July 2017 Newsletter

This month we have a second call and booking form for a JCB Factory visit in September and a reminder of the survey to gauge interest for events in 2018.

Please also see the Members’ Notices.

Michael Fabianski, Newsletter Editor. E-mail: ibmmidretnews@gmail.com


Events for 2018

Thank you to the 41 people who completed the recent survey asking about the type of events you would like for 2018. Compared with previous years, the latest survey showed a distinct shift from multi-day events to more one-day events and a desire to organise theatre/cultural events.

Your committee have taken note of this and are now asking you to indicate your interest in a variety of suggested possible events for 2018 so that we can concentrate on those which show the greatest interest.

We will not be able to run every event - budgets and available organisers being the limiting factors.

Please go to 2018 Survey - and if you would like your partner to also respond, please forward this message to them.


Event Reports

Event Report: Jewellery Quarter - 12th July 2017

Eighteen people enjoyed the visit to the Jewellery Quarter, unfortunately this did not include Gary Wooding who organised the event, but could not attend as he had broken bones in his hand and foot.

The visit started with a tour of the “Museum of the Jewellery Quarter” which is housed in the former factory of jewellery manufacturer “Smith and Pepper”. The firm was founded in the 19th Century and run by the family until 1981, when the three siblings running the firm, who had no offspring, decided that they were just too old to continue, so they simply closed the factory, locked the doors and left everything.

The tour gives a fascinating insight into the workings of the factory starting in the offices, which were archaic even by 1981 standards, although there were comments such as ‘I remember comptometers like that’! The tour then continued to the workshop where little had changed for at least fifty years, many of the processes for making jewellery were demonstrated, and illustrated, by anecdotes about people who had actually worked there.

We then had a guided tour of the Jewellery Quarter which in the early twentieth century employed 70,000 people. There were a large number of small firms, often based in houses, specialising in different parts of the manufacturing process, with boys taking bags of jewellery between the various workshops. Retail outlets only started to open in to 70’s and 80’s and today 40% of the jewellery manufactured in the UK is still made in the area.

The walking tour showed us the factory which made all of the silver and pewter for Liberty & Co, the cemetery and catacombs (which you can’t enter), a Victorian pissoir made of cast-iron, the jewellers which was the site of the first attempted safe break with oxyacetylene cutters, and the School of Jewellery, which is still the number one jewellery school in Europe.

We had lunch in a former Button Factory, and the tour concluded with a visit to the Pen Museum, which was on the site of the leading manufacture of pens and nibs, where the statistics were amazing: 74% of the pens in the world in mid Victorian times were made there, 1 billion nibs were made every year, and women made 14,000 nibs a day.

Paul Gover took the photographs which can be seen on the Club’s Dropbox page — a selection are shown below.

Richard Short — stand-in organiser on the day

Click on the images below to see higher resolution versions.

Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter
Jewellery Quarter



Click here to see the list of the events which are provisionally planned for 2017.

The following is the status of those events which have been announced.

25 JulySummer Lunch. Closed.
24 AugustHardwick Hall. Cancelled (insufficient interest).
20 SeptemberJCB Factory visit. See below.
30 September - 7 OctoberHebridean Islands Discovery. Closed.

Booking Conditions. Click here to read the terms and conditions. Members should also be aware of Public Liability Insurance provided by the Club.

Photographs from Past Events. Click here or here to view a selection of photographs from past events.

E1714: Second Call - JCB Factory visit (plus lunch in their VIP Restaurant), Wednesday 20th September 2017 (Dave Compton)

We have a few spaces left for this walking tour of the JCB factory at Rocester (near Uttoxeter) on Wednesday 20th September.

The tour will start with a two course lunch, a unique dining experience in their VIP Hospitality Suite with seasonal dishes created by Head Chef, Alastair Rowe, using the organic produce sourced from their sister farm, ‘Daylesford Organic’.

After lunch there will be a short presentation in the JCB Theatre showing their corporate brand video on the global manufacturing facilities and products. You will then be invited by one of their Tour Guides to attend a personal tour of the ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition with time to visit the JCB shop.

