October Newsletter 2020


Well what a year it’s been since I wrote to you in January!  We have had 7 months of Covid-19 and the Club has been closed since March.

The Board has not been idle however. We managed to run the AGM in June with video conferencing and then file the accounts with Companies House in order to meet their deadline. We have been meeting ‘virtually’ nearly every week since then trying to keep the Club in good order and providing bridge opportunities for our members to enjoy online.


Our Chairman has been responsible for spearheading the use of BBO and setting up the Lockdown League and Fran Alexander, who joined the Board in June, has organised the teams and the reserve pool.  We have had more members participating in this than might normally come to the Club and therefore it has proved very worthwhile in keeping our bridge community together.

As it become apparent that lockdown was going to go on longer than perhaps originally thought, it became obvious that we needed to provide more online bridge for our members and the Virtual YD pairs events were born, with help from the County in getting the virtual club up and running.  We also have weekly team matches against Pilley.  We seem to be one of the few local clubs offering regular online bridge to their members and we certainly hope to continue throughout this time of uncertainty.  Our Chairman will be sending out another survey shortly to find out your views as how you want to proceed in the New Year and your suggestions as to how we can reach more members until such time as we can reopen.

It is the intention of Graham Foster and Fran Alexander to offer more Zoom-based teaching/improvers modules in blocks of 3 after Christmas; feedback is that the first one on Multi 2D is going very well.

There are 2 online Simultaneous Pairs events coming up in November. The Children in Need Sims is on Wednesday afternoon 11th November and will cost £4.  It will be open to other local clubs as some members might like to come with a non-YD partner. The Air Ambulance Sims is on Thursday evening 26th November – cost to be confirmed. You will need to sign up for both on our website.


The Club has to pay BBO and the EBU for every event that is played online and there is much less income than normal for us as the months progress. We still have all the fixed costs to pay for the Club and it has to be inspected every week for insurance purposes to check that the building is safe and secure.  To this end and as a gesture of goodwill, we have continued to pay the cleaner for her normal hours of work although she has not needed to go in every day.  Her hours however will be reduced as of 1st November.

Our Treasurer applied for and received a business grant from the Council for £10000 and this has given us a good cushion with which to weather the period of closure where there is little income.

Renewal fees are due by the end of the year and although the fee for 2021 will not change from £40, those members renewing their membership will receive a rebate of £5, thus making their payment £35 for next year only.  I will be sending out the renewal notices in Novemberand hopefully you will feel able to continue to support your club so that we can ride out this difficult time.

We do not intend to make any decision about the £5000 legacy from the estate of Ruth Moreland until things return to normal. However if you have any suggestions do let me know.


Coronavirus hit us in the middle of submitting the planning application for the repointing work that needed to be done on the majority of the building (other than the wall opposite Marks and Spencer).

Chris Seddon has worked with a Chartered Architectural Technologist and a specialist building contractor during the year and we now have listed building consent subject to the conservation officer’s approval of mortar colour and special handmade bricks. The total cost to keep the fabric of the building up together unfortunately will be just over £8000 and work cannot be started until at least next March due to the contractor’s workload and the need to avoid the winter months. Half of this amount had already been allocated in this year’s budget and the remainder will be taken from savings.


Unfortunately the current restrictions on social gatherings mean that I have had to cancel the Christmas Party booked at Barton on Sea Golf Club for Friday 11th December.

Instead on that day we hope to have a charity Christmas handicapped pairs event at the Virtual YD, together with a virtual draw. Watch out for further details but you might want to get your partner organised.

As of this date we still have 153 members. 

I shall look forward to seeing more of you at the virtual YD on a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday evening as winter comes closer.  (My partner and I in fact much prefer playing on a Thursday evening online as it is not nearly as scary as being face to face at the Club and you can use your notes!)

Chrissy Thomas

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