Barnet Shenkin was born in Daugavpils, Latvia in 1882, and his wife Freda Monfried in Riga, Latvia in 1892. They moved to Glasgow, and in lived at 25 Moray Place (now 52 Marywood Square) from around 1925 to after 1939.
Barnet was an importer of oriental carpets, at Wolfson & Shenkin, 58 West Regent street, and later B Shenkin & Co. The firm merged with Mercado in the 1950s, when his son Lennie and Bobby Mercado developed a partnership over a game of bridge. Barnet died in 1950 in Glasgow.
Their son Louis Shenkin was born in Glasgow on January 17 1917, and was educated at the fiercely academic Hutchesons’ Grammar School, on the south side of the city.
Shenkin then went on to study dentistry before being attracted into the family business, with which he remained for more than 60 years.
He was a leading administrator in bridge for more than a decade as Chairman of the British Bridge League, and an occasional non-playing captain of British teams, and an international bridge player in his own right. In 1949 he was a member of the first Scottish team to reach the final of the Gold Cup, Britain’s premier event, losing only narrowly.
He represented Scotland in the Home Internationals on eight occasions between 1949 and 1963, partnering his brother Lennie. His son, Barnet, represented both Britain and Scotland at bridge, and now lives in the US where he teaches and writes on bridge. In 1976 Louis Shenkin, as chairman of the BBL, presented the trophy for Britain’s leading Invitation Pairs event to the winner, his son. Louis died on 22nd April 2003.
The family were prominent members of the jewish community in Glasgow, in particular Reform Judaism. Louis’ wife, Mamie, wrote a history of the Glasgow Reform Synagogue, 1934-94. Currently based in Newton Mearns, the synagogue was first located in the house at 39 Queen Square in Strathbungo for a few years from 1936, later in Albert Road and briefly Langside Halls, and then at 306 Albert Drive.