Ken Hope opened the meeting at 11.00am and thanked everyone for attending [47].

We were delighted to welcome Jonathan Ferrar, Director of HR for UK, Ireland and South Africa as a guest speaker. Jonathan began by giving us a run down on the current financial position of IBM. In addition showing us the different areas of technology IBM now find itself involved with. Further explaining that the ageing population gave him as an HR Director serious concern. Whilst IBM is very keen to maintain what it believes is a healthy relationship with its retirees consideration must be given to reviewing the Retiree Club Constitution. Such a revised constitution must be accepted by all Retiree and Employee Clubs across the UK. To this end a further meeting has been called by HR at Bedfont Lakes in April. At the end of the day funds must be seen to be fairly distributed, and Ken Hope, who had been involved very closely in the discussions thus far, would much prefer a local agreement for the Midlands Club at Warwick.

Brian Chilver was keen to know why IBM no longer appeared in the Top Ten Company list shown in this weekends Sunday Times. Jonathan countered this by explaining that he had taken the decision to participate in the Guardian listing and this would appear in the Financial Press this coming weekend. Throughout the presentation there was a lively interaction with the audience. Ken as our Chairman thanked Jonathan for his time and honesty at a time when clearly decisions have to be made as to the funding of Retiree Clubs.


Review and approve last years minutes, including Chairman and Treasurer reports. Proposed by Simon Barratt and seconded by Tony Mancell.


Barry Wiggins presented the audited accounts for 2007 and a copy of Barry’s report is attached to these minutes. Proposed acceptance by Jean Eysenck - seconded by Joan Suckling.

Ken Hope thanked Barry for his contribution as Treasurer for the past ten years and announced that Phil Dalton had volunteered to step into this position.


A copy of the Chairman’s report is also attached to these minutes in which Ken expressed his thanks to the Committee of nine who, with the assistance of Club members had run a full programme. Our thanks were also extended to Andy Smith as Chair of the IBM Club Warwick for allowing so many retirees to take advantage of the Theatre Plus Sub-Section run by Colin Johnson.


Barry Wiggins, who will step down as Treasurer, will remain on the Committee and the remaining Committee of 2007 are happy to serve for another year. Ken announced that it is his intention to resign after one more year maximum and would be delighted if we could identify his replacement. As new committee members Jean Eysenck was proposed by Joan Suckling, Ron Barber was proposed by Tony Mancell and Dave Compton was proposed by Fred Noble. We are delighted to welcome these new members aboard, a welcome return for Jean.

Committee for 2008


Alan Palmer asked for a vote of thanks for all the hard work Ken Hope has put in this year, especially with the negotiations he has been involved in with HR and the other IBM Retiree Clubs.


Ken closed the meeting at 12.45 and invited everyone to join us at the Falcon Inn, Hatton for a buffet luncheon. 





Chairman's Report 2008


The 2007 programme was slightly affected by the fact that half of the committee left this time last year. We were further reduced when John Smith left in the summer after many years of running first class events -including a number of overseas ones. I thank him for all the exacting work he did for us on these excellent trips. I would like to thank two non-committee members who organised visits with a committee member organising the bookings and admin, Roger Goodman for the Bletchley Park trip and Rick Paslawski for the Spanish Wine tour.

The programme of 16 events this year has been started off by our 9 person committee. Again some of the organisation of the events is being done by non-committee members - Richard Williams organised the Antiques Show Case in Knowle in January working with Carole, Heskett Dawson has set up the Guide Dogs outing with Brian Wilson and David Williams has volunteered to set up Upton Jazz with me. And there are other things planned later, on the same basis. We would be pleased to do even more events, proposed and set up by yourselves, with us doing the admin - what about some mid week rambles or pub lunches?

