October 2014 Newsletter

Editorial

There are still a few places left for the ever popular skittles evening on Tuesday 11th November, but please get your request in to David Dagley as soon as possible if you would like to go. There are also still places available at this year’s Christmas lunch; don’t miss out on the chance to meet up with old colleagues and friends - send in your booking form now.

This newsletter also has reports on the recent trips to the Scilly Isles and to Jersey for Tennerfest.

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

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Chairman’s Notes

We have to report the sudden and unexpected death of our colleague, Barry Wiggins, at the end of September. Barry was a member of the Midlands Retirees Club committee and Chairman of the Ramblers sub-section. One of charities in which he was heavily involved was REMAP. Those of you who attended this year’s AGM will remember a brilliant presentation given by Barry and Gary Wooding about this charity. We are very concerned that a replacement for Barry on this charity needs to be found as quickly as possible. I have therefore asked the Editor to include a message we received from Gary Wooding describing this requirement. Barry’s replacement does not have to be an IBMer but could be any friend or local acquaintance. Please give some thought to Gary’s request and let him know about any possible candidates.

On more mundane matters, Christmas is almost within sight and I am repeating the IBM Christmas lunch announcement. I have received 65 bookings out of a maximum of 110 people, so there are plenty of places left, but please get your booking forms and cheques in without delay. I shall close off the list at the end of November.

Alan Bridgman
Chairman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club

Seeking a REMAP Secretary

Many of you are aware that Barry Wiggins, one of the Retiree Club committee members, died suddenly on 26th September. Barry was actively involved in several clubs and charities, one of which is REMAP.

REMAP is the name of a national charity (see www.remap.org.uk) that has just celebrated its 50th birthday. It is divided into small, autonomous groups, called “panels”; roughly one per county. Its remit is to design and construct, free of charge to the client, specialised, unique, pieces of equipment to assist disabled people to improve their quality of life, such equipment not being commercially available. “Coventry and Warwickshire REMAP” is the name of the local panel, which covers all of Warwickshire and Coventry, and is comprised of about 8 active members, all volunteers. Barry was a founder member. I am one of engineers.

Barry was the panel’s secretary. He wasn’t an engineer, nor did he visit clients or make equipment. Instead, he was the panel’s kingpin who communicated with REMAP HO, fielded referrals from clients, carers and OTs (Occupational Therapists) etc. and allocated the cases at the monthly meetings, where he also took the minutes. The meetings alternate between mornings in a church hall in Warwick and evenings in a private house in Leamington Spa.

Barry’s death has serious consequences for the panel, and, unless we can find somebody to step into his shoes there is a very definite possibility that the panel will disintegrate.

We have engineers (never enough, of course), a chairman, and a treasurer, but nobody to act as secretary.

If you, or a relative, or a friend, are interested in being secretary of the Coventry & Warwickshire REMAP panel, then contact Gary Wooding at binswood@gmail.com or 01926 425485.

Isles of Scilly - September 18-24

This trip was very much an experiment as it is believed that this was the first time that your club had booked onto a standard advertised tour. As a result a group of 20 Club members and partners met up with 14 independent travellers at Johnson’s coach depot in Henley-in-Arden.

The journey down to Lands End Airport was broken with comfort stops and lunch being taken at Buckfast Abbey. Upon arrival at the Airport, check-in was quick and easy (why can’t all airports be as efficient?). Now I wouldn’t say the planes were small, but for the 35 of us, including our courier, required 4 planes; 3 for the passengers and 1 for the baggage! Transfer from the airport upon arrival on St Mary’s to our hotel was also extremely efficient, only taking about 5 minutes.

The first day dawned with the island being blanketed with thick fog, isolating the Islands as no planes could fly and the ferry from Penzance did not run. A guided walk of St Mary’s was undertaken although not much of the views could be seen due to the fog. Convinced that we had walked half of the Island, it came as a bit of shock to discover only about a quarter had been covered.

Off to St Agnes on the second day, with mist still present. A walk across the sandbar at low tide to Gugh (pronounced Goo) Island where the mist cleared and blue skies were the order for the remainder of the whole trip. Fortunately, we all got back across the sandbar before the tide rose and walked around St Agnes.

Sunday was a free day, with some people walking right around St Mary’s and others doing their own thing. St Mary’s and indeed all of the Isles of Scilly have a large amount of prehistoric village remains, graves and standing stones. On St Mary’s there is a concentration of these at the North of the Island where beautiful white sand beaches also exist.

The remaining two days included visits to Tresco with its Abbey and Gardens and also to St Martin’s. Both days having fantastic views and almost millpond seas.

Our hotel, the Atlantic, was excellent with good rooms with many people complimentary on the quality of food supplied for both breakfast and dinner.

Although all of the islands are relatively small, it is necessary to be reasonably mobile as the minimum requirement is to be able to walk between the low and high water quays on Tresco and St Martin’s, approximately 1 mile in both cases.

This trip was deemed by all to be a huge success with all I spoke to, saying that they would return to the Isles of Scilly. In fact I have had a couple of emails since returning saying that it was the best Retirees trip ever. As a result your committee has agreed for me to request statements of interest in returning to the Isles of Scilly, probably in May 2016. Should this trip actually go ahead then priority would be given to those waitlisted for this trip. Send no money, but please reply to me asap in order that I can negotiate terms with Johnsons Coaches.

