April 2014 Newsletter


In the newsletter this month we have the announcement of the Summer Lunch and a trip to Hall Green Greyhound Racing. We also have a second call for the trip to Jersey for the Tennerfest in October, but get your requests in quickly if you want to go, as places are filling up fast!

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


Event Report: Spring Lunch - 19 March 2014

Forty seven people met old friends and enjoyed a superb lunch at the Nuthurst Grange Country House Hotel in Hockley Heath. The afternoon commenced with a welcome drink and progressed to a fine three coarse meal which demonstrated that vegetarians had certainly not been forgotten. After coffee had been served we were treated to a very interesting talk by a forensic fingerprinting expert, that started with the surprisingly early use of fingerprinting and progressed to some very interesting criminal cases where it played an important role in police prosecution.

Gary Wooding


Event Report: Canterbury Explorer - 29 March 2014

A pleasant Spring morning greeted our heritage diesel hauled train on which attendees boarded at Warwick Parkway, Leamington Spa and Banbury. A superb Full English Breakfast was served to our seats in one of the 3 Pullman coaches on the train as we made our leisurely way down to West London. At Hanwell our steam engine, rebuilt Bullied West Country pacific 34046 Braunton, backed onto our train and then took us around London via Kensington Olympia crossing the Thames by Chelsea Basin to get us onto the main line to Dover. Once on the mainline Braunton ran up to her maximum permitted speed of 75mph where permitted with Canterbury being reached on time.

Most of the attendees went to see the delights of Canterbury including the Cathedral and Olde Worlde streets. As the day was very sunny, but breezy, others took a train to Margate for a stroll along the beach there before all re-joined our steam hauled special at Canterbury station.

Leaving Canterbury, the most interesting part of the trip was anticipated - the tour of the Kent Coast, especially the part between Dover and Folkestone. However at Deal, we were held in the station for about 30 minutes with the on-board PA system advising passengers that this was due to a signalling problem. Once underway progress seemed slow, but as dinner was about to be served this did not seem to bother anyone. In fading light the run along the coast met all expectations, but upon reaching Folkestone the real truth to our delay was announced in that Braunton had been declared a failure as the flow of water from the tender to the boiler was out of control. We were shunted back into a siding whilst repairs to Braunton were being carried out and dinner being consumed.

Braunton was repaired, but as the train had missed its path it was unable to get us back to London in time for the heritage diesel to replace Braunton and bring us back up North as Network Rail had a planned line closure scheduled for engineering works. What happened next just shows how the railway companies can get it right. Our train took us to Folkestone Central station, where we were all told to get off and join the Dover to London train via HS1 which would come in immediately behind us. Suffice to say that the 70 miles including 4 stops was completed in 55 minutes with speed exceeding 140 mph in places.

Making our way across London by tube or taxi to Marylebone station, Chiltern trains had provided a double length train to accommodate us on the last train of the evening to go North of Banbury, arriving back at our boarding points only an hour later than expected.

It had been a long day, but instead of complaints the attendees asked when can we do it again? I don’t know about scheduling a failing steam engine again, but having a leisurely day wining and dining in luxury whilst being hauled by a steam engine on the mainline - absolutely. Watch this space.

Phil Dalton


This is not a Retiree Club event, but you might be interested in a Rioja wine tour which is being organised by Rick Paslawski. The trip will take place from Tuesday 17th to Tuesday 24th June; see the Wessex Continental Travel website at www.wessexcontinental.co.uk/rioja.php for details.

Please contact Rick at rick.paslawski1@gmail.com if you are interested.



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.


Hall Green Greyhound Racing, Friday 13th June (Organiser: Barry Wiggins)

After a number of years we are bowing to members’ pressure and organising another evening of unrivalled fun and excitement (with a 3 course meal) at the world famous Hall Green Stadium. Don’t miss this opportunty to recover your whole year’s outlay on Club events by using your skill and judgement to find the winners.

