IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)  



February 2008 Newsletter 



The IBM version of the Antiques Road Show attracted 37 members and guests who were entertained by Mark Hannam from Bonhams auctioneers.  Mark gave us some interesting and amusing stories and then went on to look at the various items which people had brought - there was quite a selection of memorabilia  and Mark was able to tell us the history and value of each piece.  He reminded us that Bonhams will do free valuations every Friday although it is advisable to ring first so that the relevant expert can be available. 

Two events in March.  Firstly the Annual General Meeting on 10th - no booking form but please let Carole know if you will be attending so that she has an idea of numbers.   We have Jonathan Ferrar who heads up IBM HR as our guest and this will be an ideal chance to air any concerns you may have - this is particularly relevant at the moment with the organisation of the IBM Clubs being closely looked at so please make every effort to attend.  Because of Jonathan's visit, please note that the start of the meeting has been brought forward to start at 11:00 with coffee at 10:30.   

Secondly there is a visit to the Guide Dogs for the Blind in Leamington on the 18th.  Still time to book for what should prove to be a most interesting afternoon.  Details and booking form appeared in the January Newsletter.


We have now finalised our trip to Holland and details may be found later in this Newsletter.  Note that, because of the pressures on hotels at this time of the year (bulbfields are always popular), you must get cheques to Simon by the 3rd March so that he can confirm hotel bookings but please note that cheques will not be cashed until the trip takes place.

Our visit to Chester and area to take in Liverpool (European City of Culture this year) and some of the other attractions on Merseyside is attracting quite a lot of interest - there are only a few places left so get your booking form to Ken by 23rd February please. See the revised announcement and booking form later in this Newsletter - you will note that we have been able to reduce the cost to £210. 


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


Dutch Bulbfields, Keukenhof Park & Amsterdam  18-21 April 2008 (organiser Simon Barratt)

Each Spring, Keukenhof Park opens its doors to welcome visitors from the world over as this 80-acre park becomes the most outstanding attraction in Holland as these stunning gardens become a sea of flowers, plants and shrubs in a riot of colour. Here is your chance to explore and experience the "Greatest Flower Show on Earth", magnificently set amongst a picture-postcard setting of established trees, beautiful water gardens, fountains and elegant canal ways. Keukenhof has been a source of inspiration to everyone with green fingers and for photographers and garden enthusiasts for years. Plenty of film is required for your camera with so many Spring flowers to see within these beautifully landscaped gardens. Your base for three nights dinner, bed and cold buffet breakfast will be at the 3 star Zonheuvel Hotel situated on the outskirts of Utrecht and ideally placed to visit the Bulbfields, Keukenhof Park and Amsterdam. Note - Admission to keukenhof park, guided city tour of amsterdam, a 75-minute class-topped boat canal cruise in Amsterdam and a visit to a Dutch cheese farm is included in the price

Friday 18th   We leave IBM Warwick between 06:30 and 07:00 (exact time to be confirmed), travelling south for the ferry crossing to France, continuing into Belgium and then Holland, arriving at our hotel early evening for the following three nights dinner, bed and cold buffet breakfast.

Saturday 19th   After breakfast we will travel to Lisse, home to the world-famous Keukenhof Park (admission is included). Ample time here to enjoy the stunning display of colours, flowers and shrubs, with many indoor exhibitions to view and admire, after which we shall enjoy a tour through the colourful Bulbfields before returning to our hotel in time for dinner.

Sunday 20th  After breakfast we will include a visit to a local cheese farm and wooden clog makers with the chance to sample a variety of cheeses, before continuing to the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam with its romantic tree-lined canals and fashionable shops. On arrival in Amsterdam we will enjoy a 75-minute canal cruise, a great way of seeing Amsterdam followed by free time before returning to our hotel.

Monday 21st  Depart for our journey to Calais, arriving home around 20:00.

COST PER PERSON = £219.50 + £17.45 Insurance if you don't have your own.


Executive coach with WC/washroom, reclining seats etc.. Return ferry crossing from Dover to Calais

Extras (Per Person) * Single Room Supplement - £45.00 (Maximum of 4)

Simon Barratt  Telephone: 01608 661996  Email:

- Go to Booking Form


Visit to Liverpool to see the Tall Ships and to Other Places around Chester 18 - 21 July 2008

(organiser - Ken Hope)

On Friday evening, after spending some time in the historic city of Chester, we will arrive for a three night stay (dinner included) in the 4 star Chester Ramada Hotel (with a fitness centre and swimming pool). Saturday will be spent in Liverpool where we can get close to scores of sailing ships berthed alongside the Albert and Central Docks as they prepare for the Tall Ships Races. Liverpool will also have some special events going on to celebrate it's position of European City Of Culture 2008,. On Sunday there will be a visit to the Anderton Boat Lift, an impressive Victorian canal engineering marvel, and to one of the many National Trust houses in the area. On Monday, we will see the ships in full sail as they set off for Norway.

Any questions please phone Ken Hope on 01926 624203 or e-mail


£210 per member or first guest (based on two sharing) + £9.20 pp Travel Insurance if you don't have your own cover.

To Book Your Place

At present 40 places have been reserved; should we require further places we need to know as soon as possible. We now need a deposit of £30 per person to retain the rooms we have requested. (All the hotels in the area will be busy as the Open Golf Championship is at the Royal Birkdale at the same time). So please send in your booking form and cheque as soon as possible to Ken Hope.

Ken Hope, 12 High St, Barford, Warwick, CV35 8BU

Telephone:- 01926 624203   Email:-

- Go to Booking Form



Liverpool Tall Ships

European City of Culture 2008           

Ramada Hotel Chester                          

Anderton Boat Lift                                                                  



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