This club is over 50 years old having been started by Margaret and Geoffrey Hyde amongst others, sometime before 1957. It was called the Cambridge Masonic Bridge Club, but only one member was a Mason, and it met on Monday evenings. There were about 10 tables and they played Rubber Bridge or cutting-for-partners on alternate evenings.
Its first premises were on the top floor above Millers the music shop in a place called the Tower, at the corner of King St. and Hobson St. Since then it has met in the basement of Royal Hotel, the Church hall of St Marks in Newnham, University Press Sports Pavilion in Brooklands Ave. then back to St Marks, and finally Trumpington village hall when the day had to change to Tuesday.
A second venue at Arbury started on a Wednesdays expecting to drop Trumpington on a Tuesday, but this never happened because there were too many members and the two nights provided convenient venues on opposite sides of the city. There have been two club nights a week ever since. Arbury became too expensive so the club met at the Botanic Gardens followed by Shire Hall. More recently, the club moved to Chesterton Indoor Bowls Club for its Wednesday meeting.
Two nights a week started in the mid 1970s when the club went to Trumpington. The longest registered member is Bob Gittins who went to the club in 1959, and Tony Oram was secretary in the early 70s. Reading through the past minutes of committee meetings one finds out some surprising things, such as the fact that Richard Collis agreed to arrive early at Trumpington to light the fires. I hope he did a good job.
The trophies themselves tell us something about the early members:
The Jacobs, George and Joyce, presented the club with the Jacobs Shield for Butler Pairs. George was also county chairman. The Club has now paid for this trophy to be enlarged to hold all the names of past and future winners for the next 15 years.
Richard Collis is still playing in the teams event for his own trophy, the Collis Plate.
Cynthia, who left the club in 2010, often won the Kirkby Bowl presented in 1977 in memory of her late husband, Thomas, for the Mixed Championship Pairs.
Roy Cradock, a golfer and gambler who allegedly ran a one arm bandit firm, presented the Cradock Bowl for the individual championship.
Salaam Abdelmoneim, a great character, gave the Abdelmoneim Trophy for the summer pairs.
Marie Johnson is honoured with the Johnson Teams Shield. She emigrated to live with her daughter in Australia.
May Pamplin is remembered with the Pamplin Trophy for Swiss teams. She lived to be 90 plus, a good advertisement for longevity of bridge players.
Of course, many members will remember Sonia Zakrzewski, who put so much energy into this club (especially at the Christmas parties!), and who presented the Equinox Handicap Plate which is played for twice a year.
The club has recently had the Championship Pairs cup repaired and our former Chairman, Wendy Pollard, kindly paid to have it resilvered.
A more recent cup was given to us by Philip and Sally Wraight for the competition that Philip started in 2001, the Swiss Pairs. The Wraights have now left Cambridge but, like all the others on earlier trophies, I am sure they will not be forgotten.