Monday 19th March 2012

IBM Warwick – Kenilworth Room


Present: Alan Bridgman [Chair]

Phil Dalton [Treasurer]

Dave Compton [Membership]

Brian Wilson [Editor]

Tony Mancell

Simon Barratt

Dave Dagley

Mike Fabianski

Carole Robertson [Sec]

Apologies: Barrie Wiggins

Peter Barnes

Richard/Marie Williams

John Hurst

Ray Bancroft

Joseph Lehel

John Calladene

Alan B opened the meeting and welcomed everyone [46] for making the effort to attend our AGM. We had hoped that the IBM location would encourage more members to attend but sadly this was not the case.

Chris Wynne, Warwick Location Manager, gave us another extremely informative presentation. Again the changes that have taken place at a local level and internationally for IBM are just "mind blowing". Chris in his capacity as Location Manager was able to accommodate us all in the largest meeting room due, he explained, because IBM Marketing has made a decision to drastically reduce the customer marketing accommodation throughout the UK. Hursley R and D is currently the only site that is owned by IBM – a very different picture when we were all employed by "Big Blue".

Chris ran through some of the community projects being undertaken from Warwick for the youngsters - On Command Community Challenge - with £200-£500 allowance from IBM and another for A level students "Dragons Den" which has £1K up for grabs if the students can prove themselves worthy.

Chris then went on to explain "Cloud Services" as pay as you go computing competing with the like of Amazon for computing space – this he explained is the future and certainly got the attention of the technically minded amongst us. Chris went on to explain that South Bank will be closed for two weeks during the Olympic Games due to IBM UK involvement in the Business Recovery Service for the build up and duration of the Games. IBM currently has 14K employees, fulltime plus contract staff bringing in a total of 16K.

This presentation was very well received by the audience and was the topic of conversation for some time later.

CR asked for the approval of the 2011 minutes and Janice Kirkwood proposed approval with Sandra Holme seconding.

Alan Bridgman our Chairman gave his report, which is attached in full to these minutes. A couple of comments from the floor about our programme of events were 1. from Sandra Holme saying some events were too expensive and aimed at couples. 2. Brian Chilver asked for more events to be arranged nearer to home.

Alan Bridgman announced at this meeting that all the present Committee would stand again for 2012 but stressed again that we so need more volunteers to step up to the plate and help.

Phil Dalton gave us a comprehensive Treasurers Report and a hard copy of this is attached. A soft copy will be sent out to all Committee members.

Dave Compton gave us an interesting presentation on the state of membership – standing at 468 at today’s date. A full copy of Dave’s report is attached to these minutes.

Ken Hope thanked the committee for arranging to write to the spouse of a deceased member and informing them of their right to remain a member of the Retiree Club if they so wished. PD offered to contact HR and track down where the information is on taking a lump sum if the pension pot is small. This, no doubt, will appear in the newsletter when available.

Ken Hope proposed Alan Bridgman as Chairman again and Alan Palmer proposed the election of the present Committee.

The meeting closed at 1.00 with lunch on offer in the IBM Cafeteria, another first for this Club.


IBM Retirees Club (Midlands)

Chairman’s Report to the AGM – Monday 19th March 2012

I would like to welcome you to the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Midlands IBM Retirees Club. I am sure that you know my view of AGMs by now - they are the least exciting, but necessary, event in our Calendar. So my thanks to everyone here who has made the effort to attend. I have been concerned that there has been a slow and steady decline in attendance over recent years. One possible reason was our move away from our local IBM Location, so this year we have come back to IBM Warwick to see if it would make a difference. We have more people today than we had last year, so maybe this is a factor. But I would welcome your views on this.

Anyway, in order to make this year’s AGM much more interesting and exciting I would like to welcome Chris Wynne back. Chris is IBM Warwick Location Manager and informed and entertained us last year and I am sure that he will give us another "tour de force", particularly as his CV now includes "hotel building" as a new skill!

------ Chris Wynne --------

The club’s membership currently stands at 468 – this is 4 less than last year. But, generally, our membership is fairly stable! At our last AGM our Membership Secretary, Dave Compton, was not present because he had been taken seriously ill. I am delighted to report that Dave has made an amazing recovery and is now back at his post, and will be reviewing the membership figures at this AGM.

As usual, we are keen to have new Committee members and I hope that we may have some nominations today. It’s not so much fresh blood that we are after; it is new ideas and enthusiasm.

I must thank the whole Committee who worked very hard to give you a most impressive programme of 17 events in 2011. In particular, may I single out our three Committee officers – Carole Robertson, who keeps the whole Committee well-organised and informed, and Phil Dalton, our Treasurer, who keeps us all honest and from whom you will hear in a few minutes. And then there is Brian Wilson, who keeps the whole club membership up to date with all the information they need. But Brian has told us that he is standing down this year as Newsletter Editor, a job that he has done with great diligence for 10 years. And so if anyone would like to take on this challenge please let me know.

The events we ran last year were well attended, but not all ran at full capacity. We also had to cancel two events because numbers were too low to be viable. We had to cancel a third major event, because the Royal Family failed to consult Brian before arranging a certain wedding – most inconsiderate!!

