IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)  



June 2012 Newsletter 


Our visit to the Isle of Wight was pronounced a success by those who took part , even though the weather wasn't too brilliant.  Many thanks to Alan and Barry for all their efforts.

One or two changes to our proposed programme to note.  We have cancelled the proposed visit to the Guide Dogs breeding centre, mainly because GDBA are doing something similar off their own bat; you can therefore still go if you wish -see details later.  Also cancelled is the visit to the Black Country Museum due to lack of interest - we were a bit surprised by this as it is an excellent location for a day out but the Committee wonder whether it is because it is fairly local to a lot of members and they might have already been - perhaps we should concentrate on visits to place further away.  Any comments as to what type of events you would prefer would be of interest, particularly as we have our annual planning meeting in August.

On a positive note, you will see the announcement for our Summer Lunch, Billesley being a location new to us.  Also announced is the day out to Lichfield and the National Arboretum at Alrewas - we have had several requests for a visit to Alrewas and I'm told that the cathedral at Lichfiled is well worth a visit so the two should make a most interesting day out.     


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



Click here to see the list of the events which are planned for the current year.  The following is the status of those which have been announced. 


There are two other events to take note of which will be announced shortly:-

Booking Conditions  Click here to read the terms and conditions.             

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


Event Reviews

Isle of Wight trip 13-17 May 2012

A combined group of 31 IBM Midlands retirees and IBM Club ramblers had a very pleasant 5-day trip to the Isle of Wight. We were based at a very good hotel on the outskirts of Shanklin - good accommodation, good food and good service, with a rather eccentric owner thrown in! The sightseers had a busy itinerary which included Osborne House, Brading Roman Villa, the Needles Old Battery, Carisbroke Castle and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The only trip I would like to draw a veil over is the one we made to the Rosemary Vineyard - all I can say is "don't go there if you value your taste buds"!

The ramblers organised walks on 4 out of the 5 days - both inland and coastal walks. Much to everyone's surprise they only got wet on one afternoon, but they did come across rather a lot of mud from the bad weather on previous days. Their longest walk was from Carisbroke Castle, across Tennyson Down to Freshwater Bay and then on to meet the coach at Alum Bay.

These mixed "Sightseers" and "Ramblers" trips have worked well for three years now and we hope to repeat the experience next year - if we can agree on a suitable location.

Alan Bridgman, Organiser


Chairman’s Notes

It’s that time again! In a month or so your Committee will gather to try to decide on the events programme for 2013. And every year we seem to face new and different problems. This year there are rumours (as yet unsubstantiated) that the IBM subsidy will be reduced; a number of events have not attracted the numbers that we would have expected (but we don’t know why, unless you tell us!). We are also finding that venue operators are demanding significant deposits “up front” before they will accept even provisional bookings, which is also giving individual organisers additional problems. But the main thing that we need for a successful event programme is your suggestions, so please contact any Committee member with your ideas.

One thing that we have decided to try is to announce the lunches (Spring, Summer or Christmas) without wine included in the cost. We are aware that not everyone wishes to consume all the wine that they have already paid for – they may be driving or just not want to drink wine. Please let us have your feedback?

Have a wonderful summer (when it finally arrives!).

Alan Bridgman, Chairman, Midlands Retirees Club


SUMMER LUNCHEON - Wednesday 15th August 2012 - 12:00 for 1:00 (organiser - Carole Robertson)

This year we have chosen Billesley Manor, Alcester near Stratford upon Avon. [] A very attractive venue and if the weather is kind to us we have a bonus by having our welcome drinks on the terrace overlooking the gardens. Those of you who enjoyed "The Pudding Club" Spring luncheon will, I know, find Billesley Manor to your liking.

To get there from Warwick and area, take the A46 towards Stratford-upon-Avon. Continue for approximately 9 miles past Snitterfield and the turnings for Stratford-upon-Avon. The hotel can be found by turning right off the A46 to Billesley.  Post code is B49 6NF.  If coming from the west on the A46, look for the truning to Billesley on your left.



Main Course


Coffee or tea

A welcome drink both alcoholic and fruit juice is included at £15.00 per head for members and first guest. Second guests £31.50pp. Any wine required with the meal will be selected and paid for by the individual at the table.

As Hotels are now requesting full payment 28 days before the event it is very important that you send in your booking form with cheque made out to IBM Retiree Club [Midlands] as soon as possible.

Any queries :

- Go to Booking Form


LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL AND NATIONAL ARBORETUM – Wednesday 22nd August (organiser Dave Compton)

As you will have noted in the last Newsletter, we planned to visit Shugborough Hall  together with the National Arboretum.  However, it is not now possible to visit Shugborough but we have been able to arrange a visit to Lichfield Cathedral and the National Arboretum which we hope will be of equal interest. See the announcement below.


Two guided tours, lunch and refreshments – all for just £14 for members and first guest (£21 for second guests) makes this a worthwhile day out at these relatively local attractions. In order to keep costs down, this will be a ‘self drive’ event.

