January 2015 Newsletter

A new year is upon us and we have a very full newsletter this month. We have announcements and booking forms for the Spring Lunch at Nuthurst Grange on 26th March, a Mainline Steam trip on the Cumbrian Coastal Explorer and a trip to Reims.

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


Chairman’s Notes

We had a successful Christmas Lunch for a second successive year at Wroxall Abbey. Although I must send my commiserations to the eight people who had to cry off at the last minute because of illness. See below for a few photos taken at the lunch.

I have referred several times over recent years to the twin problems we have to cope with. The IBM subsidy is regularly being reduced, but more annoying still is the fact that we are never told in advance by how much until the money actually arrives! And secondly, the fact that hotels in this country and in Europe are requiring both deposits and final payments earlier and earlier.

Both of these problems are perfectly illustrated by the Reims trip which is being announced in this Newsletter. I have never had to announce a June event in January before now; and as we haven’t received our first-half IBM subsidy yet, I haven’t been able to quote the cost of the trip to members and first guests.

So please bear with us - we are doing our best to bring you the best events at the best price we can arrange.

Finally, may I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New year.

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club


IBM Retirees Annual General Meeting

The 2015 Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 16th March 2015 to arrive at 10:30 for a 11:00am start. A buffet lunch will be provided.

The Royal British Legion (Knowle) Club Ltd
1611 Warwick Road
West Midlands B93 9LF

The guest speaker will be the IBM UK Club Oversight Manager and a member of her staff. Please put this in your diaries and make every effort to attend. It will be an opportunity to put your burning questions to them and get a full understanding of the challenges ahead. I will provide further details in the February newsletter and be asking for names of those who will attend for catering logistics.

Brian Long


Christmas Lunch at Wroxall Abbey

Click on any of the photos below for a larger version. All of these photos and more can also be found on Dropbox.

Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey
Christmas Lunch 2014 at Wroxall Abbey



Click here to see the list of the events which are planned for 2015. 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.


Spring Lunch - Thursday 26th March 2015 (Organiser: Gary Wooding)
Nuthurst Grange Ln, Hockley Heath, Warwickshire B94 5NL

This year we are returning to the superb country house hotel of Nuthurst Grange, set in more than seven acres of private woodlands at Hockley Heath. those who were waitlisted for last year’s event are advised to book early.

We have exclusive use of the Packwood Room, and have booked a guest speaker to enlighten us about the amazing Jennens case that inspired Charles Dickens to write Bleak House.

The price for this event, including a welcome drink, lunch, wine, and Tea/Coffee, is dependent on this year’s IBM subsidy (which is reduced yet again), but is expected to be around £31.00 for member/first guest. Until this is finalised, and to secure your booking, please send a deposit of £10 per member/first guest. Second guests may be accommodated at £45.49, but will be waitlisted initially.

Please make your menu choices from the following sample menu, which could change:

Tea or Coffee

Please note any special dietary requirements or food allergies on the booking form.

To book a place, fill in the booking form and send it with your cheque made payable to IBM Retirees Club (Midlands), to:-

Gary Wooding, 64 Binswood Avenue, Leamington Spa, CV32 5RY.
Email: binswood@gmail.com, Telephone: 01926 425485

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

Go to Booking Form


Cumbrian Coastal Explorer - Mainline Steam trip, Saturday 18 April (Organiser: Phil Dalton)

