DIRECTORS & HOSTS
"I am in my 5th year of directing for Bridge Overseas, starting from scratch I have now done 130 holidays, mostly in the UK but occasionally doing one overseas. I moved to Dolgellau nearly 5 years ago, where Julie has lived for 27 years.
Prior to that I was a competitive bridge player, representing Wales on over 50 occasions and achieving a target of winning the home international series in 2011, it had taken Wales 73 years to do this.
Like all our regular director’s I seem to have built up a number of “regulars” and in fact on a recent holiday in Llandudno I had met 38 of the 40 people on the holiday before, most more than once.
Being a LIST type of person I have so far met over 2500 different customers which is still only about a quarter of those on Bridge Overseas database, I believe Due to the large volume of holidays I do my wife Julie does a much lower number, she has done 40 to date and over the years I have developed a great number of hosts to help me, of which current regular ones are Belinda, Bron, Jenny, Jennifer, Kate, Linda, Rosey and Sneh- strictly listed in first name order rather than bridge ability.
With so much time spent indoors away from bridge although we both enjoy walking, whereas Julie is keen on doing a short walk daily I tend to set myself challenges and my current one is to climb all the Wainwright’s, of which there are 214, in the Lake District. So far I have done 65. I have previously completed the South West coastal path which goes from Minehead to Poole- it did take me 10 years. It is obviously a family thing as my sister is now doing the same, all in stages. I also am trying to do as many Sustran’s cycle routes as I can find the time for, with my next ones being The Way of Roses and then back from Whitby to Barrow on Furness, an 8 day project of about 350 miles Julie tends to lean towards more creative pastimes , involved in a local writing group, singing and music groups and using time I am away to keep in touch with her long standing friends in the area. I have it in mind to attempt Land’s End to John O’ Groats in my 60th year.
I often get asked which is my favourite venue and I am always hard pushed to think of a reply because what is important to me is different to what is important to a customer. I like the hotels which give continuity of staff and good service and funnily enough these tend to be those with low stars, Fishguard, Bournemouth and Llandudno. My wife would give different favourites. We do both agree on the venues abroad we have been to – Montecatini and Slovenia and in fact are going back to Montecatini later this year, where I am playing rather than directing."
MALCOLM & MADELEINE FYNE
"Malcolm & Madeleine hold the distinction of being our longest serving Directors, in fact they were guests on our very first English bridge holiday in Harrogate. They live in the seaside town of Southport and have been married for over 40 years and have three grown up children and six grandchildren. When Malcolm retired from running a successful textile manufacturing company, the opportunity arose to take over the part time management of Southport Bridge Club, the 10th largest club in the country with 300 members. Malcolm is a qualified E.B.U Director and a members of The English Bridge Union Teachers Association, and runs classes for beginners and improvers,helping to increase the membership. Malcolm & Madeleine have been playing duplicate bridge for over 30 years and have the honour of representing their county Lancashire. Madeleine retired from running Britain's only Lawnmower museum in Southport, and acts as a host with her calming manner being much appreciated by the many guests who have played with her over the past 15 years. They are often asked which is their favourite U.K. venue and the answer is Telford in Shropshire, where they direct on Bank Holidays and New Year, meeting up with regular guests who have become friends over the years. Malcolm's Bridge seminars are well known for their humour and informative bridge tips and are not to be missed! He is also a lifelong suffering supporter of Everton Football Club, and helps run a fish and chip shop in his spare time! Malcolm's favourite saying in the Bridge Room, is to remind players that the opposition is sat to the left and right, not opposite! Something we should all try to remember."
IAN & LIZ ROSS
"Ian has been a director for more than 20 years becoming the SBU Chief National Director before recently retiring from that position. During that time he has organised many local, national and international events in Scotland. Liz and Ian started running bridge holidays over 15 years ago. Their aim is to provide the best possible overall holiday experience where the bridge is well organised but with an emphasis on a relaxed, friendly atmosphere so that all players, regardless of ability or experience, can have an enjoyable game."
