My first year as Chairman has been a rewarding experience with the highlight particularly of Manchester CBA hosting the Camrose and Corn Cairdis matches at Cheadle House in December 2003. This was a most enjoyable weekend for everyone involved and I particularly thank all those who contributed to the success of this event. We can look forward to a similar occasion next year when we will be hosting the Lady Milne at Chancellor Hotel and Conference Centre on April 17-19 2005.

On a sadder note, this year has seen the loss of two of our longstanding Officers Mary Higson and Henry Huggill, and I am sure their influence will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege of working with them.

There will be the usual calendar of  events next year. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be a new venue for the Manchester Congress next January 8-9 at the Lancaster Hall, New Century House and your support at this event will be greatly appreciated. There will be a new Golf/Bridge event added to the Calendar (scheduled for June 10th 2004) this year which may become a regular fixture if it proves a success. I should also like to bring to your attention some EBU events in the coming year, namely the “Master Class Tour” with Andrew Robson on 14-18 September, and with Ron Klinger on 1-20 October, and an event “Tricks of the Trade” with the Hackett family in Spring 2005. Also, the Mind Sports Olympiad will be in Manchester for the next four years featuring extensive bridge prizes and the current top player in the world Geir Helgemo will be present this year.

There have been international appearances for several of our members – M.Brunner, R.Goldenfield, T.Capal, M.Byrne, A.Morris and E.Levy this last year and we wish M.Brunner/R.Goldenfield every success in the forthcoming European Championships.
In addition, I would offer my congratulations to Dr Alan Jones and David Barton in winning the prestigious 2004 National Pairs Championship.
The number of teams in the Manchester League/Cup competitions has dropped however, it continues to be a popular competition with opportunity for all levels of player from Newcomers to top internationals. Next year, will see a restructure of the league to try and get the standard of  the top teams better balanced in the higher divisions.

There has been a lot of  bridge teaching in local schools and we would welcome any volunteers for teaching or supervising bridge (or minibridge) at the schools level.
Our website now contains an enormous amount of information and provides an extremely comprehensive results service.

There are many people who work hard to ensure the smooth and effective running of Manchester CBA affairs. It would be wrong for me to single out anyone for special praise but I thank all of them and many others at club level for the time they give so freely.

I look forward to another successful year of bridge in the Manchester County.
Best wishes for the coming season.