Enjoy a scenic day out as we storm Shap in the morning, then after a short break in Carlisle, return down the most picturesque Cumbrian Coast.
Our day begins behind heritage diesel No. 47773 “The Queen Mother” from Tyseley to Carnforth, where Vintage Trains flagship locomotive, Ex-GWR No. 5043 “Earl of Mount Edgcumbe” takes over for the punishing climb of the ferocious gradients of Grayrigg and Shap, descending into the border City of Carlisle, steeped in ancient history dating back to the beginning of the British Isles.
After a short Afternoon break in Carlisle, we return around the longest and most scenic coastal line in England. The beautiful, twisting Cumbrian coast route hugs the coastline offering spectacular views across the Solway Firth and towards the Isle of Man, passing through historic Whitehaven, pretty Ravenglass and around Morecambe Bay with the background of the Lake District mountains awash with the setting sun.
Upon our return to Carnforth, the diesel will pilot the train down the WCML from Carnforth back to Tyseley via Birmingham New Street.
Commencing at Tyseley Warwick Road the train additionally picks up at; Birmingham New Street - Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe and Wigan NW.
Hauled by No. 5043 “Earl of Mount Edgcumbe” from Carnforth, over Shap, to Carlisle and on return from Carlisle, along the Cumbrian Coast back to Carnforth.

Meals included:-
Full English Breakfast
3 Course roast dinner

Please include any special dietary requirements on the booking form. Due to the small kitchen facilities on the train, any such special requirements will be checked with Vintage Trains to ensure that such requirements can be accommodated.

Stations & Times

Pick up/Set down : Tyseley Warwick Road platform*, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Crewe.
* Please note: there is a 10 minute walk between Tyseley mainline station and Tyseley Warwick Road Platform (which is situated within the Tyseley Loco Works site).
Layover : Carlisle
Times : subject to confirmation (expect an early start)
Tickets, final information and confirmed timings are mailed out to passengers AS SOON AS VINTAGE TRAINS RECEIVE FINAL TIMINGS FROM NETWORK RAIL, normally five working days before a tour is scheduled to depart.

Cost: As the Midlands Retirees Club has not been notified as to the amount of the Grant it receives from IBM for 2015, the cost is expected to be around £125 for members/1st Guests. Therefore until the Grant is known, a deposit of £50 per person is requested.

To book your place, please send the completed Booking Form and cheque, made out to IBM Retirees (Midlands) for the appropriate amount, to:

Phil Dalton, Tanglewood, 22 Warwick Road, Wellesbourne, Warwick, CV35 9LX.
Email: phil_dalton@btinternet.com. Telephone: 0791-8131503

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

Go to Booking Form


4-day trip to Reims - 14th - 17th June 2015 (Organiser: Alan Bridgman)

We are planning a short trip to Reims in Northern France - a city bubbling over with heritage sites and fine champagne! Reims has one of the finest cathedrals in France as well as many great museums. Our hotel is in the centre of Reims which is fairly small and easily walkable, with many streets for pedestrians only, particularly in the shopping area.


A suggested itinerary would be to depart IBM Warwick at around 8.00 am to make our way to Dover, arriving in time for the 12.55pm ferry crossing to Calais. With the hour change, this would see us arrive in Reims and our hotel around 6.30pm local time. We will have dinner in the hotel (a 3 course fixed menu meal) at about 8:00pm.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday we will have one day touring the area by coach and visiting one or more Champagne houses and the other day exploring the city (more details later).

We will depart Reims after breakfast on the Wednesday to return to Calais for the early afternoon crossing, which would see us arrive back at IBM Warwick around 6.00pm.


Cost per person is £385.50 (sharing a twin or double room).
(Please Note:- This is the unsubsidised price as we haven’t yet received the IBM subsidy for 2015. The subsidised price will be published as soon as we have the necessary information.)
Travel Insurance( if needed) is £22.85pp.

The hotel is the excellent 4-star Holiday Inn Reims City Centre. There are a large variety of restaurants in Reims to choose from each evening. However, should you decide to take dinner in your hotel on any given evening then for a 3 course fixed menu without drinks, the cost per person per night would be £26.

The price above will include the following:

The hotel has strict payment requirements, as many do in Reims due to demand, and they have advised Group Travel that they require a deposit from us by the 19th February 2015 to secure the bedrooms, after this date the hotel reserves the right to release the accommodation for re-sale. Hence the need to announce this trip so early!

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

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).


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


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.

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


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)