The proposed schedule is:

If you would like to include a particular memorial during the Arboretum visit, please indicate this on the booking form. Send booking form and full payment to organiser to arrive no later than Monday 31st July.

Dave Compton

- Go to Booking Form


GUIDE DOGS BREEDING CENTRE – 12th September. (organiser - Dave Compton)

The response for this visit has not met expectations and we have decided to release the booking with the GDBA for 12th September.

However, since we offered this visit, Guide Dogs have opened their visits to the general public and it is possible for individuals to book a place on one of the regular visit days. These are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2pm; and Fridays at 10.30am. Guide Dogs make no charge for these visits but donations are very welcome and there is a small shop.

To book a place you just need to send an e-mail to stating the names and preferred dates, and it will be confirmed (or an alternative date suggested.)

I am sorry the ‘official’ trip is not taking place but hope that the greater flexibility of being able to choose a date to suit will be more convenient for more people.

Dave Compton


TRIP TO KENT - 24TH TO 28TH SEPTEMBER 2012 (organisers - Tony Mancell & Simon Barratt)

We are planning a trip to Kent in September 2012 for a 4 day sightseeing visit.

The details, so far, are below and we are now in a position to take bookings, we are asking for a deposit of £15.00 per person made payable to IBM Retirees Club (Midlands), returnable if there are insufficient numbers to make the trip viable or the costs alter greatly. Please complete the booking form and return to myself or Simon.

The day at Dover Castle will include visiting the 'Wartime Tunnels Uncovered Exhibition', the 'Operation Dynamo: Rescue from Dunkirk' exhibition as well as The Underground Hospital, all of which complement the visits on the Arras Trip in April.

We will be based at the impressive 4-star Mercure Hotel Imperial situated in the historic south east coastal resort of Hythe, which is located approximately 27 miles from Leeds Castle, 11 miles from Dover castle and just 18 miles from Canterbury.

The hotel enjoys a fantastic panoramic seafront location with extensive gardens as well as an 18-hole golf course. All of the hotel's 100 bedrooms provide TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities, plus the Hythe Imperial features a superb spa natural leisure club with a stunning indoor pool, spa bath and steam room. Many of the rooms offer views of either the sea or golf course.

The current thoughts for the itinerary are as follows, although these may change depending on availability and numbers:

The costs are expected to be around £320 to £345 per person, depending on the excursion costs and the IBM Club's subsidy, which varies with the number of members booked on the trip.

Please email me (or Simon) with any queries.

Tony Mancell   email

Simon Barratt  email

- Go to Booking Form


MEDIEVAL BANQUET AT COOMBE ABBEY - End of October/Beginning of November

Come live like Lordes and Ladyes of a bygone era and enjoy a hearty feast fit for a King at Coombe Abbey for their popular Medieval Banquet. Cost for members and first guest would be approximately £24.00pp (Second guests can be included at £39.00pp) .

Included are:-

These events are only held on Friday and Saturday evenings, and sometimes incorporate additional special themes (Murder Mystery; Halloween etc.)

We are looking at a Friday or Saturday towards the end of October or the beginning of November but, as Coombe Abbey will only hold provisional bookings for a few days, I need to have a good idea of the interest before proceeding.

Please send me an e-mail as soon as possible if you would be interested, indicating any date preferences and whether you would prefer red or white wine.

Dave Compton  


Announcements and Advertisments

Alec Cassells Memorial Concert  

As well as being a member of West Midlands Branch, Alec was a member of the Leamington Sinfonia. Now that the initial numbness over his death has abated his wife Rachel is organising a concert by the Sinfonia to remember the good times.

This will be held in St. Mark's Church Leamington on 7th July. The programme will be tuneful and easy listening, and there wil be ample time before and after the event to share memories and anecdotes. All will be welcome.

Fred Edgar


IBM Hursley Museum

I am one of three voluntary retiree curators of the museum at Hursley. We have been running articles the last two quarters in the Hursley retiree newsletter, giving both some updates on our activities and putting out an ongoing appeal for artefacts that people might have that they may be willing to donate to the museum.

We would like to widen this appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and I am sending this around all of the UK retiree clubs.

We are looking in particular for hardware and CE tools. On the hardware front, we are very keen to get a PC-AT and an 8775, but are happy to consider any hardware that might be lurking in attics! We have a small selection of CE tools, but need screwdrivers, pliers, Bristow keys, spring hooks, circlip tool and any special tools, also test equipment of any kind.

Any CE spare parts are also welcome, as well as old PC software. We do reserve the right to offer a polite No Thanks where we may already have a reasonable quantity, for example we do not need any more PC Portables (aka Luggable). We now have a web site in reasonably good shape at .

Peter Short


Sub-Groups of  IBM Club and Retirees Club

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.

Contacts:-   Roger Goodman  email:-           Alan Bridgman   email:-

- Go to meeting dates and other information


IBM Midlands Golf Society

IBM Retirees and spouses/partners are eligible to play, the events being subsidised by IBM.  

Please contact one of the undersigned with any queries.

Contacts:-     Graham Seal  email:-           Michael Davies   email:-                

- Go to Fixture List and contacts


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


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