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December 2003 NEWSLETTER



Events this month are the trip to the Christmas markets in Brussels and of course the Christmas Lunch, whilst  a group of members will be celebrating the New Year in Guernsey.  

Looking into 2004,  we have put dates to almost all the events in what we hope you will find to be an interesting programme - I will update the list in the January Newsletter.  In this Newsletter you will find advance notice of two events; the Eden Project and the Rambling Weekend are always popular, so get your booking forms to Iain and Gordon as soon as they are available.  In fact, if you want to participate in any event, please get your booking form to the organiser as soon as possible - we have already filled the slots for the skittles evening and the Irish trip is oversubscribed.     


Jean Eysenck and Brian Chilver will be retiring from the Retirees Committee at the next AGM on March 18th at IBM Warwick.  A big 'thank you' is due to both of them for their sterling service over a good number of years and we hope we will continue to see them at various events.

This means of course that we need voluteers to fill the vacancies.  If you feel that you would like to contribute to the Club by serving on the Committee, please contact any Committee member who will be only too pleased to tell you what is involved. 


Please contact Gordon Jones at  or telephone 01455-556192, for all membership changes such as address, telephone number, e-mail address.  


Finally, may I wish all members and their families a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

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


Guernsey at New Year

Everything seems to be under control but there are a couple of things to mention.

You will be met at the airport by the representative of the car hire firm who are called 'Baubigny'.  There will be a petrol charge of £5 payable directly to them.

I have spoken to the Peninsula Hotel about dress code over New Year and they tell me that smart dress is appropriate.  Some guests wear evening dress/DJ but this is by no means obligatory.

For list of attendees click here

Organiser - Brian Wilson 01926-777710


Skittles at the Butchers Arms, 22nd January 2004  

We had to set a limit of 24 for this event as it gets rather crowded otherwise and we have already filled the available places.  If you would like to be put on the wait-list, please let me know. 

To remind everybody - arrive at 7.00 pm and get drinks from the bar.  We will then be served a buffet meal at 7:30 and knock the skittles down after that.  Charge is £2.50 per member and first guest and there will be prizes for the most successful teams.  

Mickleton is on the Stratford - Broadway road about half-way along.  If you are approaching from Stratford, look out for the Three Ways Hotel which is in on your right in the centre of Mickleton.  Turn right and the Butchers Arms is on your right.

Organiser - Brian Wilson 01926-777710 


Lunch at the Hotel Du Vin Sunday 22nd February 2004

The literary lunch this year will be at the Hotel du Vin, which is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the Midlands.  The catering is to a very high standard and when served in the truly memorable surroundings of this unique building should ensure that this event will prove to be one of the highlights of the Club year.

The hotel is housed in the converted Birmingham Eye Hospital; this is located in Church Street which is off Colmore Row, directly across from Birmingham Cathedral and at the side of the Grand Hotel.  Snow Hill Station is just 300 yeards away and New Street just a little further, which makes it very convenient for those who do not wish to drive into the city.

Considering the quality of the location and the reputation of the catering, the event is very attractively priced at £20 for members and first guest with further guests at £35.  The lunch will be a set three-course menu consisting of:

  Starter - Seared Sea Bass, Warm Fennel and Baby Vine Tomato Salad with Herb Oil

  Main   - Poast Pave of Beef, Lyonnnaise Potatoes, Creamed Savoy Cabbage, Red Wine & Shallot Sauce

  Dessert - Strawberry Pavlova

followed by coffee.

The hotel will cater for vegetarians and those with special dietary needs.  If this is the case, please complete the relevant section on the booking form.  To assist with arrangements, please return your booking form no later than January 31st.

After lunch, Adrian de Redman will speak to us on 'Heraldry'.  Adrian is well versed in this subject and will no doubt inform and entertain us.

 Organisers Rick Paslawski 0121-705 7719 and Brian Wilson 01926-777710

- Go to Booking Form    


2004 Overseas Coach Tour to Ireland 22-26 April 2004  

Well, we thought there would be quite a lot of interest  in the Irish trip but were somewhat overwhelmed by the response.  All the places were rapidly filled and there is now a wait-list.  Thank you all for the enthusiastic response.

Organiser - John Smith 01384-860882 

- Click here for Attendees


Rambling Weekend - May 28th to 31st May 2004  

As many of the ramblers will already know we have deliberately moved the rambling weekend this year to the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. We have decided to do this because the trip to Ireland is too close to the May Bank Holiday to run the rambling weekend at the beginning of the month.

This year we are going to Yorkshire based at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Bingley. This is a country house hotel in its own grounds and looks very pleasant.

There is access to the dales from this location with good walking for the ramblers and plenty of places for the non ramblers to visit. I propose to get suggestions from the tour company, Airedale Travel, for the sightseeing visits and circulate the participants for interest. I would also like anyone who books to let me know if there is any particular place in the area which they would like to see included in the schedule.

A booking form will be included in the January Newsletter and we will need to have the numbers by the end of January. A £20 pp deposit will be required at this point and the balance by early April.

Organiser - Gordon Jones 01455-556192


Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Helligan - 1st to 3rd October 2004

A splendid 3 day break to revisit the famous Eden Project and also visit the fabulous Lost Gardens of Heligan.

We will be staying again at the Cliff Head Hotel in Carlyon Bay enjoying dinner, bed and breakfast for 2 nights there. The hotel now has an indoor swimming pool, sauna and solarium (extra charges for the last two).

The cost per person is expected to be around £100 for members and first guests to include executive coach travel to and from IBM Warwick, 2 nights half board at the 3 star Cliff Head Hotel, and admission charges to the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan.

The reason for early notice is that hotels in Cornwall near the Eden Project around St Austell get fully booked quite early on, so we need to commit ourselves now if we wish to secure accommodation at the Cliff Head Hotel. To this end I would welcome early reservations with a deposit of £25/head plus insurance of £5:30 each if you don't have your own insurance cover eg annual cover, gold card etc

Please fill in and return attached booking form as soon as you can: there are a limited number of single rooms available at no extra charge.  Any queries please contact the organiser.

Organiser - Iain Hewitt 01295-670316 or e-mail to

- Go to Booking Form


Barry Cripps

Barry Cripps died suddenly on Monday 1st December at his home in Bournemouth.  Since retiring from IBM, Barry had travelled extensively and had just returned from a long-awaited trip to South America with his wife Jill.

Whilst in Birmingham, Barry was a Field CE Manager before a move to Greenford, where he met and married Jill, followed by a move to Basingstoke.  To those who knew Barry, he will be remebered as a gentle giant who always made time for people.

Our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jill on her sad loss.

Carole Robertson


Although Barry was not a member of the Midlands Retirees Club, I have included this notice as I know that several of our members will have known Barry at some time in their career with IBM.  I include myself in that number as Barry was my manager when I worked in Manchester in the early seventies and I remember that we had an excellent relationship.  Whilst in Manchester he took a secondment with NACRO (National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders) and this shows a man who cared about the wider community. He will be missed.

Brian Wilson   


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