June 2017 Newsletter

This month we have the announcement and booking form for a JCB Factory visit in September, a request for expressions of interest in a visit to Hardwick Hall in August and a second call for the visit to the Jewellery Quarter in July. We would also like to know what musical events would be of interest - please see below.

Members might also be interested in an IBM Birmingham Club trip to London in January 2018.

Michael Fabianski, Newsletter Editor. E-mail: ibmmidretnews@gmail.com


Chairman’s Notes

We completed an Event Planning meeting for 2018 events on Monday 19th June. It was earlier this year because events need to be booked much earlier than we have been used to. That’s the good news! The week before, I received two resignations from the Committee from Tony Mancell and Phil Dalton. Both Tony and Phil have provided long and valuable service to the Club. We still have not replaced the three vacancies from last year, so another set of three this year makes it feel like an impossible task to manage the Club in the way we have all got used to. We will use all the Committee meetings this year to discuss possible solutions to the problem. I will make sure that we keep you all informed of progress. We will, of course, be very pleased to receive any suggestions.

My apologies for being the bearer of bad news.

Kind regards

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club


Event Reports

Event Report: Combined Rambling and Sightseeing trip to Pembrokeshire 22-26 May 2017

On Monday 22nd May twenty-four of us boarded a coach at IBM Warwick and travelled, via a lunch stop in Chepstow, to Tenby. The ramblers disembarked at Saundersfoot to do a coast walk into Tenby. We stayed in a lovely hotel overlooking North Beach &mdash, the Fourcroft Hotel. Good rooms, good food, and most important of all, good staff.

On the Tuesday the sightseers travelled to Pembroke Castle for a self-guided tour and then walked to a local pub in Pembroke for lunch. In the afternoon we headed back to a National Trust property, Colby Woodland Gardens, near Amroth. Unfortunately, this was unsuitable for a full-size, 50-seater coach and Alan, the coach driver, damaged the coach while trying to extract it from the NT site. All those at the site had to make their own way back to Tenby via taxi, bus and Shank’s Pony.

We changed the coach driver’s rest day from Thursday to Wednesday, so that he could get the coach repaired (not really a rest day for him at all!!). Some of the ramblers did some local walking around Tenby, while many of the sightseers took the 20-minute boat trip to Caldey Island. The weather was beautiful and the island small but perfectly formed. It included a chocolate factory, which several of us managed to find.

On Thursday, the sightseers travelled to St Davids (the smallest city in the UK) and visited St Davids Cathedral and then had lunch in town. Several of the ramblers were dropped off near Cresselly to do a round trip via Lawrenny Quay, with its excellent crab sandwiches and local Welsh cider. In the afternoon the sightseers travelled north to Fishguard and visited a small family-run brewery (the Gwaun Valley brewery) where we sampled the beers and bought some bottles to bring back with us.

On Friday we packed up and checked out of the hotel and headed to Cardiff for a lunch break on the way back to IBM Warwick. The driver dropped us by Cardiff Castle, near the centre of the city, but then the problems started! The driver called to say that the coach was defunct and needed a new clutch — he was trying to find another coach that could pick us up and get us back to Warwick. To cut a long story short, we were eventually picked up by a Ferris Coach, transferred all our belongings from the old coach and headed for IBM Warwick, which we reached at about 8:00pm.

Alan Bridgman (Sightseer organiser)

Terry King (Rambling organiser)

Event Report: Pete’s Place - 1st June 2017

This new event was blessed by beautiful sunshine and a reasonable turnout which resulted £190 being collected for the Air Ambulance. There were slightly fewer attendees than expected, but everybody who expressed an opinion was very complimentary, and most felt that the experiment should be repeated next year.

Gary Wooding (Organiser)

Click on the images below to see higher resolution versions.

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40th anniversary of IBM Warwick

Pete Murchison and Martin Ferrier will be informally commemorating the 40th anniversary of IBM Warwick (beneficial occupancy was 8th August 1977) at the Fourpenny Shop on Tuesday the 8th August at 12:00 with a pint or two, and will probably be there most of the afternoon and into the evening.

You are welcome to join us if you have an affinity with Warwick in its early years. There is no food laid on but I am sure they will serve you something if you are hungry.

Martin Ferrier (contact@martinferrier.com)



Click here to see the list of the events which are provisionally planned for 2017.

The following is the status of those events which have been announced.

12 JulyJewellery Quarter. See below.
25 JulySummer Lunch. Closed.
24 AugustHardwick Hall. See below.
20 SeptemberJCB Factory visit. See below.
30 September - 7 OctoberHebridean Islands Discovery. Closed.