Hall Green stadium is between the A34 and A41 at Acocks Green.

See www.lovethedogs.co.uk/hallgreen/find-us.aspx for a map and directions.

Hall Green Greyhound Racing

The Grandstand Restaurant
3 Course Meal Package

The standard Grandstand Restaurant dining package includes:

Sit back and relax

On the night all you have to do is sit back, savour the atmosphere and enjoy the non-stop racing action. You’ll have a great view of the track and the finishing straight from your table and our staff are on hand all evening to make sure you have a great night.

So get your party together (knowledge of greyhound racing not necessary), complete the booking form and send with your cheque to

Barry Wiggins: 24 Southbank Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1LA

by 30 April please.

Phone: 01926-854580   E-mail: BWiggins@southbank.freeserve.co.uk

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

Go to Booking Form


Wednesday 20th August 2014 - 12.30 for 1.30 luncheon (Organiser Carole Robertson)

Hogarths Hotel

Four Ashes Road, Dorridge Solihull B93 8QE
[For sat nav use B93 8NB] - www.hogarths.co.uk

Following on from our superb Spring luncheon we have chosen yet another new location for our Summer Luncheon. Hogarths is situated in a woodland setting just a little way off Four Ashes Road and this contemporary hotel offers a restaurant with an excellent reputation for good food. Weather permitting we will have our welcome drinks outside our exclusive dining room on the garden terrace.

The cost for this luncheon, including a welcome drink, table wine, and tea/coffee will be £28.00pp for members/first guest, second guests at £45.95.

Please make menu choices from the following menu and note any special dietary requirements or food allergies. To book, complete the booking form and send with your cheque made payable to

IBM Retirees Club (Midlands) to:

Carole Robertson
27 Austcliff Drive
Solihull B91 3XT
carole.robertson@talktalk.net - 0121 704 9677

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

Go to Booking Form


Tennerfest - Tuesday 7 October to Saturday 11 October 2014 (Organiser: Simon Barratt)

Mont Orgueil

If you are planning to join the Tennerfest party, but have not yet made up your mind and sent in your application form, you’d better hurry.

I have only a few places left, and time is running out, so if you want me to reserve places for you, email me before Friday 25 April. The List will then be closed.

Full details of the trip were given in the March newsletter, but briefly, they are as follows:

The plan is for you to make your own way to Birmingham International Airport, where you will hand your car over to a meet-and-greet service, and board a scheduled mid-afternoon flight to Jersey. On arrival at Jersey, you will collect your hire car, if you have ordered one (approximately £25 for the duration of your stay), or board the transit transport that will be waiting for you. You will be staying at the Apollo Hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Your journey from the airport to the hotel will take approximately 20 minutes.

Cost of the Package for Members and First Guests is £314.50 per person. For Second and Subsequent Guests, the cost is £380.00. We will be staying in the 3-star Apollo Hotel which is close to the centre of St Helier and a selection of Tennerfest restaurants.

A deposit of £150 per person is required by 21 April 2014. The number of places is severely limited, so Bookings will be accepted on a First Come/First Served basis.

The balance of £164.50 (£230.00 for Second and Subsequent Guests), plus any flight supplements that might be imposed, must be received by me no later than 4 August 2014.

Don’t forget that it is a condition of booking that for multi-day trips all travellers must be in possession of the appropriate travel insurance.

Please send your completed booking form and cheque, made payable to ‘IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)’ and an SAE (or two SAEs if you want tickets sent by surface mail rather than by email) to:

Simon Barratt, Laurel House, The Green, Tredington, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire CV36 4NJ

Telephone: 01608 661996 Email: sjblaptop@yahoo.co.uk.

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

Go to Booking Form


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.

Our 2014 walk dates are: 9th February, 16th March, 16th April, 8th June, 20th July, 17th August, 14th September, 12th October, 16th November. All walk dates are Sundays with the exception of 16th April which is a Wednesday. Our meal date (members only) is not yet set but will be mid-week late February.

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.

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