It has been a hectic couple of months since my last update. A Peebles Congress, 2 National League weekends, various Gold Cup matches and organising our Red Point Swiss Pairs have kept me very busy.

On the local front, the leagues are well under way and attendances at the Centre based clubs have been holding up well, particularly the afternoon clubs. We have had great turnouts at the Improver Fridays and I would like to thank the willing volunteers who have given up their time to help. Also, thanks to all those who stayed behind after last Friday afternoon to assist in putting up a few Christmas decorations.

On the negative side has been the poor take-up for the Ayrshire Pairs, where the semi finals have been cancelled due to lack of numbers wanting to play. The leagues, Ayrshire Cup, Tourney Cup, simultaneous pairs etc have all suffered downturns over the last 5 to 10 years and maybe the Council needs to have a look at whether a complete revamp of some of these is required to reflect the changing needs of our members. We are not alone in Ayrshire. Our neighbours in the South and West Districts have been equally affected with many of their competitions disappearing or being cancelled.

Sorry also to say that we have lost another member from the Council. Charlie Rennie has decided to step down as premises manager due to a change of circumstances. This has resulted in the Hall duties being split further. Maureen Rennie will take responsibility for the cleaner. Ian Burn has offered to keep the centre supplies up to date and will do this outwith the Council. We have one new volunteer to be elected to the Council in the New Year and would like to hear of anybody else who might be willing to lend a hand. In particular, somebody with a few handyman skills to help with odd jobs would be very welcome. There is no need for such a person to be part of the Council, nor to have to attend meetings, so if that has put you off in the past, now is the time to get in touch.

We had a National win in the Bowman. Congratulations to Eddie McGeough and Angela Knox. Also the Diamond Trophy winners came from the Ayrshire heat, so well done to Jim McMenemy and Bobby Moore.

I just have time to mention that daughter of mine. Yvonne has just spent 3 weeks sailing across the Atlantic in a small boat with 4 other bridge enthusiasts. They have just reached Barbados and first item on the agenda after arriving was to visit the local bridge club. And what is the name of the town where they docked? Why, Bridgetown of course!

Anyway, as we approach the year end our thoughts now turn towards Christmas parties, having a well earned break and recharging our batteries ready for 2019. I would like to wish all of you and your families a very happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.