Pattaya bridge club clocks up 160 years – almost!

Jeremy Watson (left) and Barry Kenyon are two of Pattaya’s bridge stalwarts.

Jeremy Watson, tournament director of Jomtien-Pattaya bridge club, reached his 80th birthday on June 21 just weeks ahead of Barry Kenyon, 79 and the club’s founder in 1994.  Jeremy, who was brought up in Portsmouth, is a chartered accountant and retired company director.  Married to Sally for over 50 years, Jeremy has three grown-up children and lives in the Bang Saray district, near Pattaya.

He said that Covid-19 had badly disrupted the club’s activities for obvious reasons, but that he looked forward to Pattaya being able to welcome international visitors again in the near future.  The most famous incident in the club’s history was the 2016 arrest of 30 members, including both Jeremy and Barry, on the Department of Provincial Administration’s (unwarranted) suspicions that gambling was taking place.

Jeremy cuts his birthday cake on his 80th birthday.

Jeremy said of the arrests, “For a short period our small club was the most famous in the world because of the publicity generated here and abroad.  It is said that everyone is famous for 15 minutes and that was the occasion for most of us.  Of course, nobody actually appeared in court and the charges were soon dropped.”  The club has since been relicensed.

Barry Kenyon, born in Lancashire, is a foreign advisor to the international law firm located next to the Jomtien immigration police bureau and is an honorary columnist and news feature writer for Pattaya Mail.  He said he had no responsibility these days for running the club, but still enjoyed playing the game whenever the opportunity arose.