Roger Goodman and Alan Bridgman continued to run the PC Group, Alan taking over when Roger was out of the country, so it continued to flourish with a steady turnout in the 20s of a total membership of around 40. A sub-group of members successfully completed the design and building of their own computer from basic components. They also kept us amateurs up to date with some innovations and gave us guidance on basic practices such as back-up and dealing with spam. I am pleased to report that Alan joined the main committee in mid-year, to represent PC Club issues as well as for general projects.

The IBM Warwick Club Theatre Plus section, which offers a full and varied programme of events, is partly run by retirees. In 2007 it was used by around 40 of our members. I would like to point out that we are very lucky to have such an excellent service available to us at a token charge. We are unique among the Retirees' Clubs in that the others either run their own theatre outings or share the costs. The same applies in a slightly smaller way to the Warwick Club run events, their Rambling sub-group and their Golf sub-group. At present the Warwick Club uses its own funds for our subsidies with no contribution from the Retirees' Club or from HR but we have started a discussion with them about this, I would like to formally thank them for providing this for us. As most of you know, the matter of our relationship with the Warwick Club has come up a number of times in the past - so - this provides a link to the next section of my report which is :-

Relations with IBM HR and IBM Club Warwick

Most of you are aware of the letter from IBM UK HR in September stating that we were to become apart of the IBM Club Warwick. It caused considerable disquiet with all six of the Retirees' Clubs, the biggest concern being that we would lose our autonomy and that we would be only allowed such monies that were left over after the 'employees' Clubs had done what they want and there were many meetings, e-mails and phone calls to try to understand what was happening and why.

One of the triggers for this turned out to be Jonathan Ferrar's plan for retaining contact with DC Pensioners who, after leaving, have no further relationship with IBM. It would appear that someone - not Andy Smith - mistakenly thought that a simple merger would also sort any difficulties of Retirees using IBM Club  funding.

In the meantime we have established with Jonathan that it is acceptable for our Club to continue to be autonomous and to manage its own funds - provided that we can work within a single constitution that applies across ALL Retirees and Employees Clubs. The 6 retirees' clubs historically have 6 very different constitutions but we are in the process of agreeing standard rules for Retirees which can be incorporated into the single constitution. There are also some historical anomalies regarding Associate Membership and I am determined to take this opportunity to 'correct' them at the same time, but these will need Jonathan's agreement and will require funding. I also believe we will need to show that any issues between us and IBM Club Warwick can be sorted locally. There is a follow up meeting with Jonathan in early April to review how far we have progressed.

The Membership and Your Committee

Our membership of about 430 has been fairly static over the last 2 years.

I would like you to join me in thanking the committee for all for the work they have done in running events during the year. I would like to pick out Brian Wilson who, in addition, does a smashing job keeping us informed via the newsletter and Phil Dalton who worked with him to produce the 2008 Event Programme Card.

There are two other members who I must pick out for special mention - firstly Carole who has once again done a super job as secretary and keeps us all informed and recorded in a very efficient way - and she runs her share of events as well. Thank you Carole.

And a major thanks to Barry who has been our treasurer for ten years but has unselfishly decided to give the opportunity to another. There is no part of the treasurer's job that can be done in an approximate way - everything must be done in full and accurately. Barry has fulfilled the treasurer's role most effectively for all these years and please join me in thanking him. I am pleased to say that Phil Dalton has taken up the challenge and is ready to start as treasurer from the end of the AGM (or at least when he returns from holiday). Barry will still be putting himself up as a committee member for next year.

I would personally like to thank the committee - for supporting me, as a new boy, this time last year. We could still do with a couple more committee members so please put your names forward.

Finally, whilst I am talking 'committees' I have to remind you that I said I would do this job for a maximum of 2 years. I would be happy to make it 1 year if anyone would like to relieve me - now. But I am completely serious about the two years. I have recognised some potential Chairpersons but I have failed to persuade them yet. Please remember that the Club is not viable without a complete committee nor would it be funded, so it is mandatory, that someone volunteers within the next twelve months.

Thank you.