Hi all,

Just a quick note – Please remember that once we start a movement, you are committed to stay till the end. If one person loses connection it is important to regain connection as soon as possible. If that proves a problem after a few minutes, then the partner should call the director. The Director will then visit the table and sort out a solution. If both players leave it affects the whole movement. Thanks.


The U3A “academic” year runs from September to May as set out in the Blue Book. Some Groups opt to continue through the summer months but they do so at their own cost.

Consequently as from June 1st onwards, anyone taking part in our Bridge on line, would have to join the ranks of the other non U3A members and pay £1 per session for their cost and charity donations. By next week, (a further £300 on its way), Cardiac Rehab would have benefitted by just over £2000 of donations from our Bridge sessions, which was my target. We will continue to support Cardiac Rehab and also now St Barnabas Hospice, which I also support.

U3A have been very fair over the last 5 months, and I have thanked them for their support.  They likewise have thanked us for running these sessions for them.

It is planned that we will be returning to normal Bridge in September.

So, over the next 3 months, we will still be playing the same 3 Sessions at the same times. i.e. Thursday mornings at 10am, Thursday afternoons at 3pm and Friday Afternoon at 2pm. This may well continue until September, depending on need and numbers.

If you would like to play in ANY of the 3 sessions after 1st June, I would appreciate it if you could pay the small amount of £1 each session to join us. Rather than pay per session, would you please pay for 5 or 10 sessions in advance, and I will hold this in credit.  I will be keeping attendance sheets for all sessions, and will let you know when your credit runs low.  Over half of you already have credit which you can use for all sessions, and a lot of your (non U3A) friends are already playing under this scheme.   There is no hurry to pay and you will still be able to play next week, so just pay when convenient.

In addition, if there is anyone that is having financial difficulties but would still like to play, then let me know (in confidence) and I will help.



Gary will email updates each week to everyone on his list. This will include the links you need to join.


Earlier information:


There have been some problems recently, where this email has been picked up by various email filters – putting it in Spam or Junk.

If you have not received it, please check your Junk/Spam file or let Gary know. He can send you the link again if needed.

This email is sent to ALL people who have requested to play in either of the Alton U3A  sessions this week including anyone who has played in any of the previous sessions or is on my list.

You don’t need to let me know if you don’t plan to play.

There is nothing to install or register for, you simply click on the link.   Put in your full real name and click login. Nothing else is needed, ID not required.

Examples of full real name: John Smith, Kim Brown.
Examples of ways to log in that we’d like to you avoid: Karen, jj smith, ADAMS

I suggest click the link in “Step 1 getting ready” below just to make sure it works… (you will arrive into an empty club room). Contact me ASAP if you have any problem using this link.


Click the link below for special camera and microphone test, takes 3 mins, please do it in good time BEFORE the session.

If it doesn’t work please cut and paste it into your search engine.

If it doesn’t work please let me know

Also have a look at the Real Bridge player guide (again, please cut and paste this link)


Please enter the session at the right time, as above

Please sit at a higher number table if you need a partner, and we will check with you there.

Sit at a table (by clicking Sit E, for example) just as you would at a face to face club.

Familiarise yourself with the buttons, and click the settings (cog wheel) icon to choose options that will suit you. If you are a tablet user, it is suggested that you use ‘Simplified cards’.


Exactly same as face to face bridge.

I look forward to seeing you soon, Regards, Gary



Realbridge is now up and running online at Alton u3a.

This is a completely new online experience with Sound and Vision, so just like sitting at a table talking with friends.

The times are 10am and 2pm on Thursdays and 2pm on Fridays (when the monthly talk is on, this moves to 3.30).

If anyone who is not currently registered for this would like to find out more, please use the contact form here.


What do members say? Feedback includes:

“My bridge partner and I are both widows, living on our own, so at present we are unable to see anyone. We both love playing bridge, and this new method of playing, not only enables us to play a game we love, but also to chat to friends and acquaintances that we haven’t seen since lockdown. Thank you. It has made such a difference to us.”

“My son has set up my laptop to enable me to get online and play for the first time!”


After Lockdown: Our options will be kept open, but given the success of Realbridge I will almost certainly keep at least one Session open, which in all likelihood be the Thursday afternoon one.  Once the Community centre opens again, and Bridge is allowed to carry on indoors, then that will replace the Real Bridge U3A sessions, as they are exactly the same times  (Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons). However, there are some U3A members who will still like to play online, and I am sure would like to carry on Thursday afternoons, so I will give them that option. Gary.