1966 Bulletins

The January 1996 Bulletin is not in the archives.

[My comments are in italics]

From the February 1966 BIVC Bulletin

Regular activities included: Scottish dancing, jive lessons, swimming, linguists,  table tennis, badminton, singing, bridge, music, skating, theatre, cinema, rambling, the club-night coffee evenings.

There was a proposal to hire two horse-drawn caravans in Ireland at Easter: £12 each, inclusive of food and travel [£180 in today’s money].

Areport said that the farmhouse[BIVC’s bunkhouse] was not too spartan in winter: the writer said she was quite warm enough with two sleeping bags, a blanket and three sweaters [see www.JohnPitcock.com/Farmhouse].

Three couples’ engagements were announced.

A report on the New Year weekend mentioned a members’ costumed review sketch show. [I remember taking part in the last one in 1975].

Having read all the 1966 bulletins:

There were not as many articles with interesting comments as in previous years; they were mostly filled with promoting activities; there was less detail about forthcoming events than there is now (I guess that most active members went to Wednesday club night where organisers were available to promote their events). There was no list of committee members (except once after the AGM). The back page always listed the activities, regular and one-off. What I notice is that most events were run by IVC for IVC members – not a small group of members going to a non-IVC event, as in recent years.

From the March 1966 BIVC Bulletin

Upcoming activities mentioned included: a caving expedition, a visit to Slimbridge, pony trekking and maybe flying. [Ideas for 2016?].

A canal holiday was planned for Whitsun: three boats, starting in Tardebigge. All participants will need sleeping bags, women to sleep on the boats, men to bring tents for camping. Men were asked to help with preparing the boats at the start. [50 years ago there was a lot of what we would now call ‘not politically correct’ sexism].

AIVC’s eleven clubs had a programme of joint events for the year – including: Aintree Grand National weekend (hosted by Liverpool IVC), canal boat on Llangollen canal (Manchester IVC), plus dinner dances, and several weekend parties [I think accommodation was often in the host club’s members’ houses]

From the April 1966 BIVC Bulletin

North Staffs IVC invited us to a “Rally Gastronomique” weekend, as last year’s was very successful.

It was suggested that the New Year weekend be somewhere different next time as it has been at the Fairborne Hall Hotel for “a good many years” [actually 9 years].

From the May 1966 BIVC Bulletin

The editor said that the bulletin is to inform members about activities: it is not a magazine for fiction, maybe a quarterly journal would serve that purpose. Having said that – there was a two page story written by the prolific P.R.W. [he was around until the mid 1970’s].

Birmingham is hosting a combined IVC weekend. Ideas for activities: Chinese meal in Coventry followed by the Cathedral; wining, dining and dancing; sightsee newly developed areas of Birmingham; ice skating; Droitwich brine baths, ramble.

It was reported that a surprising amount of work was done at the farmhouse work-party. “Surprising because only five men went, but 13 girls to supply the labour force”.

Summer activities included tennis and skydiving.

There were two pages about AIVC – one about the weekends and holidays that various IVCs were organising, and one about new or potential IVCs: with a plea for contact details of ex BIVC members who have moved into their area as they might help get them started.

From the June 1966 BIVC Bulletin

The editor explained that “this bulletin is small, because a number of contributors did not bother to send their articles by the deadline. The editor cannot ask the typists to prepare the skins in five minutes, and the Office Manager needs time to run the pages off”. [Before computers: the bulletin deadline was two weeks before publication].

There was an advert:

“Two girls to share a nice flat in Moseley. … £2. 3s. 0d. each week”

A long report described a walk over the hills from the Farmhouse. It was 15 miles long, total climb 8,000 feet, took 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

From the July 1966 BIVC Bulletin

There was a reminder that membership cards must be carried at all club activities. Also that lapsed members “are not permitted to come to club activities as visitors … We invite visitors so they may be introduced to club to see if they like it and we like them”

Twelve new members were welcomed to the club.

A report about the canal trip mentioned several incidents: some caused by “all those girls in next to nothing, stretched out on the roof and distracting the helmsman”. It was considered such a success that ‘barges’ were hired for the next year.

From the August 1966 BIVC Bulletin

There were only four pages this month.

There was a suggestion that people go to the Friday hops before going away for the weekend [presumably before then driving to the farmhouse, as mentioned in a previous Bulletin].

There were congratulations for three marriages and one engagement.

It was reported that the trip to the Llangollen International Eisteddfod attracted 7.5% of BIVC, camping on a nearby farm. “A torrential rainstorm set in after breakfast and we were very glad to have John Walter’s large continental tent to shelter in and be entertained by his tape machine – battery driven, of course”

From the September 1966 BIVC Bulletin

The Secretary wrote that not one person had commented on the item in April about the possibility of holding he New Year Weekend House Party somewhere other than Fairborne. “Does this mean a complete lack of interest, in which case the Council need not bother to organise a house party at all; or are our I.V.C. members content with the mediocre accommodation, poor service and second rate food we had this year?”

A report said that the landlord of the New Inn, Moseley Road, has repeated his threat to expel IVC table tennis from our free room if we fail to produce more than 6% of our membership, 20 people. It asked for suggestions for alternative rooms, for instance a school within a reasonable distance from the City Centre.

There were two foolscap pages devoted to AIVC. This included a project to write the history of IVC while people can remember the details.

From the October 1966 BIVC Bulletin

Popular events in 1966 were members’ slide shows in IVC’s premises. This month’s was presented by a member who had spent a ‘considerable time’ in Sarawak [Malaysia]. This was expected to be popular and “latecomers might not get a seat”. [About 40 came each week to a slide show I gave in two parts on consecutive weeks in our premises following a 3 month tour of North America in 1974].

Despite the editor having written in May that the bulletin is not a magazine for fiction – there were two pages of  foolscap [larger than A4] filled by a story, again written by P.R.W.

From the November 1966 BIVC Bulletin

There were several visits to the Shakespeare season at Stratford. The organiser was “anxious to find out why there are so many men who have never graced us with their presence at a theatre visit. I thought everybody enjoyed an occasional evening at the theatre – am I wrong? I strongly suspect that most have been brought up on church hall productions and haven’t yet discovered the high standards of amateur and professional theatre in the Birmingham area … These establishments provide … the two commodities which I am told you esteem so highly i.e. GIRLS (bring your own or sit next to a new one) and BEER.”

There were two whole pages packed with information about AIVC and the events IVCs were putting on. There were new IVCs at Southampton, North Hertfordshire, Leicester, South Devon and Points West, Newcastle on Tyne, Glasgow and Hull.

There was a report on a visit by 15 IVC members to the new Birmingham Post and Mail building. Notable was a teleprinter message to the IVC visitors from the London office.

It was suggested that there were several other places of industrial, technical and commercial interest we might visit.

From the December 1966 BIVC Bulletin

Following the AGM: there was a list of the 16 members of the Council [as the committee were then called]. It listed their addresses and phone numbers.

The New Year House Party Weekend was announced, for the first time in the bulletin, to be in Llandrindod Wells.

Although it was only 4 weeks to the weekend: there was no mention of what hotel it was at, but a coach had been arranged.

[It was the Rock Park Hotel (where we went for 8 years, when it closed we moved to the Hotel Metropole for 3 years)].

The article said that to book you needed to sign the list in club by Wed 14th and pay £2.

John Pitcock   Archivist