President:Michael Clinch. Committee:- Chairman:John Coneybeare, Hon.Treasurer:Frank Whitehead, Events Secretary:John Green, General Secretary:Keith Clark, Committee Secretary:Nasim Ahmad, Webmaster:Marcus Palmén, Members:John Gale Don Vickers.
You may recall that we were steaming into Minehead as we were finishing off our dinner and the opportunity to Toast the Club with a glass of wine in hand was lost. Our chairman John Coneybeare solved this problem during our return journey when we all were imbibing a cream tea by implementing the unusual idea of a toast with cup of tea in hand! This is his address as recollected by himself:- Quoting from the BBC's own web site of its history.
"The biggest influence on the early BBC was its general manager, John Reith, a 33 -year old Scottish engineer. The company had been formed with a commercial mission - to sell radio sets - but Reith had a higher purpose. He envisaged an independent British broadcaster able to educate, inform and entertain the whole nation, free from political interference and commercial pressure."
This is the stated purpose of the BBC to this day. It was an engineer who set the BBC on the right road!
The founding fathers of our club had the same vision, which we achieve by our talks and visits both technical and non technical. In addition we have had social events from the start so that we may enjoy the companionship of like minded people.
There is also a caring side to our club which has shown itself in three ways
First I am aware of several instances of members quietly giving support to other members who are temporarily in difficulties, although I am not trying to suggest that we should become a social welfare society.
Second we have raised money for charity - you will remember the concert that raised over £600 for the Muscular Dystrophy Charity. Perhaps I can put in a plug now for our forthcoming concert on 27 November by the Bristol Swing Band, in aid of the charity Victim Support. There are many organisations which support the perpetrators of crime, but Victim Support, which is so close to the heart of our president Michael Clinch, is dedicated to supporting the victims of crime.
And third we care about the status of the engineering profession which is so undervalued in our country. Perhaps our proposals to erect plaques to commemorate engineers with local connections and their achievements will help a little in this direction.
Then with teacup in hand I proposed a Toast to The Retired Professional Engineers Club (Bristol)
Our Committee, after consultation and consideration selected a journey on the Quantock Belle Luxury Dining Train as our Special Anniversary Outing for the year. On Sunday the 12th of September, the day of the Bristol Marathon a wet and windy day, we travelled from the Bristol Downs by means of a mystery tour to Easton in Gordano our other pickup point. Next stop was West Somerset Railways Station at Bishops Lydeard. A half hour wait before our train became available was spent in the museum and/or the shop with railway memorabilia books amd models
Pictured adjacent is our driver. Who as a boy, did not imagine himself as driving a steam engine, whether he wanted to become a driver or not?
Settling into the dining coach with all place names in position I found the seats far more comfortable than I remembered them and the Ladies found a small gift of a box of chocolates.
Then off went the train with the old familiar noises which have a hypnotic soporific effect on me, however the prospect of a meal enabled me to remain awake. Our up standing Chairman, John Coneybeare is in the picture on the right which like all the pictures in this article was taken by our President Michael Clinch.
The West Somerset Railways is staffed mainly by enthusiastic volunteers who provided us with a service second to none. The meal that followed was flawless though out of necessity with such a large group as ours - we occupied the whole carriage - the it lasted throughout the whole of the voyage. "Crowcombe Heathfield", "Williton", "Blue Anchor" and "Washford" are just some of the stations during our meal. Stopping and starting, was accomplished so smoothly there was no interference with our eating. The continuously changing scenery was appreciated.
After arrival in Minehead we dispersed for a couple of hours shopping, visitng the life boat museum, driving the go carts, joining a beer festival at the station and avoiding the wind and the rain. We suffered a Cream Tea and the Chairmans Address (reported on the next page). on the return journey. A thoroughly well organised and appreciated event for which we thank Nasim Ahmed our Committee Secretary who did all the organising and successful arrangements for this outing.
Report by Editor
Our President Michael Clinch over the 10 years of the Clubs existance did produce many Newsletters which served to keep the membership informed of club matters and often contained items of general interest. It would be unfair to expect him to continue to produce these in view of his present activities and in particular his commitment to Victim Support. At the last Committee Meeting it was agreed that our Web Master Marcus Palmén will act as the Editor for the future Newsletters The Newsletter will be published both in hard copy and on the Web Site. This issue will be presented in hard copy to all members. Experimentally the next issue will be posted to those with no Internet access as before. Members who have email and internet access will receive an email informing them that the newsletter is available on site. On site there will be an option of downloading a printable version of the newsletter so that if desired a hard copy can be printed. This will be in Adobe Acrobat format - This is freely available on the net and ensures good quality prints on many different type of printer
A picture used as an illustration in one of the Computer Groups Sessions. The Computer Group initiated by Harry George meets at irregular intervals to look at various aspects of computing. Broadband, Computer Virii, Firewalls, Spam, Hyprtext, Problems Operating Systems have all formed topics for presentations at meetings. The meetings are usually held at Harry's home and use is made of a computer projector to illustrate and demonstrate the presentations. Notice of the the Group meetings is given by email and at the main club meetings. Any Members are welcome to these meetings where problems can be aired if not solved. People with very different levels of computer skills come to the meeting - many of the current retired engineers were not brought up using computers as a matter of form - keeping up with the grand children may be the aim. A series of presentations on using the computer for simple tasks such as word processing were run by Michael Clinch which brought in several new beginners to the Group.
As an organisation we have been extremely lucky in having at helm for the first ten years two of our founders - Mike Hield and Michael Clinch. Mike with his organising and woodworking capabilities and Michael with his editorial,word processing and printing capabilities gave much of their time to the establishment and the successful running of this club. At the end of Michaels chairmanship the then committee held an evening occasion for Michael, which enabled the photo below to be taken of Michael in an unusually relaxed mode. I am very aware of how much more I have need of support from the membership if this venture is to be a success. Contributions from members are essential otherwise there is no material to edit. I am open to suggestions as to items to include. "Members News", "The Next Three Events", Reports on visits and on talks should provide the bread and butter items. Individual articles on subjects of prospective interest to members will also be most welcome. Between 3 and 1000 words, with or without pictures or photos please!
This is a call for papers and contributions for the next edition of the Newsletter. Do share your interesting experiences past and present with other club members. Your views may not correspond with the views of the Club Committee and we shall say so - but that is not a reason why they can not be published. Contact details are as follows:
Marcus Palmén 4 Knightcott Road,Abbots Leigh,Bristol BS8 3SB telephone 01275-372905
If a hard copy of the Newsletter is required this is available in Adobe Acrobat "PDF" format. An adobe Acrobat Reader is required for this - freely available from Adobe Click HEREto obtain.
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