Booking Conditions. Click here to read the terms and conditions. Members should also be aware of Public Liability Insurance provided by the Club.

Photographs from Past Events. Click here or here to view a selection of photographs from past events.

E1711: Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, Wednesday 12th July 2017 (Gary Wooding)

I am pleased to announce a visit to the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter consisting of a visit to the Museum of Jewellery, a guided tour of the Jewellery Quarter itself, and a visit to the Pen Museum.

The Museum of Jewellery is an extraordinary time capsule based on Smith & Pepper’s last working day; an actual jewellery factory that was simply abandoned when it closed its doors in 1981. The tour includes light refreshments and a guide book.

The guided tour of the actual Jewellery Quarter itself will explore its colourful past and various important sites that comprise this important area of Birmingham. It will involve a small amount of walking.

The Pen Museum tells the story of Birmingham’s important role in the information revolution and contains an amazing collection of over 5000 objects related to the Birmingham steel pen trade and the history of writing.

Lunch has been booked at The Button Factory which, surprisingly, was once a factory for making buttons. Sandwiches, light, or full lunches are available.

This is a drive yourself event and, although lunch has been booked, it is not included in the price and is dependent on at least 15 people in the group.

The area is well provided with car parks.

The cost for members and 1st guests will be £14.50, 2nd guests £17.00.

Please send your booking form to Gary Wooding as soon as possible to reserve your place:
Email: binswood@gmail.com, Telephone: 01926 425485

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).

Refer to the document Event Booking Conditions for Terms and Conditions.

E1705: Hardwick Hall(s), Day Trip Thursday 24th August (Dave Dagley)

Coach trip departing IBM Warwick

Day includes tour of both ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Halls with lunch.

Cost will be £45 / per person

Expressions of interest as soon as possible please to:

David Dagley pianosman@gmail.com

Booking form will be in July Newsletter if sufficient interest

Details of this National Trust property can be found at…


Hardwick Old Hall

Hardwick Old Hall is one of the most innovative houses of the Tudor period. It was built between 1587 and 1596 by Bess of Hardwick, who was among the richest and best-connected women of the Elizabethan age. Bess of Hardwick was the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I, and her house was conceived to be a conspicuous statement of her wealth and power. A radical modern mansion, it drew on the latest Italian innovations in house design. Although the Old Hall is now a magnificent shell, it remains a glittering reflection of Bess’s status and aspirations.

Hardwick (New) Hall

Sited on a hilltop between Chesterfield and Mansfield, overlooking the Derbyshire countryside, Hardwick Hall was designed by Robert Smithson in the late 16th century. Ordered by Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury and ancestress of the Dukes of Devonshire, it remained in the ownership of her descendants until the mid-twentieth century.

Hardwick Hall was the setting for the 10-part BBC series Mistress of Hardwick and was also used to film the exterior scenes and some interior scenes of Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow.

Dave Dagley

E1714: JCB Factory visit, Wednesday 20th September 2017 (Dave Compton)

We have a booking for a walking tour of the JCB factory at Rocester (near Uttoxeter) on Wednesday 20th September.

The tour will start with a two course lunch, a unique dining experience in their VIP Hospitality Suite with seasonal dishes created by Head Chef, Alastair Rowe, using the organic produce sourced from their sister farm, ‘Daylesford Organic’.

After lunch there will be a short presentation in the JCB Theatre showing their corporate brand video on the global manufacturing facilities and products. You will then be invited by one of their Tour Guides to attend a personal tour of the ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition with time to visit the JCB shop.

The tour continues onto the assembly line of the world famous Backhoe Loader machine; here you will see the process of how the machine is built from the delivery of the sheet steel, profiling, laser cutting, welding, paint shop, assembly and finally the finished product.

The tour lasts approximately 2½ hours and covers about 3 miles. As such, it may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties. However, it is a wheelchair friendly site. Closed toed shoes must be worn. JCB will provide all other PPE on site (Hi Viz, glasses & ear protection). No photography is permitted. Further details can be found by visiting the JCB website.

This will be a self-drive visit (about 90 minutes from Warwick - details to follow) and will be open to second guests. Cost for members and first guests will be £25.00 pp and £30.00 pp for second guests.

Please complete the attached booking form and return it to Dave Compton by Monday 21st August.

Word document     Printable Booking Form

Refer to the document Event Booking Conditions for Terms and Conditions.

Musical Events (Dave Dagley)

It has been suggested in a couple of surveys that our members would like to see more musical events included both in the planning process and actual events. For my sins I have volunteered to find out what types of event you prefer or what genres you like (and/or hate). Google lists 40 ‘genres of music’ but I ‘m almost sure that there are some I needn’t concern myself with — but I could be proven wrong!

