The Club's History

In the mid 1950's, Graham Griffith, John Spielman, Stephen Thomas and W. Morley Burry used to play bridge in a house on 41 Oakfield Road, just off Whiteladies Road, that was run by a lady as a business. She was charging them too much for the use of the premises so they moved, with many others, to Aces Bridge Club.

Graham Griffith was the driving force behind the formation of Bristol Bridge Club as it is now. He, John Spielman, Stephen Thomas and others, loaned or donated money to the new club, and subsequently bought the lease for the new premises on The Promenade in Clifton (close to the Mayor's residence). It was registered as Bristol Bridge Club, and Graham was the first Chairman of the Club 1958-1960.

In 1980, they were approached by the landlords to see if they would sell the lease as they had a buyer for the whole building. The lease still had 7 years to run so they were in a strong position to get a good deal. After months of searching, they found the new premises and put the move to the members at an EGM. Only a few did not like the idea, mainly because it was in Hotwells and not Clifton. They raised extra money by way of loans or gifts from members and a bank loan.

Following many months of further negotiations, they bought the lease of the present building in March 1981. Many members gave their time to get the building in shape, and it took around six months to get the place ready. In November 1981—over one weekend—they moved from The Promenade to Grenville Hall, Oldfield Road, our present premises.

Grenville Hall was probably a school hall for Grenville Place Chapel, the Wesleyan Methodist church behind it. The Chapel was built by the Trustees of the will of Thomas Whipple who was a member of the Church of England but wanted his money to be spent on a Methodist Chapel. It was opened on 23rd June 1839. The Hall was also previously used as a printing works and store for printing materials.


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