March 2017 Newsletter

This month we have an urgent request for expressions of interest in a trip to Snowdonia in June and the announcement of a Hebridean Islands Discovery trip at the end of September. We also have reminders of the combined rambling and sightseeing trip to Pembrokeshire in May and a visit to “Pete’s Place” in June.

Michael Fabianski, Newsletter Editor. E-mail:


Chairman’s Notes

On Monday 13th March we held the Club’s AGM at the Royal British Legion meeting room in Knowle. About 34 members and guests attended. The agenda included reports from all the Officers on the Committee. At the end of the meeting Gary Wooding gave the second part of his talk entitled “Looking through the Loop”, which was all about gemstones. The British Legion provided us with their usual excellent buffet lunch. If anyone wishes to receive a copy of the AGM Minutes, please contact our Club Secretary, Brian Long (

On a specific matter, I need a few more bookings for the Pembrokeshire Sightseeing and Rambling trip in May (see updated announcement in this Newsletter). The trip is viable, but unless I receive a few more bookings the cost of the trip may have to be increased. Phil has provided us with a very generous subsidy (£92 pp), so please add to the numbers to take full advantage of this.

Best Wishes.

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club


Freeserve shutting down

We understand that Freeserve is shutting down and that all Freeserve email addresses are being terminated as of the end of May. If you have a Freeserve email address and wish to continue receiving these newsletters, please inform Dave Compton ( of an alternative email address.

See the article Orange, Freeserve and Wanadoo email addresses to shut down for further information.


IBM Rewards

Some of you may be aware of IBM Rewards, but if not, you may wish to take a look at it. It enables you to earn cashback on purchases, and to buy discounted vouchers and reloadable cards, including the EasySaver Card. The vouchers and reloadable cards can be used at many different retailers and supermarkets.



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.

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.

Combined Rambling and Sightseeing trip to Pembrokeshire
Monday 22nd May to Friday 26th May 2017
Organisers: Alan Bridgman (Sightseeing) and Terry King (Rambling)

We have decided this year to go to Pembrokeshire, a part of Wales which has a wide variety of countryside and attractions. We are using the services of Group Travel again and we are booked into the 3* Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby. On the cliffs above Tenby’s sheltered, sunny North Beach, Fourcroft looks spectacularly over the old fishing harbour and across Carmarthen Bay.


The sightseeing itinerary will hopefully include some or all of the following:-

We shall stop on the way across to Tenby, and somewhere else on the way back.

Provisional cost
Depending on the number of people who wish to go on this trip, the approximate cost for members and first guests will be £360, and £450 for 2nd guests. This cost includes 4 nights half-board accommodation (DBB), executive coach travel to & from IBM Warwick and for excursions during the trip.

If anyone has any further suggestions for sightseeing trips, please let me know. (no promises, mind you!!) and I will do my best to include them in the final itinerary.

Alan Bridgman
Sightseeing Organiser

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

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).

Pete’s Place Thursday 1 June 2017 (Organiser Gary Wooding)

I am pleased to announce a very different type of event. Pete’s Place is a beautiful 20 acre private park with a lake, a small wood, and a ride-on miniature railway. There is an “African Queen” type of steam boat giving rides around the lake and the small island. The miniature railway is almost a mile long and is considered to be one of the best private ones in the country. All rides are totally free. Pete, the owner, provides all this totally free of charge; all the Retirees Club asks is that you make a donation of £10 per car to Pete’s favourite charity — the Air Ambulance. There is ample parking for all cars, and donations will be collected as you pass through the gate. This event is not restricted to Retiree Club members — tell your friends and the rest of your family, get as many people as you like in your car, it’s still only £10 per car.

Pete's Place

Pete's Place

Pete's Place

Pete's Place

Pete's Place

Pete’s place is just outside Pailton, near Monk’s Kirby. The actual address is…
Fairfield House
Coventry Road
CV23 0QA

SatNav co-ordinates 52deg,26min,04.99 sec N, 1deg,19min,13.48sec W
The entrance is not overly visible; here are two views from opposite directions…

Pete's Place entrance

Pete's Place entrance

Here is a map

Pete's Place entrance

So that we can get an idea of the number of attendees, please send a booking form, either by post or email, to Gary Wooding:

64 Binswood Avenue, Leamington Spa, CV32 5RY
Email:, Telephone: 01926 425485

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

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).

Snowdonia Monday 26th June to Friday 30th June. Expressions of interest required. (Organiser Dave Dagley)

We are hoping to get 20 seats on this Johnsons trip. The cost, with the club subsidy, will be around £479 per person for members (about £600 for second guests, subject to availability). The 3 Star Bulkeley Hotel, Beaumaris, is the most prestigious hotel in Anglesey, offering style, elegance and a warm welcome. In a prime position on the shores of the Menai Strait, overlooking the Snowdonia mountain range. Restaurant, Cosy Bar, Cocktail Lounge.
Mobility Grade: 5 Resort: Level. Hotel: Level with a few steps. Lift to all floors.

