IBM RETIREES CLUB (Midlands)

(www.retireesmidclub.org.uk)

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June 2004 Newsletter

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Editorial

The rambling group weekend in Yorkshire was enjoyed by all who went and the event was blessed with good weather.  The only downside was that there were problems with the coach but Gordon Jones is addressing this to ensure that it does not happen again.

By the time you receive this Newsletter, the Summer Lunch will have taken place at the new venue  and the Committee are interested to hear your comments.  We are trying to find different venues for lunches but because our Club has a large catchment area is is not easy to please all the members all the time; also bear in mind that we have to look for venues which are large enough to take the numbers who normally attend.  Any thoughts/suggestions will be considered.

Also this month, the visit to the Upton Jazz Festival takes place and Brian Chilver tells us that he has a record number of attendees.  Not everybody included a stamped addressed envelope for the return of tickets (me included I have to admit)- as a general point, please include SAE when requested on the booking form as it will save the organiser much work.

Iain Hewitt has a few places left on the trip to the Eden Project 1st-3rd October.  Please contact him if you would like to go - click here for booking form.

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Last call for Nick Wheat's Web Watch - see May Newsletter for details.  I will be sending the list of names to the list master shortly so if you would like to be included, please contact me immediately

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

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Brian Wilson, Editor. Telephone: 01926-777710 e-mail: brian_h_wilson@msn.com    

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Advance Notice

Upton House Tuesday 7th September 2004 (organiser - Iain Hewitt 01295 670316)

The club is planning a visit to Upton House (NT) in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds on Tuesday 7th September. Upton House is on the A422 12 miles SE of Stratford, 7 miles NW of Banbury. We are arranging a private tour on the Tuesday morning with our own guide(s) before the house opens to the general public at 1pm. Because of this there will be no reductions to NT members.

Upton House is a lovely 17th century house built of the local Hornton stone and is the former home to Lord Bearsted of Shell Oil fame - it now houses a permanent art exhibition of fascinating historic Shell advertising posters. The house also has an outstanding collection of English and Continental Old Master paintings - the Canalettos being particularly impressive. The National Trust has spent recent years restoring a bedroom and bathroom to the original Art Decor style - not to everyone's taste.

The gardens are spectacular - and surprising too! Don't miss the bog garden.

Upton House has a brand new Pavilion Restaurant where we plan to take lunch.

The plan for the day is thus:-

10:15 check in (buggy service usually available from car park to House)

10:30 coffee & cake in Pavilion Restaurant

11:00 private tour

12:30 lunch in Pavilion Restaurant

After lunch members would be welcome to retour the house and gardens at no extra charge. Alternatively near by attractions include:-

National Herb Centre, Warmington B4100 (4 miles from Upton).  See herbs being grown, buy at plant centre, visit nature trail - lovely setting and views FREE entry to site, guided tour including tea/coffee with cake in Herb Bistro £3-50

Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon B4100, M40 J12 (7 miles from Upton).  Explore the world's largest collection of historic British car, entry £7.  For a group visit (of 12 or more) price would be £6 with tour included.

Castle Quay, Banbury M40 J11 (7 miles from Upton).  Visit Oxon's largest shopping centre for some retail therapy at Debenhams, BHS, etc.

Banbury Museum - canal side museum FREE

Tooleys Boatyard - historic working boatyard £5 1 hour tour including boat trip

Compton Verney B4086 Kineton - Wellesbourne.  A new art gallery in a grade 1 listed mansion designed by Robert Adam.  Compton Verney is in a lovely parkland setting laid out by Capability Brown.  Entrance £4 (alternatively visit on a Wednesday afternoon for just £1).

Wroxton Abbey, Wroxton St Mary A422 (4 miles from Upton).  A lovely village with duck pond and large 14th century church. Wroxton Abbey was home to prime minister Lord North going back to the 18th century; it is now a college for students of Farleigh Dickensen University in New Jersey. Although private the grounds are open to the public and there is a lovely walk around the lakes. There is a well hidden icehouse, but a walk to the dovecot will give some lovely views. FREE.

More details and booking form in the July newsletter - depending on interest levels I will try and obtain group discount at most popular attraction(s). If it is a nice day I would be tempted to stay at Upton House all day - there are some lovely sun-traps!

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Advance Notice

Tour of Nottingham 16th September 2004 (organiser Brian Wilson 01926-777710)

We are organising a trip to Nottingham, a most interesting city for those who know it and some surprises for those who don't.  Brian Hall has kindly offered to organise the day and I will act as Committee contact.  The actual times have yet too be decided but the format for the day will be as follows:-

Arrive Nottingham - the plan at the moment is for members to travel by car and meet at the Park-and-Ride facility.  However, if there is sufficient demand, we may be able to lay on a coach but please let me know as soon as possible if you would prefer this option.

On arrival in the Centre, we will be met by a Blue Badge Guide who will give us a two hour tour to show us the highlights of Nottingham.  Following this, we have arranged lunch at one of Nottingham's many pubs and during this time we will be entertained by the Story Teller who is apparently has a fund of informative tales.

If you can tear yourselves away, the rest of the afternoon will be free to explore further and no doubt the guide will have pointed you in the right direction (I remember in one of the museums being taught how to use a bow and arrow and walking out with a badge saying "I shot the Sheriff").  There are plenty of shopping facilities for those so inclined.  Nottingham's centre has a lot going on but is reasonably compact so a lot of ground can be easily covered.

Further information and a booking form will be in the July Newsletter.

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Stoneleigh Park Computer Festival 30th July to 1st August 2004

Members may be interested to know of this computer festival.  It is called E-Festival and further details may be found at www.e-fest.co.uk .

Harry Cohen

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New Year in Boppard

I have received some information from Pat Hay entitled "Rhine Tours Based in Boppard 2004".  Included are:-

 - Rhine in Flames 17th September 3 nights half board  £119

 - Boppard Wine Festival 24th September or 1st October 3 nights half board  £119

 - Christmas in Boppard 4 nights half board with dinner dance on two nights and festive lunch  £179

 - New Year in Boppard similar to Christmas  £179

The above packages are all based at the Hotel zur Alten Post in Boppard and all include short sea crossings by coach but based on a minimum of 30.   I don't think we would be able to reach the minimum numbers for a coach but members I have spoken to have said they might be interested in the New Year package and would be prepared to make their own way there if there was the possiblility of making up a party at the hotel.

It must be stressed that these are not Club events but if anybody would like further information about any of the Boppard trips, please contact me immediately.

Brian Wilson 01926-777710   e-mail brian_h_wilson@msn.com    

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