Club Management Focus: Autumn 2019

Worcester Bridge Club Welcomes French Exchange Group

Last year we covered the story of Worcester Bridge Club twinning with a bridge club in France (you can read the full article here). We are pleased to be able to provide an update on their recent exchange meeting.

Earlier this month, Worcester Bridge Club played host to a group of French visitors, as the second part of their Exchange arrangement with their partner-club in the attractive town of Romorantin in the Loire valley.

Following an exploratory visit by the French Club’s President, Alain Gillier, last Autumn, a regular link was set up, leading to seven Worcestershire players travelling to France in the Summer. There, WBC players had three enjoyable sessions of Bridge, as well as some fine meals and trips to the Château of Chenonceau and a “dégustation” of wine at Vouvray.

Now in October it was the French group’s turn to visit, and Worcester’s turn to lay on some special treatment for their guests. Once again, there were three main sessions of Bridge in three different venues. On Monday, they played at WCBA’s new County venue, at Ombersley Memorial Hall; on Tuesday afternoon, they enjoyed bridge, tea and home-made cakes at WBC’s daytime venue; and then on Wednesday evening, WBC’s main club welcomed them with a pot-luck supper and a glass of (French?) bubbly! The French acquitted themselves well in all these events, with a couple of wins. On the final day, Alain played with Mike Vetch, WBC Chairman, at the Barnt Green Café Bridge event, which raised £1000 for Acorns Hospice – a new idea for Alain to take home to France with him.

The Exchange was the brain-child of Steve Garry, who used to play competitive Bridge in Worcestershire, especially at Bromsgrove BC with his friend Brett Welch. On Tuesday evening, Alain and Steve were invited to play at Bromsgrove BC for a new memorial trophy donated by Brett in memory of their former team-mate, Mark. Now, after saying their goodbyes, plans begin for the next visit to Romorantin, and a chance for friendships to be renewed.

Does your bridge club have links with a club in another country? If you have any similar stories, please let us know.

Pictured: The group of French visitors and their hosts, after a traditional meal at the King’s Arms in Ombersley