Phil Dalton Email: phil_dalton@btinternet.com

Click on any of the images below to see a larger photo.

Here we go
Here we go
View from hotel
View from hotel
Walking to Gugh Islands from St Agnes
Walking to Gugh Islands from St Agnes
Red Squirrel on Tresco
Red Squirrel on Tresco
Walking back to St Martin's Quay
Walking back to St Martin’s Quay

Jersey Tennerfest - 7-11 October 2014

Nine of us from the Midlands, and two from the south-west, flew to Jersey for the annual Tennerfest, where nearly 200 restaurants on the two channel islands offer fixed price meals, ranging in price from £12.50 to £20.00 for either two or three courses.

We stayed in the three-star Apollo hotel, did the usual sight-seeing during the day, and all gathered back at the hotel for the short walk to our restaurant for the evening meal that Simon had pre-booked. On the first night, our chosen venue claimed to have no record of our booking. However, they quickly pushed some tables together to accommodate us.

Thus warned, Simon checked the remaining venues -- they all had our bookings, so we were able to enjoy the main reason for coming to Jersey in the first place. Being surrounded by sea, most of the menus favoured fish in various guises. We couldn’t have asked for better service, quality or value.

All in all, a most enjoyable four days. Even the weather was on our side.

Simon Barratt

Day 1 -- Atlantique Seafood Bar
Day 1 -- Atlantique Seafood Bar
Day 2 -- Hugo's
Day 2 -- Hugo’s
Day 3 -- Manos Bistro
Day 3 -- Manos Bistro
Day 4 -- Blue Ocean
Day 4 -- Blue Ocean

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Events

Click here to see the list of the events which are planned for 2014. The following is the status of those which have been announced.

Booking Conditions. Click here to read the terms and conditions.

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

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Christmas Lunch - Wednesday 17th December 2014
WROXALL ABBEY ESTATE, Birmingham Road, Wroxall, Warwickshire CV35 7NB

By popular request we are returning to Wroxall Abbey this year, as so many people enjoyed last year’s experience. We shall be dining in The Mansion, a magnificent Grade II listed building, which is part of the Wroxall Abbey Estate. We shall be having pre-lunch drinks in the Boadwood Bar and Garden Lounge and lunch will be served in the Sonnets and Wedgewood dining rooms.

Wroxall Abbey Estate

Sadly, in these straightened times, I decided to keep the numbers high rather than increase the level of subsidy so the cost has had to be increased this year, but I still believe it represents good value. The cost will include a welcome drink on arrival, wine with the meal and coffee and mince pies afterwards.

Directions to Wroxall Abbey Estate and a complete list of attendees will be sent nearer the time of the event.

Those of you with access to the internet can view details of the Wroxall Abbey Estate at www.wroxall.com.

MENU

Coffee with Mince Pies

To book a place, fill in the booking form and send it with your cheque for £24 for member and first guest, £40 for each second guest - made payable to IBM Retirees Club [Midlands], to:-

Alan Bridgman, 101 Albany Road, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6PQ
Email: abri@waitrose.com, Telephone: 01789-267134

Refer to the document Event Booking Conditions for terms and conditions.

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).

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Skittles Evening at Snitterfield - Tuesday 11th November 2014 (organiser David Dagley)

A skittles evening has been organised to take place at Snitterfield Sports Club for the evening of Tuesday 11th November 2014. This will be a ‘self drive’ event with a 19:30 meet and a 20:00 start time. A hot buffet will be provided that should suit both carnivores and vegetarians together with prizes for the evening’s winners. Maximum number of participants will be thirty; ladies should not bowl in high heels.

Costs for the evening will be £10.00 per head for members (including a drinks voucher) and first guests, cost for second and subsequent guests will be £14.00 per head.

To book a place, fill in the booking form and send it with your cheque for £10 for member and first guest, £14 for each second guest - made payable to IBM Retirees Club [Midlands], to:-

David Dagley, 47 Hanbury Road, Dorridge, Solihull, West Midlands, B93 8DW
Email: david.dagley@lineone.net

Refer to the document Event Booking Conditions for terms and conditions.

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).

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Sub-Groups of IBM Club and Retirees Club

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.

Contacts:- Roger Goodman email:- roger@northside.me.uk Alan Bridgman email:- abri@waitrose.com

Go to meeting dates and other information

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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.

Our 2014 walk dates are: 9th February, 16th March, 16th April, 8th June, 20th July, 24th August, 14th September, 12th October, 16th November. All walk dates are Sundays with the exception of 16th April which is a Wednesday.

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

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Click on the links below for specific information. Links to booking forms are from the event announcement.

IBM Midlands Retiree Club Constitution Committee Contacts AGM Minutes Newsletter Archives IBM Club Warwick UK IBM Club Newsletter Production IBM Alumni Directory IBM Hursley Museum IBM Shares Employee Purchase Plan
IBM Pensions Trust (Rewards, IBM Contacts and other useful information)