Midlands IBM Retirees Club - October 2022 Newsletter

The Christmas Lunch this year will be held at Côte Brasserie in Leamington on Wednesday 7th December. See below for details and the booking form.

It has been necessary to reschedule the visit to the Triumph Motorcycle Factory Tour; there are 2 places availabe on the new date of 24 November so please contact Richard Short (rdshort9@gmail.com) as soon as possible if you would like to go.

The first of a series of 3 Tech club meetings looking into ways to help with the increasing costs of gas and electricity has already been held. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday 18 November; see below for further information. If you missed the first meeting you can find a copy of Ray Bradshaw’s presentation here.

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


The following events are currently planned for 2022.

Wednesday 24 November Triumph Motorcycle Factory Tour. See below.
Wednesday 7 December Christmas Lunch. See below.

Photographs from Past Events.

Click on one of the links below to view a selection of photographs from past events.


Event Reports

HOLME LACY 26-30th September 2022

Following the impossibility of arranging a stay on Guernsey, 5 IBM Midlands retirees and their spouses booked a 5 day break at Warners Leisure Hotel in Holme Lacy near Hereford. We were warned that these hotels are aimed at elderly people who enjoy the activities and entertainment on offer. Not our scene of course.

Shortly after making the booking, another couple contacted the organiser and made a separate and linked booking so we were able to book our meals together on 2 tables each of six. Another couple booked independently and in spite of negative responses from Warners admin team, as the onsite staff were more flexible, the 14 of us were able to eat together.

The check-in process was fuss-free and the rooms spacious and of a high standard. Meals were predictably of mixed quality. One main meat course was inedible. However most first courses and puddings were good along wth mostly acceptable to good main courses. Surprisingly most of the wine was drinkable although at a price. Breakfast coffee was bitter and cold buffet breakfasts limited although cooked breakfasts popular.

One certain benefit was that all staff were friendly and obliging, providing a very good level of service.

Some couples got together for at least some of their actvities. These included wandering around the rather nice city of Hereford, visiting local venues and and homes as well as having coffee together. Some added a walk or two whilst one couple walked several miles each day with lunchtime pub visits included.

The weather forecast prior to the holiday indicated large amounts of rain. Fortunately although it did shower, heavy and prolonged rain did not materialise. Temperatures were average for the time of year and the sun often showed itself.

Although expectations had not been very high, all enjoyed the week very much with some suggestions of something similar in future. The friendliness within the group was the main reason for the week’s success.

Terry King

A selection of photos from the trip can be seen on Dropbox.


E2210TFT Triumph Motorcycle Factory Tour, Thursday 24th November 2022 at 14:00 Organiser: Richard Short

We are planning a visit to the new Triumph Motorcycles Factory in Hinkley, Leicestershire, at 14:00 on Thursday 24th November 2022.

Triumph Factory Visitor Experience
Triumph Factory Visitor Experience

We have booked a full tour with 15 places as we can’t book provisional dates. We have to book and pay for the tour up front on a system which is open to the general public. (Their website says you can book group tours of up to 60 people, however when I contacted them they said that you had to book through the online system which has a maximum of 15 people per tour as they currently have some restrictions on tours.)

There will be a 1.5 hour factory tour, there is a Café where you can buy food, and there is a large exhibition area with many old and historic Triumph motorcycles, including the one ridden by Steve McQueen in the “Great Escape”. You can visit the exhibition before or after the factory tour.

Triumph recommend that you allow 3 hours for the factory tour and exhibition area.

Some details of the tour and exhibition can be found here:

Factory Tour


This is a self-drive event, and the tour of the factory requires you to be on your feet for 1.5 hours, the walking distance is not long and there many points where you stop while things are explained.

The cost will be £25 for members and first guest. We will limit the tickets per person as we have only 15 tickets. If demand exceeds this we may book another tour, however this would probably be on a tour with members of the public.

Please complete the booking form and send it a.s.a.p to Richard Short (rdshort9@gmail.com).

Booking form

When a place is confirmed I will send details of how to pay.

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

E2212XML: Christmas Lunch, Wednesday 7th December 2022 Organiser: Gary Wooding

The email requesting interest in a Christmas Lunch in Leamington this year received a very favourable response, so I am organising one at the Côte Brasserie, a venue we have used previously with good results.

Côte Brasserie, 3 Regent Court, Town Centre, Royal Leamington Spa, CV32 4NG. This is in Livery Street, which is a pedestrian area about 1/3rd up The Parade, between the Town Hall and the old Regent Hotel.

Côte Brasserie

Welcome drinks from 12:00, and sit down at 13:00.

Unfortunately, the new club doesn’t receive any grant from IBM so there can be no subsidy. The price for this event, which includes a welcome drink and a 3-course lunch plus gratuity is £38.50 for members and guests.

Please make your menu choices from the following menu, which I’m pleased to say has 2 vegetarian options.

Please complete the attached booking form and return it to Organiser as soon as possible.

Word document     Printable Booking Form

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

Technology Group Meetings

Most of us are concerned that the recent large increases in gas and electricity bills are costing us a higher percentage of our pensions. We are therefore devoting the next three meetings of the Technology group to look into ways that may help us with these increased costs.

The meetings are held on the third Friday of each month via Zoom starting at 11 a.m. and lasting up to an hour. The scheduled meetings will cover the following topics:

21 October - Ray Bradshaw will redo the presentation he gave earlier this year covering the potential benefits of using home battery storage by updating the financial models with the latest capped prices. He will also include comparisons with costs of running stoves burning coal and logs.

18 November - Dave Compton will give details of a solar system he installed over a year ago with installation costs and the savings he has made with this system.

15 December - We will be looking into the cost effectiveness of installing heat pumps, both air source and ground source systems. We will also look at the payback periods for the many different forms of insulation and heat loss prevention systems that can installed.

Use the following link to login to these sessions.


Meeting ID: 883 3813 5221. Password: 395710


Sub-Groups of Retirees Club and Employee Club


It is hoped to organise occasional rambles with options so that participants can choose a length of walk to suit them.

Please contact Terry King, terryaking@hotmail.com for more information.


IBM Retirees Technology Group

The IBM Tech Club meets using the Zoom video conferencing platform at 11.00 on the third Friday of each month. The club is a place where you can talk to IBM folk about matters technical. For example, help or advice on buying or using computers, smart phones,touch pads; engineering, electronics, wifi, bluetooth, cryptography, bitcoin, using computers to making movies, songs or musical works, best software, streaming, the internet, photography, diy, and anything else about the modern world you would like to understand better.

Apart from the technical discussion we try to have a talk by a club member at each meeting. This depends very much on members volunteering to prepare and show something they are interested in.

At 11 o’clock on the day of the meeting click on the link below. It should take you straight into the meeting.


If you need help with Zoom contact John Rickman (rickman@argonet.co.uk) in good time before the meeting.


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.


Click on the links below for more useful information.

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