IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)  



August 2008 Newsletter 


Our July events all went off very successfully - although the weather wasn't very co-operative, Blenheim being wet and the Tall Ships being windy.  Mallory Court proved to be a good venue for the Summer Lunch.  Our thanks to Carole for Blenheim, Ken and Ron for the Tall Ships and to Jean Eysenck for the Summer Lunch.

We would like to have returned to Mallory Court for the Christmas Lunch but the chef is adamant that he will not provide a menu choice.   This is not acceptable but we have several other options and will make an announcement as soon as possible.  As always, if anyone out there has any ideas please let any member of the Committee know, bearing in mind that any venue must be able to seat up to 120 people.  


The have been quite few updates to our program for the rest of 2008 - go to events list.  The following is a summary:-


Three proposed events mentioned previously are not being proceeded with this year.  Firstly, the walk over Cannock Chase with lunch at a local hostelry, secondly, the visit to Duxford air show and thirdly the visit to Guernsey for New Year.  We may well decide to run one or more of these in 2009 so please let the Committee know if you would be interested.  

And talking of 2009.........  


I have been asked by our member Martin Ferrier to publicise a re-union of people who worked at IBM Newman Street.  This I am happy to do as I know some of our members have passed through Newman Street at some time or another.  Please see later in this Newsletter for further details.


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


Light-Hearted Look at Oxford Guided Walking Tour + Pub Meal - Tuesday September 16

(Organiser - Phil Dalton)

This walk lasting approx 2 hours covering a distance of between 1 and 2 miles provides an overview of the colleges and university, but intersperses the sights with amusing anecdotes - both current and historical.

Start time: 14:30 sharp from the Martyrs' Memorial, Magdalen Street East (see attached PDF file for map)

Please advise on the booking form if you would like to go into any of the colleges, which are open for visitors. A small charge may be made, depending upon the specific college

After the walk we shall adjourn to the "Far from the Madding Crowd" in Friars Entry - see map - for a pub meal. The pub is the only independent pub in the centre of Oxford and we shall be there on the first day of the pub's Autumn Beer festival. The pub being in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. For the non-beer drinkers there is a selection of wines etc..

If at all possible, when completing the booking form please also specify your meal option. This is not only to assist the pub in the preparation of the food, but also to ensure we get served as quickly as possible. If undecided at the time of booking, please advise the organizer by e-mail no later Tuesday September 9th.


Getting to Oxford

If driving it is best to use one of the Park and Ride facilities available on the A44 at Peartree, and on the A34 at the Water Eaton, as car parking in central Oxford is limited and expensive.

If travelling by train, Oxford station is approx 10 minutes walk from the guided walk meeting point and "Far from the Madding Crowd" Trains are approximately every 30 mins to/from Leamington Spa / Banbury. Connections can be made at these points for Chiltern railways services to/from Birmingham, Solihull, Warwick etc..

Cost: £10 for members and first guests.

- Go to Booking Form


Special Day Excursion Charter Train - Mid Hants Explorer - Saturday 27th September

(organiser - Phil Dalton)

This special train which goes from Solihull, Dorridge, Warwick Parkway and Banbury to the Mid-Hants Railway. The route outward and return is via Oxford, Reading, Wokingham, Guildford (reverse) to Alton.

Outward travel is behind Class 47 diesel 47773, then return steam hauled from Guildford behind locomotive 5029 "Nunney Castle"!

The start from both Guildford and Warwick Parkway on the return should be spectacular as both stations are at the foot of steep inclines.

The fare also includes a return trip on the "Watercress Line" - The Mid-Hants Railway.

Timings are not currently available but a departure time of 08:00 from Solihull, with an arrival time there of 21:00 has been requested from Network Rail.

Two fare options are available. The first is in standard class with a buffet counter service of light refreshments at the subsidised price of £27 per person. The second option is Premier Dining in first class which includes full English breakfast and High Tea (choice of grilled chicken or grilled salmon served with new potatoes and vegetables) at the subsidised price of £60 per person.

Please specify on the booking form your preferred boarding point of Solihull, Dorridge, Warwick Parkway or Banbury. If booking the Premier Dining option please also advise on the booking form your selection of chicken or salmon.

- Go to Booking Form


Black Country Museum - 30th September 2008 (organiser Jean Eysenck)

Britain's Friendliest museum!  Discover a fascinating world when you visit this urban heritage park in the shadow of Dudley Castle at the heart of the Black Country.

Historic buildings from from all around the Black country have been moved and authentically rebuilt at the Museum, to create a tribute to the traditional skills and enterprise of the people who once lived and worked in the heart of industrial Britain.

Electric tramcars and trolley buses transport visitors back in time from the modern exhibition halls to the canal-side village, where costumed demonstrators and working craftsmen bring the building to life with their local knowledge, practical skills and unique Black Country humour.  With 26 acres of living history, there is plenty to see and do.

We plan to hire a coach from IBM Warwick to the Museum - the cost of coach with entry to the Museum and a two-course lunch at the Canalside Cafe will be £17.50 each.   If you would prefer to make your own way, the cost will be £10 for entry to the Museum and lunch.