JOY & COLIN GRAHAM-HYDE
" Married in Seaford, East Sussex in 1971, Joy and Colin joined Silvermere Golf and Country Club having moved to Weybridge in Surrey in 1977. It was there that they started to play golf and bridge. They moved around Surrey with their jobs and played both golf and bridge at Kingswood Golf Club from 1981 to 1986 and then West Byfleet Golf Club from 1986 to 2001. In 1991, (with a lot of help from Chris Stableford – well known to Surrey bridge players) Joy and Colin formed the West Byfleet Golf Club Bridge Section which they ran for 10 years on Monday nights. On average, there were nine tables playing duplicate bridge and four tables receiving tuition. A large number of players new to the game received instruction and many became very competent indeed. In 2001, they moved back “home” to Seaford and Joy in particular was able to spend a lot of time redesigning and working on what is now a lovely garden. Joy is a particularly good gardener – Colin is often told “Don’t step on that”! They joined one of the local bridge clubs (Southdown Bridge Club) and in 2008 Colin was asked to become Chairman - a post he held for eight years. Joy and Colin still teach bridge to many players in and around the Seaford area which is very popular. In September 2005, they started directing holidays for Bridge Overseas and since that date they have directed for over 100 weeks (over two years!). They say “We do not regard directing for Bridge Overseas as work because it really is such fun” and they believe this is the key to their success – bridge should be fun and enjoyed as much as the holiday you are on. They run excellent workshops on all of their holidays looking at hands from the previous evening and these are very popular."
GRAHAM LAVENDER & LONA FINCH
"Graham lives in Hampshire and has been running bridge clubs, teaching and directing for many years. Graham & Lona will be at the Holiday Inn Windsor/Maidenhead this February and at Whately Hall Hotel in Banbury on the 14th of March 2019.
CHRIS & SANDY FULTON
" I was taught to play bridge by my father when I was about 5 years old. I played with Tony Forrester at Manchester University for three years. Tony is also originally from Wakefield and both sets of our parents were founder members of the Wakefield Bridge Club. I gave up bridge in 1975 to concentrate on my medical studies(!) but when Tony suggested we enter the trials for the upcoming Junior European Championships in 1976 it didn't take long for me to accept. We won the trials so got automatic selection for the team. Sadly I failed my finals but scraped through six months later. I really did give up bridge then but gradually drifted back as my family were growing up. My bridge partner at the time worked at the school where Chris taught history and sociology. Chris had been on her own for several years and I had just separated from my first wife so he set us up on a blind date. That was 24 years ago and we are still going strong, now married for nearly 20 years. Chris soon realised that she would have to learn how to play this game and has succeeded splendidly. We find that students really appreciate her input as she has had the same problems that they have had in learning the nuances of the game. She plays for our club teams as do I. I also play regularly for Nottinghamshire and in some National Competitions. We both retired early so that I could follow my passion of playing and latterly teaching bridge. We spend a reasonable amount of our time teaching and directing on cruise ships as well as running UK based Bridge Overseas holidays. Our grandsons complain we are always on holiday! We both feel very lucky with our retirement career. We get to meet a large number of like minded people playing a stimulating and fascinating game. We also enjoy teaching and passing on our knowledge and improving people's game."
PAT MAYCOCK & GLENDA PELLING
"Since their full time work commitments reduced Pat and Glenda have been able to build on their enthusiasm for bridge and have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the game. They are very involved members of their clubs - both having qualified as EBU directors and Pat as a bridge teacher. They enjoy their breaks away and their aim is to make sure that all those with them on holiday do too. Glenda is a very active person - a keen walker and tennis player while Pat enjoys music, theatres and galleries sometimes persuading Glenda to go along – while Glenda encourages Pat to join in an occasional game of bowls. They both enjoy exploring the local sights and afternoons in the sun. It’s a good partnership!"
RUSSELL & CHRISTINE FRAME
"A Past President of the Scottish Bridge Union and a Grand Master, Russell has been teaching bridge and directing tournaments for many years. He is also experienced at running Bridge Overseas holidays, both abroad and in the UK. Russell's wife Christine is still a bridge novice but has several years' experience at helping him to host bridge events. She is well used to looking after players' needs and, if required, can also make up the numbers to avoid the inconvenience of having a half table."