The tour continues onto the assembly line of the world famous Backhoe Loader machine; here you will see the process of how the machine is built from the delivery of the sheet steel, profiling, laser cutting, welding, paint shop, assembly and finally the finished product.

One of our members, whose son-in-law works for JCB, has heard from other people who have made the visit before saying it is an incredible experience to see such a modern factory in operation.

The tour lasts approximately 2½ hours and covers about 3 miles. As such, it may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties. However, it is a wheelchair friendly site. Closed toed shoes must be worn. JCB will provide all other PPE on site (Hi Viz, glasses & ear protection). No photography is permitted. Further details can be found by visiting the JCB website.

This will be a self-drive visit (about 90 minutes from Warwick - details to follow) and will be open to second guests. Cost for members and first guests will be £25.00 pp and for second guests £30.00 pp.

Please complete the attached booking form and return it to Dave Compton as soon as possible as we only have 20 spaces available, but in any case by Monday 21st August.

Word document     Printable Booking Form

Refer to the document Event Booking Conditions for Terms and Conditions.

IBM Birmingham Club trip to London, January 2018

Members may be interested in this trip organised by the Birmingham Club which has been run regularly in January for several years. There are no organised events on this trip, but it provides an opportunity for sightseeing, shopping, theatre visits or whatever else you might like to do in London. There is no subsidy for this event.

Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January 2018
Price £175 per person
Usual format - coach travel, two nights bed and breakfast a Tower
Guoman (Tower Bridge) Hotel
Outward depart IBM Warwick 3.30 pm
Return Embankment 3.30 pm

£50 deposit, balance by 1 november
Ring Mike Cashmore - 0121 745 9693


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.

Go to a list of the planned walks for 2017 and other information.

For more information, please contact Terry King, terryaking@hotmail.com.


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.

Go to meeting dates and other information.


Members’ Notices

We all know Midlands Retirees who are undertaking a range of activities to raise money for good causes. The Committee have therefore decided to offer this space to advertise such initiatives and other events which may be of interest.

Alan Bridgman
IBM Midlands Retirees Club

Sheila Short

Spicy Jazz to perform in aid of REMAP

Many of you will recall the work that Barry Wiggins did with the REMAP charity — an organisation that works locally to help disabled people through customising equipment to help them with everyday living.

After Barry’s sad death I was asked to take on the role that he had fulfilled as secretary to the Coventry and Warwickshire REMAP Panel. A number of you know me (Richard Short’s wife) through the Retirees Club, and other Club members - Gary Wooding, Brian Dunston and Brian Mayne — are actively involved with REMAP. Clients may contact us themselves to us for help, or are referred to us by family, friends or clinical specialists such as occupational therapists. Everything that is done for the client is free of charge.

In order to raise funds to support this amazing work, I am organising a jazz event and I am asking you, your family and friends to buy tickets and come along to support us.

The event is on Saturday 29th July 2017, 7.30pm at St Nicholas Church, (Abbey Fields) Kenilworth.

Tickets are £12 in advance and are available from me, Sheila Short, or Richard via email

sshort927@gmail.com or rdshort9@gmail.com

or call 01926 864451

Ticket price includes interval refreshment.

More information

40th anniversary of IBM Warwick

Pete Murchison and Martin Ferrier will be informally commemorating the 40th anniversary of IBM Warwick (beneficial occupancy was 8th August 1977) at the Fourpenny Shop on Tuesday the 8th August at 12:00 with a pint or two, and will probably be there most of the afternoon and into the evening.

You are welcome to join us if you have an affinity with Warwick in its early years. There is no food laid on but I am sure they will serve you something if you are hungry.

Martin Ferrier (contact@martinferrier.com)

August Bank Holiday

Wondering what to do for the August Bank Holiday? Why not take a pleasant afternoon walking the Burton Dassett Hills and drop in to the ancient church for teas and homemade cakes, and browse the craft fair at the same time. No charges for entry and open from 11am until 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday. Two miles off junction 12 of the M40 near Gaydon. Further details from Dave Compton (dave@compton-family.eu)


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