IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)  



August 2007 Newsletter 



25 members and guests enjoyed the visit to the Denby Pottery and Kedleston Hall and several people were heard to say that they would probably return for a further look.  Not surprising as Kedleston and Denby are both full of interest.  Several people were seen returning to the coach at Denby with laden bags!  

Our trip to NorthWales this month is based in Llandudno and features some of the interesting places in that area.  Again, there is a lot to see and we can only scratch the surface in a weekend but perhaps this will whet appetites for return visits.

We have had to cancel Phil Dalton's planned train trip due to Network Rail not being able to provide a path due to engineering work.  We have run several train trips in the past and this would have been a particularly interesting one.  Perhaps we can organise something next year.

You will see the preliminary announcement for our Chrismas Lunch later in the Newsletter.  This is to enable you to get the date in your diaries - further details and booking form will appear in the October newsletter.


I am sorry to have to announce that John Smith is resigning from the Committee. Many of you will have been on some of the many trips that John has organised over the years and will testify to how enjoyable they have been. What may not be so obvious is the amount of work that John has put in to make the trips the success they have been and I am sure you will all want to give him a big "THANK YOU" and wish him well in the future.  


Brian Wilson, Newsletter Editor. Telephone: 01926-777710 e-mail:    


The Future of the IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)

This may sound dramatic but I have to warn you there is a strong possibility that the activities that your Club can offer will have to be reduced next year.

As you know, IBM makes an annual allowance which is used to subsidise the events we run. If we do not have a viable committee, IBM considers we are not able to manage this money. If we do not use the money it will not be given next year ( as with all the best budgets! ).

The problem is that we urgently need another two or three committee members. The committee meets once a month in IBM Warwick (10.30 am on the first Tuesday) for about two hours. Each member will usually run at least one event during the year and this entails doing the planning, the rough costing and then the booking admin. These tasks are spread over several months so the total workload at any time is not excessive. The existing members of the committee are always happy to give help and guidance to new members. I can assure you all that most people receive a tremendous boost of satisfaction and even pleasure from running a successful event.

Please seriously consider whether you can help by joining us. If you can please talk to me or any member of the committee; you will find our names and contacts in the Committee Contact List at the end of this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.

PS You could also really enjoy working with the committee team !!

Ken Hope, Chairman.


Visit to Bletchley Park 18th October 2007 (organisers Roger Goodman/Brian Wilson)

Bletchley Park is renowned for the WWII Enigma code breaking project. This work led directly to the development of early computers. After tea/coffee and biscuits and a short introductory talk by your guide, the first part of the tour, which lasts approximately one hour, takes place in the grounds and visitors will discover what went on at each of the key locations, including the famous wooden codebreaking huts.

The second part of the tour, which continues after an included sandwich buffet lunch, will include a visit to the rebuild of Colossus , the world's first semi-programmable computer (to which The British Computer Society is making a donation of £75,000 to help keep operational), the Churchill Collection (subject to availability) and Block B which you can explore at your leisure. You will also have the opportunity to browse in the shop for that all important memento of your visit before being escorted by your guide back to the Mansion for refreshments before departure.

Please follow the directions on the Bletchley Park web site to the Mansion. Tell Bletchley Park security that you are with the IBM retirees party, and they will direct you to the car park. From there Bletchley Park Customer Service directs us to the meeting room where we meet our guide.   We will be served coffee and biscuits at 10:30 in time for the start of the tour at 11:00 and the day is planned to finish at 16:00.  Please aim to arrive no later than 10:20, which will give time to park and walk across to the Mansion.

Some web sites which you may find of interest:-

And there is also a book which gives you a history of the park, the people employed there, the codes they needed to break, and details of how and why they built the computers.  It is entitled "Station X" by Michael Smith and can be obtained from Amazon and the usual retail outlets.  It is part of the PAN strategy series and was a Sunday Times number 1 best seller when it first came out.

(My thanks to members of the PC & Technology Group for various bits of information)

Brian Wilson Telephone:- 01926 777710  Email

- Go to Booking Form


Christmas Lunch Thursday 20th December 2007 (organiser Ken Hope)

This year's Christmas Lunch will be held at Ashorne Hill Conference Centre about 5 miles south of Warwick - please make a note of the date. We hope to see you there - it should be better than ever.

Ashorne Hill is a very old manor house which was brought up to date in the early 1900s and later used as a Management Training College for the steel industry.   It is now a top class Conference Centre still specialising in senior management training and is heavily booked during regular working times.  We have been able to make a booking because the courses have finished for Christmas.

Full details and a booking form will be published in the in the October Newsletter.


 Future Events

I have mentioned the dates for Bletchley Park and the Christmas Lunch in my editorial and also that we have had to cancel the train trip.  Just a reminder that the Committee are having the annual planning meeting this month and any ideas will be welcome.  We have already had several offers from non-Committee members to organise an event and we are happy to encourage this.

Brian Wilson  


Newsletter Links

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

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