Yorkshire Contract Bridge Association

The YCBA promotes, manages and supports EBU affiliated
competitive bridge play in our county.


YCBA President and former chairman

PHILIP MASON (14.04.38 – 05.06 21)

It is with profound sadness to have to report that the YCBA President and former Chairman has passed away in hospital following an accident on 10 May 2021.

Philip was born in Lincolnshire and attended Alford Grammar School before graduating at Hull University where he met his wife Janet. On taking up his first teaching post at Malton School (where he taught until his retirement in 1993), he was taught to play bridge by Alan Martindale (a fellow teacher and life- long friend) quickly developing a passion for the game. Whilst combining successful teaching careers and raising their daughter Julia, Philip and his wife played bridge at the highest level particularly enjoying many successes in team events with other couples. Such was his love of bridge that when his daughter announced she was getting married he provided a set of dates that he and Janet were available so as not to clash with any bridge commitments.

He was a leading member of Malton Bridge Club for more than fifty years and details of his accomplishments can be found on the Malton Bridge Club website.  Philp also introduced many new players to the game and taught many beginners and improvers and one of his recent students quoted ‘he was also an excellent and patient teacher with a delightful sense of humour’ and adding that the sessions were often the highlight of the week.      

Not only was Philip an excellent bridge player and teacher he was also and will be best remembered for his contribution as an outstanding administrator for the game. He was elected to the YCBA Management Committee serving as Vice-Chairman to the then chairman Hubert Castle who he succeeded as Chairman in a contested election in 1990. During that time he continued the development of the Yorkshire League the county’s teams of eight event to the envy of other counties with as many as 100 teams taking part on seven Sunday afternoons over the winter months. Other competitions including the annual Yorkshire Congress flourished under his leadership.     

His leadership ability along with a flair for organising tournaments saw him elected to the EBU Board of Directors in 1996 serving as Vice-Chairman during the years 2002 – 2006 and elected to the Tournament Committee in 1994 until 2016 serving as Chairman between 1997 and 2002 where he brought the EBU Northern Summer Congress to Scarborough.  This became a hugely popular event and for many of the earliest years always coincided with glorious weather and Philip could always start his welcoming speech with a reference to this.    

In 2014 Philip announced he would be stepping down as YCBA Chairman in 2015 after completing 25 years’ service and subsequently received a prestigious EBU Silver Award for his services to bridge and was unanimously proposed as YCBA President.     

YCBA has lost one of its most dedicated and committed leaders and our deepest sympathy is extended to his daughter Julia, son-in-law Christopher, grandchildren Emma and Stephen and great grandsons Charlie and Oscar, along with his many friends in both the world and outside of bridge. Other interests included sport for which in his younger days he was a qualified football referee and often was a linesman at football league matches and once having to stand in for an injured referee in a top flight match. He also travelled extensively and named the house that he had built ‘Amboy House’ after a town on route 66 one of his favourite travel destinations. 

He will be very sadly missed and long remembered in YCBA for being for so long at the forefront of bridge provision for the county.

Keith Sowerbutts 1947 – 2020

It is with much sadness that we report that Keith passed away on 12 July following a number of years of failing health.

His bridge playing career spanned over 50 years playing his first knockout competition in 1969, following this he represented the county on many occasions including the 1995 Tollemache team. He was known for his unconventional but highly effective style of bidding and playing and whilst his partners may say he was not always easy to play with he was a much more difficult and formidable opponent at the bridge table.

Deepest sympathy is extended to his family, friends, bridge partners and the wider bridge community.

