November 2016 Newsletter

If you would like to go to the Christmas Lunch at Wroxall Abbey and haven’t yet booked your place please get your booking forms in as soon as possible.

Please put the date in your diary: the 2017 AGM will be held at the Royal British Legion Club, Knowle on Monday 13th March.

Michael Fabianski, Newsletter Editor. E-mail:


Chairman’s Notes

Hi everyone,

  1. Thank you for all your support this year – it is always much appreciated by your Committee.
  2. I am concerned that the bookings for the Christmas Lunch this year are the lowest that we have received for many years. If you are debating whether to come or not, may I encourage you to stop wavering and send your booking form in as soon as possible. The cut-off date for bookings is Tuesday 29th November, so please make every effort to attend.
  3. Phil Dalton tells me that he has reached agreement with the Warwick Employee Club that the annual amount for members to attend events of the other Club will be £18 per member in 2017.
If I don’t see you at the Christmas Lunch, may I wish you and your families a happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year.

All good wishes

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club


Event report: Galway Tour 2016, Oct 2nd - 7th

A big miss for those who did not go but a great ‘craic’ for the 15 who did! The tour started with a Sunday afternoon flight to Shannon from Birmingham where we were met by our host; guide, coach drive and for the week. This man knew everyone and had more stories than Dave Allan and Ronnie Corbett combined! Gerry Keane, owner of Galway Executive Travel.

Our first stop was for dinner at Moran’s of the Weir Oyster Cottage which provided the first opportunity for a pint of the ‘black stuff’ and a glass for the ladies....but not the last! A very busy restaurant for a Sunday and the quality of the food explained why! Delicious! This set the expectations for the week but was even bettered by our stay at the Park House Hotel in Galway where the food;service and overall customer service was exceptional. The tour included visits and drives to many historical places, buildings and perhaps most significantly places of outstanding scenery. The benifit of a bespoke tour became apparent as the weather in the ‘green isle’ can change quickly. We were able to manage the itinerary to take account of the three seasons we had in a week. Achill Island was outstanding! An unexpected addition to the tour was a hold up in a small town for the ‘viewing’ as part of an Irish funeral. The queues were incredible but in reality the norm for such events. One memory was the fact that the houses, mainly bungalows, were all kept so tidy and well maintained as a consequence of a national initiative for the best kept district. For the record we did manage two ‘lockins’ and we all got back in one piece! A great craic!

Brian Long

Higher resolution versions of the photos below can be found on the Club’s Dropbox page.

Galway October 2016
Galway October 2016
Galway October 2016
Galway October 2016
Galway October 2016
Galway October 2016


NEWMAN STREET REUNION – 30th Anniversary

Now, it’s 30 years on from the start. Before senility, sense of direction and general apathy take over completely, it’s time for at least one more attempt to join up the shrinking number of functioning brain dots.

So, starting at 12:00 on Friday December 2nd, the doors of the One Tun will be thrown open for us to indulge in their liquid refreshment and in our own refined company. Come whenever you like and stay as long as you please.

Around 17:00, many of those remaining will leave the One Tun and stagger along Charlotte Street to the Chettinad Indian Restaurant in Percy Street.


Sky Dive for Guide Dogs

Well – I did it.

After a disappointing last minute cancellation due to the forecast weather on 16th, I was able to get a slot on Sunday 22nd October. Although I had to be at the drop zone for 10.30, mist and fog still delayed the start until 1.00pm and I did not get airborne until 3pm.

It was an amazing experience.

On the video, you will see a view of my rear as we were climbing into the aircraft before we took off – don’t jump to conclusions – you would be wrong. You will have to watch to the end of the video to see why!

There were just 16 spaces on the aircraft and, together with my instructor and video man, we took up 3 of those spaces. It took about 15 minutes to climb to 10000 feet during which last minute checks were made that I was securely attached to my instructor and that I understood the procedure once we left the aircraft.

It was quite disconcerting sitting at the edge waiting for the signal to go. However, as you will see, the video man had to climb out along the outside of the plane first so that he was in position to film my exit. Rather him than me. You will see my instruct nodding – at the third nod, all three of us jumped together. If you hear lots of clicks on the soundtrack, it is the camera man also taking some 300 still shots as we descended.

Falling out of the aircraft was a weird experience – the best way I can describe it would be that feeling of falling you get when you are about to drop off to sleep – except that I was wide awake.

We were in free fall for about 5000 feet reaching about 120mph after which the main chute was opened. There was quite a jolt as it slowed us down to about 40mph within a few seconds. The camera man dropped in free fall much further so that he got to the ground first in order to record the latter part of my descent and landing. The jump suits we wore are passed on from person to person and it is the landing that accounts for the marks on the backside!

You can watch the video at - it is just under 7 minutes (sorry about the language at the end).

I paid all costs of the sky dive myself so 100% of my sponsorship is going directly to Guide Dogs to help change people’s lives. At the time of writing I am just short of my target of £2000 and I am keeping my web page open until the end of November. If you would like to contribute please go to or if you would prefer not to do this on-line, please contact me direct.

I really appreciate all the support I have had from friends and family – especially Alan and Gill who turned up to see if we were going to lose yet another committee member!

Dave C.



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.

Christmas Lunch - Tuesday 13th December 2016
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 our experience there in 2014. 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 Broadwood Bar and Garden Lounge and lunch will be served in the Sonnets and Wedgewood dining rooms.

Wroxall Abbey Estate

I am hoping to attract 100 members and guests this year. 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


Coffee with Mince Pies

To book a place, fill in the booking form and send it with your cheque for £26.00 for member and first guest, £42.00 for each second guest - made payable to IBM Retirees Club (Midlands), to:-

Alan Bridgman, 101 Albany Road, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6PQ
Email:, Telephone: 01789-267134

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

Go to Booking Form (or Word document).


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.

For a list of the planned walks for 2016 and other information, please see the IBM Rambling Club Annual Newsletter.

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.

Contacts:- Roger Goodman email:- Alan Bridgman email:-

Go to meeting dates and other information.


Click on the links below for more useful information.

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