Timings will be advised nearer the date of the event.  

- Go to Booking Form


BLACKPOOL & THE ILLUMINATIONS - Friday 17th to Monday 20th OCTOBER 2008

(organiser Gordon Jones)

This is a combined Retirees and Ramblers trip if we can get sufficient interest, see hotel and transport details below.

There is enough interest in Blackpool to fill the weekend and the coach will service the walkers, others are welcome to go along for the sight seeing.

Hotel: The Cliffs Hotel at Blackpool, it is owned by the Choice Hotel group which also runs the Keswick Country House and the Patterdale.

Terms: Three nights bed, breakfast and evening meal, Friday 17th October to Monday morning. (See also note below)

Coach: Johnsons from Warwick.

Likely cost: The cost will depend on the final number but as an example with 30/35 people attending the cost would be about £130 pp.

Single Rooms: At present I have two available with no surcharge. I will allocate these on a 'cheque in my hand' basis and I will have to release them on 25th August. After this date singles, or additional singles before then, will carry a £15 pppn charge.

Note: Two night stays, Friday to Sunday morning are available but only by using your own transport. If anyone would like to take up this option the treasurers will calculate the appropriate subsidy.

We need a minimum number of 26 persons to run this trip and I must provide the hotel with a £25 pp deposit by 25th August. If you would like to go on the trip, please send me your deposit as soon as possible, to get to me by Saturday 23rd August at the latest please. See the booking slip.

- Go to Booking Form


Turkish Delight – Thursday, 13th November 2008 (organiser - Dave Compton)

An evening of Turkish food and entertainment at “The Aubergene” in Smith Street, Warwick (7.00pm for 7.30 start)

The menu will consist of cold meze; hot meze; main course; sweet and coffee, and will include a choice of drinks – either ½ bottle wine per person; or two bottles of beer; or 3 soft drinks, with traditional Turkish entertainment between courses.

As the restaurant can only seat about 20 people you are urged to send your booking with a cheque for the full amount (£15 per person) as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

- Go to Booking Form


IBM Newman Street Reunion 5th December 2008 12:00 till evening

I organise an informal get-together of IBMers who worked in Newman Street in the 1960's and 1970's. The event has evolved over the years, but currently it takes place in the One Tun in Goodge Street, from noon on the first Friday of every December.

IBM moved into 58 Newman Street, off Oxford Street, in 1961. Over the next 15 years, IBM overflowed into number 30 across the road, then retracted back into number 58, before finally leaving the area completely for less expensive offices elsewhere. Over the period, much use was made of the local pub, the Cambridge, at the end of the road, and many ex-employees have fond memories of the place.

Until recently, we used to hold our reunions there. But a couple of years ago, the Cambridge pub turned itself into a posh eaterie. The nearest pub now is the One Tun over the road, opposite the Glory caff, or "Glory Kebab House and Restaurant" as it now likes to be called.

For our reunions, we get together in the One Tun around lunch time, but people drop in and out during the afternoon. Around 6:30 or so, those stalwarts still standing venture out for some very basic food. The neighbouring Pizza House is no more, so we weave our way up Goodge Street to the Spaghetti House, on the corner of Whitfield Street. The early start allows us all to get away for cocoa, hot water bottle, and an early night, all necessary for people old enough to have had the privilege of gracing the hallowed portals of the grand Newman Street entrance.

Although the event is aimed at ex Newman Street employees, anyone who visited the place, or maybe has heard of the place, or even knows someone who knows someone else who's heard rumours, is welcome.

So in summary, all are invited to call into the One Tun in Goodge Street, anytime from noon til 6:30 on Friday 5th December. If you would like to come along, please let me know. In late November, I will circulate a list of the likely attendees, so everyone will know which ex-colleagues they should expect to bump into.

I hope to see you there

Rod Instrall       Email:

Sat Nav and related technical details.

# One Tun – 58 Goodge Street, W1T 4ND

# 58 Newman Street – W1T 3DA

# 30 Newman Street - W1T 1PT

# Cambridge Arms - 48 Newman Street, W1T 1QD

# Spaghetti House - 15 Goodge Street, W1T 2PQ

# Nearest Tube is Goodge Street station, in Tottenham Court Road.

# Other tubes close enough to walk from: Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Great Portland Street

Martin Ferrier


Burns Supper at Mallory Court Hotel - 24th January 2009

(organisers Heskett Dawson/Brian Wilson)

This event has been suggested by Heskett Dawson who is selling tickets on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind, to whom all proceeds will go.  You don't have to be a Scot to attend what should be an interesting and enjoyable evening.  Details as follows:-

The cost will include a reception drink, full 5-course meal and whiskey for toasting the haggis.  The final cost to members won't be known until we have an idea of numbers but is not likely to be more then £25 per head.  There are a limited number of tickets and they tend to sell quickly so to secure your place send £10 deposit per person and we will ask for the remainder later.  It may be possible to bring second guests at the full cost of £35 - please give names on booking form.

- Go to Booking Form 


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

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