but said “But how about your physical excellent flexibility”. “I always play East-West” was the response.”
The weekend lived up to and exceeded all expectations with sessions of bridge, a quiz and scrabble being organised. The bridge programme included two duplicate bridge sessions, a Chicago session, and a fun bridge event changing partners after every hand In addition the free time was taken up with ten pin bowling, crazy golf and walking, there really was something for everyone.