It’s a game you can spend your whole life studying, learning and playing yet never fully master – so why not make 2015 the year you start your Bridge career?
With its very beginnings taking place during the war years of World War II, Stornoway Bridge Club has been a source of fun, experience, challenge and achievement for members over the past half century.
In 1953 a Bridge League was formed in Stornoway for the first time, with nine teams contending in its inaugural year; and by 1956 pairs competitions were being played and the Bridge Club was officially formed.
Albeit a smaller Club now than in its heyday in the 1980s when around 14 tables were regularly played, the Stornoway Bridge Club still has plenty to offer.
The Club meet throughout the season (September to March) at 7pm in Stornoway Golf Club on Tuesdays for Club competitions, as well as on most Thursday nights for friendly sessions; but members also enjoy many more social and charitable events.
“We run lots of local competitions and have trophies dating back to the mind 1950s,” explains Club Secretary Jenny Morrison.
Indeed, the history of the Club’s beginnings can be found in its silverware collection, with many prizes named after the inaugural committee of Stornoway Bridge Club.
Names such as the John the Chemist Trophy, the Hugh Halbert Cup, the Tom Grassie Trophy and the Frank Strachan Shield will bring back memories to some.
While trophies point to the Club’s origins, the modern take on the game has been most recently introduced with a Big Lottery Grant awarded in 2013, enabling the purchase of some state of the art technology which allows members to test their abilities against clubs from all over Scotland, and indeed the world.
Jenny continues: “We also play in national and world-wide competitions – the largest being The Children in Need competition held in November where we also raise funds for the charity.
“And not only do we support Children in Need we also raise money for other charities throughout our season,” she continued, “and have an annual coffee evening run by the Cancer Research committee.
“Last year we raised nearly £1,000 which is pretty impressive for a small club.”
Club members also travel regularly to congresses on the mainland, participating with Strathpeffer, Aviemore and Inverness Congresses, and hold several small social gatherings together at members’ houses.
But there is more, as Jenny adds: “Bridge is a very sociable game, albeit competitive. The atmosphere in the Club is tremendous as all vie for top position, and very rarely do the same pair win on consecutive weeks.
“Another positive is that there is medical research that has been carried out that shows that people who exercise their minds can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
“Bridge is a mind game and is played by over 220 million people world-wide and is the most popular card game in the world. It is a game for all ages and best learnt when you are young and enjoyed for the rest of your life.”
So why not join the 220 million world-wide Bridge community and give Bridge a try?
New, returning or rusty players are always welcome at Stornoway Bridge Club and you will be well looked after as Jenny assures: “We would encourage players with some experience to join us on Tuesdays, although they would be welcome on Thursdays for a bit of refresher training.
“Players with no experience and who wish to learn, we would initially invite them to play on a Thursday, or at other members’ homes until they had grasped the basics of the game, and then they would be integrated into the Tuesday sessions.”
Jenny adds: “In the words of Martina Navratilova – ‘No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the Bridge table’. We look forward to welcoming some new friends to our Club this season.”
To find out more about Stornoway Bridge Club and its members, please visit