Full details of his tremendous contribution to York Bridge Club and funeral arrangements can be found of York Bridge Club’s website. here

Rob Turner (1949 – 2019)

It is with great sadness that we have been informed that Rob lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on 24 November 2019 shortly after his 70th birthday.
Rob had played bridge in Yorkshire for nearly forty years and for most of the last twenty had been an EBU Tournament Director. He ran many local events and supported numerous county and national competitions as well as being involved in the training of new Directors.
However he will be best remembered by YCBA as the county’s webmaster for establishing the first website in 1999 and developing the current website. His outstanding work maintaining the website for the benefit of all YCBA members will never be forgotten. In particular the speed at which the Yorkshire League results were displayed sometimes within minutes of matches ending contributed enormously to the enjoyment of members participating in the county league.
Rob also served on the YCBA Management Board for a number of years and undertook the role of Assistant Secretary from 2001 to 2008.
Our deep and sincere condolences are extended to Mary, his life and bridge partner for forty years as well as his wider family, friends and bridge partners.

Julia Staniforth YCBA Secretary

Les Brown

September 2019
We are sad to report the recent death of Les Brown.
At various times Les had been a member of both Huddersfield Bridge Club and Bradford Bridge Club and had represented both clubs in the Yorkshire League. He had recent success with Roger Sharp, winning the Yorkshire Pairs in 2018.
Les was a long-standing member of the YCBA and had edited the YCBA bulletin for many years. He was also the bridge correspondent for the Huddersfield Examiner for a period.

Nick Dyer 1951-2019

We are sad to report that Nick Dyer, of Doncaster Bridge Club, passed away on Sunday 6th January.
Our condolences go to all his friends and family.
For more information please see the Doncaster Bridge Club website.
The league match between Doncaster A and B was postponed as a mark of respect and will be played later this month.

Joe Kowalski

Joe Kowalski, a member of Huddersfield Bridge Club for over 50 years, has died recently. It was sad to see his rapid decline in recent months at the club, but still remarkable that he was performing well at Bridge up until a few weeks before his death at the age of 96. Joe represented Huddersfield Bridge Club in county events and in the Yorkshire League until last season. His greatest success was winning the Northern Pairs with Peter Radley when he was already well into his eighties. They then came a highly creditable 6th in the National Pairs final.

Chris Quigley

Many people will be sad to learn that Chris has died, after a short illness.
She had been a stalwart and much loved member at Doncaster for many years,
playing for their A team in the Yorkshire league, as well as for Yorkshire in the Northern Bridge League.

Bob Nicol, the Bradford Steward

To many Yorkshire players, Bob was a familiar figure they met whenever they visited Bradford Bridge Club.
He had been at Bradford for 30 years, having been employed with his wife, Val, in 1986.
Val died in November 1997 and Bob continued to work alone until this year, when his health deteriorated.
He died on July 5th aged 74, leaving two daughters (Nicky & Debbie) and 5 grandchildren.
Many in Yorkshire and the wider area will be sad to learn of his passing.
The Bradford Kibbitzer carries an appreciation by Elaine van Heel, and (further on) a full obituary.
Please click on the heading to visit.

Di Western

Di sadly passed away on 8 March after a courageous fight with cancer.
She played competitive bridge for over 40 years, firstly in her native Nottinghamshire and then in her adopted county of Yorkshire when she relocated with her family, becoming a member of Bridlington Bridge Club for sixteen years – and Chairman for seven years until 2003. During this time, Di worked tirelessly on behalf of the club, maintaining standards, teaching bridge to both beginners and improvers as well as organising the very successful Bridlington Congress. She also played and
was a very popular member of Scarborough Bridge Club until her return to Nottinghamshire to be nearer her family and many friends. Nevertheless, she continued to play in Yorkshire for a time at Doncaster Bridge Club, especially enjoying competing in the Yorkshire league. Di will be sadly missed by all her family and friends and as my special friend and a bridge partner.

Mavis Bamforth

1927 – 2015. It is with much sadness that we have been informed that Mavis passed away on 12 September. Mavis had been a member of Halifax Bridge Club since 1961. She was also a life member of Keighley BC and a member of Brighouse BC, playing for over fifty years in the Yorkshire League and in numerous county and national events. She will be sadly missed.

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