As I said last year, there has been a trend over the last 2 or 3 years for a slight decrease in event attendance, and this trend seems to be continuing. As most of you know, we have a meeting in August every year to plan the next year’s programme of events. To give us a wider perspective of what members would like to see, we often co-opt a few non-Committee members. Last year we also asked as many members as possible to fill in the same forms you will find on your seats / tables this year. Last year you provided us with 55 suggestions for events in 2012, which gave us very valuable input to the planning process. I hope that you think that this year’s programme of events is to your taste and reflects this input.

We also have two events this year organised by non-Committee members – the Hampton Court Flower Show organised by Sandra Hassell, and the trip to Cardiff organised by Mike Davies. We are very grateful to both of them for their hard work and support. We have also put together a special set of instructions specifically to help non-Committee members organise events, in the light of the experiences of Sandra and Mike. So if any of you would like to organise an event in future, we are in a much better position to help you.

I am pleased to report that the relationship between the IBM Employee Clubs and the IBM Retiree Clubs seems to continue on an even course these days. There was one representative from the Retirees Clubs at every National Club Committee meeting. But the National Club Committee has been stopped from holding regular physical meetings – a cost saving decision by HR apparently. So they now have to rely on conference calls!! Rather them than me!

We were sad to learn of the retirement of Lorna McDaid, the HR Club Co-ordinator this year. Lorna had always been a very helpful and very efficient person who has provided all the Retiree Clubs with excellent service for many years. HR is still trying to cover for her absence, and is gradually getting there (we hope!).

The latest hot topic from HR is the appointment of an Oversight Manager for each IBM Club, where employee or retiree club. This apparently has come down as a dictate from Global HQ. When I know the full import of these appointments, I will let you know.

We had to cancel one Committee meeting in June for a very unusual reason – the Legionella bacteria had been found in one of the water sources in June at IBM Warwick! As none of us, even the most militant, fancied contracting Legionnaires Disease, we cancelled the meeting and met again in July. If you detect any unusual symptoms in any of the Committee members, please keep your distance!

This year all members of the Committee are prepared to stand again. Any other nominations will be very welcome.

My thanks to you, our members, for attending the AGM. You are the Club and, without you, this Committee would cease to exist.



Firstly, let me say most sincerely how grateful we were for all the good wishes this time last year when I was taken ill. It is, in fact, exactly a year since I was moved out of intensive care.

We currently have 468 members. 326 are on the Newsletter mailing list and a further 20 have the Newsletter sent by post.

Although membership is stable, regrettably we have been told by IBM of the death of 6 members in the last year. However, the policy of the committee is that we only inform other members if we have been specifically asked to do so by the family.

Also, with the closure of the defined benefits schemes, there are less new members coming through. IBMers with a ‘Money Purchase’ pension are not eligible to join the Retiree Club.

I have become aware of IBMers who have, for one reason or another, deferred their pension when they left IBM but have now started to claim it. These people are usually also eligible to take up membership of the Retiree Club but, again, this is not automatic and it appears that IBM does not make this very clear when the pension is taken up. In these cases, the retiree must contact IBM and nominate their preferred club. If you know of anybody who has deferred their pension and does not realise they may now be able to become members, please refer them to me and I will advise them as to what needs to be done.

It is sometimes the case that when a member dies, the surviving partner may be eligible for continued membership of the Retiree Club. However, this is not automatic and the partner must specifically ask IBM HR to verify eligibility if they wish to remain in contact. It is only then that I am informed by IBM and we are able to stay in touch.

We also had the case where the surviving partner of one member took a lump sum because her reduced pension was so small. However, this seems to have resulted in the loss of benefit rights to continue membership of the club. The committee will look into this and take it up with HR and Pensions.

If members know of anybody who may not be aware that they could be eligible to join us, please give them my contact details and I will put them in touch with the appropriate people in IBM.

As it is more cost effective for us to contact members by e-mail, it is important that members inform us if their e-mail addresses change. I would ask that when informing us of a change of address you tell us the old as well as the new so that we can be sure of getting it right.

I have spent some time over the year trying to track down members where we have lost contact, but some have remained elusive.

Dave Compton










Tony Mancell



Kath Mancell



Hugh Gallagher



Jean Gallagher



Ron Taylor



Janet Taylor



Carole Robertson



Clive Raybould



Brian Wilson



Margaret Wilson



Alan Bridgman



Gill Bridgman



Marlise Cohen



Dave Dagley



Molly Dagley



Andy Botherway



Ray Bradshaw



Chris Bradshaw



Avril Cowley



Gordon Watterson



David Williams



Gillian Williams



Sandra Holme



John Milton



Terry King



Paula King



No show



Janice Kirkwood



Dave Compton



Anne Hope



Ken Hope



Mike Fabianski



No show



No show



No show



Alan Palmer



Sandra Hassell



Jon Tanner



Gary Wooding



Sheila Wooding



Pete Wood



Dick HodgesoHod



Diane Hodges



Simon Barratt



Sheila Barratt



Phil Dalton



Mike Davies



Meryl Davies



Charles Goody




Richard Williams

Barrie Wiggins


Marie Williams

Rose Wiggins


John Hurst

Pam Fabianski


Roy Bancroft


Joseph Lehel


John Calladene