Rather than asking you to complete another survey would any of you interested in this topic, and willing to give me guidance, please drop me an email at pianosman@gmail.com

State your preferences , or even a particular event you would like to attend or draw my attention to. I’m sure you’ll understand that at this time I can’t (daren’t!) make any promises but anything you tell me will be used as input to choosing events. (We do have a little money put aside for the remainder of this year).

This needn’t be a ‘one off’ thing — drop me a note anytime you think there’s an interesting event coming up; who knows we may be able to include it — given time to get organised and monies available of course!

As I’ve said, having no idea of your preferences, I’ve listed below are a selection of items to start the discussion.

Further details for all of the above, as well as numerous other ‘events’ at the Birmingham Town Hall/Symphony Hall, can be ‘googled’ by going to www.thsh.co.uk/whats-on

Please don’t waste this opportunity to TELL your committee your likes, dislikes and musical desires!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dave Dagley

IBM Birmingham Club trip to London, January 2018

Members may be interested in this trip organised by the Birmingham Club which has been run regularly in January for several years. There are no organised events on this trip, but it provides an opportunity for sightseeing, shopping, theatre visits or whatever else you might like to do in London. There is no subsidy for this event.

Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January 2018
Price £175 per person
Usual format - coach travel, two nights bed and breakfast a Tower
Guoman (Tower Bridge) Hotel
Outward depart IBM Warwick 3.30 pm
Return Embankment 3.30 pm

£50 deposit, balance by 1 november
Ring Mike Cashmore - 0121 745 9693


Sub-Groups of Retirees Club and Employee Club

IBM Retirees Rambling Group

The IBM (Warwick) Rambling Club is now a subsection of the IBM Midlands Retiree Club. Any member of the Midlands Retiree club is welcome to join our subsection. Our subs are £5 per person per year. Our programme consists of a meal in late February, a monthly ramble with a pub lunch using own transport and an AGM in December. We also share a 3-4 day trip using coach transport with retiree sightseers in May.

Any retiree who would like to give us a try, can come along on one of our monthly walks without needing to join. Meal subsidies are available only to members and not for those joining us on a trial basis.

Go to a list of the planned walks for 2017 and other information.

For more information, please contact Terry King, terryaking@hotmail.com.


IBM Retirees PC and Technology Group (founded by Harry Green)

The IBM Retirees PC and Technology Group meets every alternate month for a lively discussion on PC and technology topics in the digital age. There are usually one or two specific presentations given by members or by outside speakers, which the members of the Group have requested. We try to provide a reasonable balance between PC “techie” topics, new technology, and topics of a more general nature such as digital television, Internet telephony and digital photography. So whether you are a newcomer to the PC or a more experienced user, we hope you will find something of interest. You are very welcome to join us.

Go to meeting dates and other information.


Members’ Notices

We all know Midlands Retirees who are undertaking a range of activities to raise money for good causes. The Committee have therefore decided to offer this space to advertise such initiatives.

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club

Dave Compton

Sarah London Marathon

Our daughter, Sarah, is undertaking two extreme challenges to raise funds for ASPIRE, a spinal injury charity. On 23rd April, she completed the first of these by finishing the London Marathon in 5 hours 17 minutes. She is now concentrating her training for the second challenge as part of a relay team swimming the Channel in July. Six swimmers will take it in turns to swim for an hour each, rotating as many times as it takes to reach France. She has very personal reasons for undertaking these challenges which you can read at www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Mieves and if you feel that you can support her, she would be very grateful for any contributions towards her target.

Sheila Short

Spicy Jazz to perform in aid of REMAP

Many of you will recall the work that Barry Wiggins did with the REMAP charity — an organisation that works locally to help disabled people through customising equipment to help them with everyday living.

After Barry’s sad death I was asked to take on the role that he had fulfilled as secretary to the Coventry and Warwickshire REMAP Panel. A number of you know me (Richard Short’s wife) through the Retirees Club, and other Club members - Gary Wooding, Brian Dunston and Brian Mayne — are actively involved with REMAP. Clients may contact us themselves to us for help, or are referred to us by family, friends or clinical specialists such as occupational therapists. Everything that is done for the client is free of charge.

In order to raise funds to support this amazing work, I am organising a jazz event and I am asking you, your family and friends to buy tickets and come along to support us.

The event is on Saturday 29th July 2017, 7.30pm at St Nicholas Church, (Abbey Fields) Kenilworth.

Tickets are £12 in advance and are available from me, Sheila Short, or Richard via email

sshort927@gmail.com or rdshort9@gmail.com

or call 01926 864451

Ticket price includes interval refreshment.

More information


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