An overview of the itinerary is as follows:

Monday 26th June
We head for North Wales, with an included stop for lunch en-route, arriving at our hotel in the afternoon.

Tuesday 27th
We travel via Caernarfon, famous for its impressive castle, built by Edward I and scene of the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969. We continue to Portmeirion. Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, Portmeirion recreates an Italian village, with a truly Mediterranean feel and was the backdrop for the 1960s TV series ‘The Prisoner’.

Wednesday 28th
A free morning to relax and enjoy our hotel’s location. Perhaps visit the superb castle which is a well preserved example of medieval military architecture, or the gaol which will give you a fascinating insight into the world of the prisoner in Victorian times. This afternoon, we take a Puffin Island Cruise which has spectacular views of Snowdonia. See the Seal colony and up to 12 different species of sea birds in their natural habitat.

Thursday 29th
Today we visit the delightful village of Llanberis, situated at the foot of Mt Snowdon. Here, we include a ride on the Llanberis Lake Railway enjoying a leisurely journey along the northerly shore of Llyn Padarn.

Friday 30th
Our return journey takes us through more glorious Snowdonian scenery and following a stop for our included lunch en-route we arrive home during the early evening.

Full details of the trip can be found on Johnson’s website (see

We need expressions of interest now as we will need to act quickly.

Please contact Dave Dagley ( as soon as possible stating how many first (and second) guest places you may require.

Hebridean Islands Discovery Saturday September 30th to Saturday October 7th (Organiser Phil Dalton)

A tour by train, coach and ferry which island hops from Skye to Uist and from Harris to Lewis on this magical tour of the Hebridean islands. Every day is different as each sublime, rugged and breathtaking landscape unfolds before you. A visit to the Isle of Mull and a lovely journey on the western branch of the West Highland Line.

Tenby Tenby


Please specify your required departure railway station, whether you wish to travel in first class (where provided. e.g. to Glasgow outbound and from Inverness on return) and whether you hold a Senior Railcard on the booking form.

Cost: £1000 per member/1st Guest.1st Class supplement £110 per person. Senior Railcard discount £25 per person. A deposit of £100 per person will be required when your booking is confirmed.

Please see booking form for booking options.

N.B. Attendees need to be reasonably mobile and be able to climb stairs and carry their own cases as the Hebridean hotels can be quite small.

Organizer: Phil Dalton. Email:



Saturday - Arriving by train in Crianlarich, we spend our first two nights in the Highlands at the welcoming Crianlarich Hotel.D


Sunday - Lochs, glens and islands await today, as we explore the western branch of the West Highland Line, a contrast of quintessential Highland lochs and glens. Reaching Oban, we leave the mainland by ferry for the Isle of Mull, where we enjoy a visit to Duart Castle, the proud ancestral home of the Clan MacLean. Returning to Oban, we journey past Loch Etive and the appropriately named Loch Awe, before relaxing in our hotel bar with its extensive range of malts. B, D


Monday - One of the world’s great rail adventures - the stunningly picturesque and romantic ‘rail journey to the isles’ takes us over Rannoch Moor to Fort William. Our journey continues across ‘Harry Potter’ famed Glenfinnan Viaduct where the Highlander Monument stands at the head of lovely Loch Shiel, then around Loch Eilt before reaching the Atlantic coastline at Mallaig. Stroll around the small town and harbour, then board the Isle of Skye ferry, touring the heavenly southern peninsula, “the garden of Skye”. B, D


Tuesday - We travel the shores of Loch Snizort to Uig for the ferry cruise to North Uist. A tour of Benbecula and South Uist passing numerous lochans and beautiful beaches arrive at our hotel for a relaxing evening in a tranquil location. B, D


Wednesday - We cruise to the Isle of Harris and Lewis; a rugged landscape of moorland, deep-sea lochs, mountains and a proud history. With an expert local guide we explore Harris before continuing northwards to Lewis and the capital Stornoway. B, D


Thursday - Experience the dramatic landscape of Lewis on a full day tour in the company of our island guide, including the impressive standing stones of Callanish, a traditional thatched blackhouse settlement, and the ancient broch at Carloway. B, D


Friday - Explore Stornoway, its harbour and eclectic architecture before we depart the Hebrides, crossing to Ullapool for the spectacular journey over the Highlands to Inverness. B, D


Saturday - Travelling by train enjoy a glorious rail journey past the Cairngorms and southwards through Pitlochry to Edinburgh and homeward destinations. B

B=Breakfast, D=Dinner

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

Go to Booking Form (or pdf).


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,


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.


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