Archive - General Interest


item5RECOLLECTIONS - Doreen Dowell

The black and white photo we believe was taken at the Chronicle  Office. People like H.V. Lightfoot Jimmy Tweddle  who I did know but can not place  I was told the second lady from the end standing was  Gladys Humphries. (she was a fiend at the table but a good friend)I knew all these people because my father in law played and my husband. I was allowed to play if they needed a fourth!! We then moved two doors from Lil Moffatt (Gwen’s partner ) till they had a massive bust up, at that time there were about 12 of them all living in Fenham  all fiends and again if they needed a fourth I went through hell. But Gladys Humphries said if only I would take it a bit more seriously she would teach me as I had card sense . Away from the Bridge table they were lovely and good to me but Bridge was their life not many of them worked. The biggest rows were between George and Edith Cameron. They had to stop playing together.



Scandal at Buenos Aires 1965. The Most Sensational-ever Story in the World of Bridge.

Here Reese shows 3 fingers on the backs of the cards and has three hearts. The British Captain, Ralph Swimer looks on sitting in Reese’s left and is taking notes. Look how immaculately the players are dressed in 1965. You don’t see that these days.

Read the full story HERE



Congratulations to Ken Pattison, NEBA County Youth Officer who has won the 2009 Tom Bradley Award. The award has been given in recognition of his tireless 10 years of working in a number of schools in the Darlington and Teesside area.

The Tom Bradley Award was created after the death of the former Treasurer of the EBU, who was a champion of attracting new persons into the game of Bridge.

Tom was particularly supportive of endeavours which were aimed at the younger player. The Tom Bradley Award is assigned each year to a non-school teacher for services to the teaching of bridge in England.


  The Tollemache Cup Final 2011

This is the full list of names engraved on a band, assumed to be from an NEBA trophy sponsored , we think, by the 'Sunday Sun' newspaper. If you have any further information about this trophy please email
1937 - E Kempson
1938 - R Lattimer
1939 - M Barnett
1946 - H Esther
1947 - A Tufle
1948 - M Bergson
1949 - W Wightman
1950 - W T Ainswrth
1951 - Miss McAllister
1952 - F S Thurner
1953 - H Esther
1954 - H Esther
1955 - F Harrison
1956 - Miss L Barker
1957 - Mrs R Golding
1958 - Miss L Barker
1959 - H Esther
1960 - A Cass
1962 - Mrs E Burnett
1963 - A J Beaty
1964 - Mrs M Ward
1965 - D Clarke
1966 - M Allan
1967 - A J Beaty
1969 - J Gillis
1970 - P E Landon
1971 - Mrs P Wilson
1972 - Mrs L M Winn
1975 - Mrs D Soutar
1976 - P Derrick
1980 - D J Reid
1981 - Mrs D N Walker
1982 - R Richardson
1983 - Mrs D Henshaw
1984 - W C Harpe


I have only lately lifted details of the Association's Archive from the website for the benefit of children and grandchildren!! and was intrigued by the unidentified band dating from 1937 to 1980 on which Father (Harry) features several times. I'm sorry I can't help despite looking through all their (Harry & Maimie's) replicas, although many of them got misplaced over the years, as you can imagine. The Sunday Sun (which paper I remember vividly!) rings a faint bell in trophy terms, but that might just be auto-suggestion and I have no evidence sadly.

I see Ewart Kempson's was the first name on that band; he was a great family friend - in fact he introduced Harry to Bridge in the early '30's and taught both Father & Mother the game. I think he later itched to teach me as well, but (until falling into evil ways at College) I resisted strenuously because of loud and vituperative 'discussions' in the house, amounting almost to open warfare at times!, over the bidding and play of the hands of the night before.

However, whenever stuck for a present at Christmas, I used to get Ewart (Captain Kempson to me in those days) to inscribe his latest book for Father. I still have one such stating on the flyleaf: "This is for my old friend and Master Player Harry Esther whose son has had the great wisdom to purchase this book".  As well as a wag he was a charming and comfortable gentleman redolent of his days in India. 

They played together for a while until Father saw the advantage of Acol while Ewart remained committed to a system-less (natural) style of bidding which only Selby Wraith could cope with. Ewart more often than not, of course, was redeemed by his peerless cardplay.

Harry & Maimie would have been fascinated by the technology !

I suppose from the single names on our 'unknown' it looks like an individual, but I'm not sure they had such as early as that?

I knew many of the characters appearing on the prize lists, of course, but that's not a lot of help - I'm 85 . . . . The only one of my era I've spotted is Michael Foulds in 1958 (Chronicle Cup). He's not still around by any chance?

No, we're no longer in the North, but Yes, my wife and I do play, but only in a friendly duplicate weekly tournament (non-league).

One final note about the Gazette Cup and your 'black &blue' names; the ashtrays that were given to the winners in those days and which the family still have are engraved "N.E.G. Pairs 1939" so perhaps Ma & Pa won the TEAMS (with Drs N & I) in 1938 and the PAIRS the following year for which I can't find any replicas? I can't tell, sorry to say. There ARE a couple of slightly fancier ashtrays carrying a hand of four coloured cards, one from each suit, and bearing the inscription "N.E.C.B.A. 1937" - Niman Israel perhaps

Michael Esther

This may help.
Per an article by Kempson in Bridge Magazine for June 1939, the NEBA 1938/39 Individual Contest was won by Mrs Barnett.  No reference to the trophy having been donated and/or sponsored by the Sunday Sun.

 An article by Kempson in Contract Bridge Journal for April 1947 stated that the North-East Individual Championship had been won by Mr S Truffle of Sunderland (quite close to the name engraved on the trophy) with Mr Stanger of Whitley Bay second.
Richard Fleet

Read Richard's 'Tournament Bridge in England
1925-45' HERE

Can anyone name the lady in the centre of this early photograph of Brunton Bridge Club members?


Teams Congress winners 2006
Kathy Pike, Inga & Neil Aiston, Mary Page with the Newcastle Bridge Club Chairman Doreen Dowell, centre)