News from the Bridge Room on our first ‘Bridge & Rail’ Holiday

Host report by David & Gill Gold

The first ever ‘Bridge & Rail’ holiday for First for Bridge proved to be a an exciting, interesting and extremely varied five days for everyone who was involved.

We stayed at the beautifully situated Rendezvous Hotel, on the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool canal, just a pleasant 30 minute walk from the centre of Skipton along the banks of the canal.

Everyone assembled on Sunday, and anticipated the programme to come.

On Monday we were driven in our coaches to the centre of Skipton, for a ride on a canal boat along the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

We were treated to a most entertaining commentary, as we were given the history of the canal, and indeed the canal system in England.

Back to Skipton and a chance to explore this delightful little town, known as the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales.

Tuesday, following the early morning seminar, we went back onto the buses, for a trip to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway. Before leaving for our ride we were able to explore the lovely little town of Embsay, and were then treated to a picturesque ride on this delightful heritage railway, from Embsay to Castle Bolton.

Arriving at Castle Bolton we were collected by our coaches and off we went to Haworth, famous as the home of the Brontes’, most of the party took the opportunity to visit the Bronte House, and learned a lot about this famous and fated family.

Wednesday took us to Settle to get aboard the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway. We were treated to an interesting and humorous description of the railway, by a volunteer guide, as we travelled the 70 miles or so, to Carlisle. We crossed 19 viaducts, and went through 14 tunnels, on our trip along one of the prettiest and most famous railway journeys in the country. We were able to spend a few hours in Carlisle, sight seeing and enjoying some retail therapy before getting the train back to Settle.

Thursday off to visit Ripley Castle, a 14th century manor house in an beautiful setting. We split up into 3 groups and were guided around this amazing and interesting house, by very informative guides.

After Ripley Castle we drove into historic Ripon for lunch and a little more retail therapy, before driving on to the beautiful village of Grassington in Upper Wharfdale, for tea, and then back to the hotel.

Well, all in all, it was a really busy, intersting and informative 4 days.

Prize Winners
Winners of the Swiss Pairs event were Aileen Cunningham and Stephen Reay

Director’s Report by David Gold


Believe it or not, after all the activities during the day there was bridge every evening, and virtually full attendances at each session. There were several interesting hands in these sessions, but it took until virtually the last hand of the holiday for this awkward deal to crop up.

North and East passed, leaving South to find an opening bid.

Without thinking about it too much, several Souths opened one club, with the intention, no doubt, of rebidding strongly in diamonds. This then gave West an easy opportunity to pre-empt in hearts. A bid of three hearts, or a better bid of four Hearts would be passed round to South. (Lots of people will show a hand containing an eight card suit with a bid at the four level.) South is now in difficulties, unless he reassesses his hand. He can rebid his clubs, or introduce his Diamonds, at possibly the five level. Either way its going to be difficult to tell partner exactly how good his hand is.

However if South spends that moment longer assessing his hand he will realise that he has 9 or 10 playing tricks in his hand, and he can more than justify opening two clubs, or whatever is his strongest opening bid. Now, west can pre-empt as strongly as he likes, but East/West are going to find it very difficult to stop a final contract of six Clubs, or six Diamonds from North/South, either of which is is very likely to make, unless East/West can dislodge the Ace of Diamonds at trick one or two.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *