The A to Z of Events

Pictures from some of the Alphabet Events which have been taking place over the last two years. This month sees the final Z events.


Regional News

After 26 months we reach the end of our “alphabet events”. Thanks to everyone who hosted or attended one of these events. The idea was to get away from the popular eating and drinking events and try something different. We certainly did that with everything from greyhound and sheep racing to an underground cave tour to llama trekking to recreating the first Thomas Cook package trip travelling on the Great Central Railway to a real ale trail incorporating the history of Newark to Eurovision and Xmas parties and much more. Phew! We hope you enjoy some edited highlights with the photo montage in this issue of Empress. If you have suggestions for a forthcoming series of events please do get in touch. In the meantime Susan is hoping to organise an event in every DE postcode so that will keep Derbyshire members going for a while.

It seems those who attended our Xmas party back in December had an enjoyable night. Little did we know at the time of booking that the rest of the function room would leave after the meal meaning we had the DJ and dance floor to ourselves thus getting our own choice of play list! The food, service, location and bar prices at the Kegworth Hotel (close to M1 J24 and East Midlands Airport) were all good so we will be returning there on Saturday 3rd March for our next regional event. This will be a hot buffet followed by a general knowledge quiz with an optional raffle. The event is being subsidised from regional funds so is a bargain £10 per person. Bookings are now open and can be made via or contacting myself. The event starts at 7.00pm and should be finished by 11.00pm but the hotel have reasonably priced rooms including breakfast if anyone wishes to stay overnight.

Ahead of the buffet and quiz night the East Midlands Mensa committee will be holding their annual meeting. If you have anything you would like raising as an agenda item please do let me know. Feedback – both positive and negative – is always welcome. I’m on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the February edition of Empress. Even though it’s the middle of Winter, at least the days are starting to get longer and we can start looking forward to Spring. Hope it’s not too cold out at the moment as there are plenty of events going on this month. If you’re feeling especially adventurous then there’s something just for you: Zip Wiring at the Go Ape adventure course at Sherwood Forest. See Notts News for details. Also if you’re thinking of a trip to the Emerald Isle, there is information on this year’s IMAG

Mark Sloan

Member’s profile - Georgia Davies-Payne

What’s Your Name?
Georgia Davies-Payne
Where were you born?
Near to Milton Keynes, Bucks, but I was fortunate enough to move abroad when I was 18 months old due to my Dad’s work and I returned to England when I was 8. I am now living in Bucks with my parents, brother and dog in a small village near to Milton Keynes in the middle of the countryside. Although our village is very quiet we are close to the amenities of MK and also close to the train station for trips to London. We are woken up by screeching owls, screaming foxes and chattering birds most mornings!
When and Why did you join Mensa?
I attend our local Grammar school and Maria Falces (Editor of Empress) is one of our teachers there. The school hold an annual testing event and I was fortunate enough earlier this year to be accepted into Mensa. I look forward to being able to make use of the networking opportunities that will be available to me through the Young Mensa group - helping make new friends once I leave home for University.
Hobbies and Interests?

I love rugby and am currently Captain for U15 Girls at Milton Keynes RFUC. I was lucky enough to be selected for the County last year and I also play for my school team. I have to take a break from playing due to injury and therefore will be undertaking my RFU Referee’s Award in January which I am looking forward to!

I have also joined my local Air Training Corps as a new Air Cadet. I have just received my uniform and therefore will be attending both my school and squadron Remembrance Services this November. I am intrigued by the opportunity to undertake solo gliding by the time I am 16! When I am at home I love to have fun with my younger brother and my dog - a crazy, but loveable Basset Fauve de Bretagne! Check out my photo!

Future paths?
My ambition is to become a surgeon. I want to take all 3 sciences for A Level and would be interested in joining a relevant SIG as well as finding a mentor with in the medical field that may be able to inspire and support me! I am sure that being a part off Mensa will help provide me with wider opportunities so I feel proud and privileged to be a member.

Events and Meetings

In Leicestershire

On Mon 19th Feb at 8:00pm - 3MOTM

On Monday 19th February at 8:00 pm we shall celebrate the Chinese New Year by holding our regular third Monday gathering at the Cradock Arms, 201 Knighton Road, Leicester, LE2 3TT. I shall be waiting for you in the lower part towards the rear of the bar. Look out for the Magazine. If you need any directions or encouragement, please contact me on [Phone Number] or by email at [Email].

On Sat 24th Feb at 7:00pm - Eating meeting

This month's evening meal is at Belvoir Brewery restaurant, Crown Park, Station Road, Old Dalby LE14 3NQ at 7:00pm on Saturday 24th. If you would like to join us, please let Sue know the week before (i.e. by 17th Feb) Contact Sue on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Fri 16th Feb at TBD - At Home

Come to Ashby de la Zouch on Friday 16th and help me celebrate my 21st again! (OK, it's my 60th really but I still feel like I'm 21) Finger buffet at my house. BYOB. Soft drinks provided. Please let me know if you are coming by Sun 11th Feb so I know how many to cater for. Contact Pen on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Lively Lincs

On Sat 10th Feb at 12:00pm - 2SaOTM

Our regular second Saturday meeting is on the 10th. Join us in the Adam & Eve Tavern at 25 Lindum Road, Lindum Hill, for a discussion around “Is the internet destroying or enhancing our personal relationships and moral standards?” Look for the magazine in the alcove from 12.00 noon. We usually move onto the topic at about 12.30. There is food available and the parking is free. For more details, please contact Jacquie on [Phone Number] or [Email], or, because Jacquie might be on holiday, contact Helen Shovlar on [Email]. All welcome.

On Sat 17th Feb at 12:00pm - Lunch

Then it’s Around the County time. Join Helen and Paul for a light lunch at The Old Stables Tea Room on Saturday the 17th. It's tucked away in a passage off the Market Place, but very popular. Soup, panini, etc. on offer. Afterwards, depending on the February weather, there are various things to do, including the Town Walk or a visit to the Joseph Banks Centre. Please book with Helen on [Phone Number] or [Email] by Thursday the 15th.

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Mon 5th Feb at 8:00pm - 5OTM

Lots happening this month! We start with our regular get together at the Vat & Fiddle pub from 8.00pm on Monday 5th. New faces always welcome! Free parking outside and close to trains, trams and buses. Look for yellow Mblem on a table in the Goldings Room to left of bar.

On Thu 8th Feb at 7:30pm - Natter and nosh

Our “natter and nosh” event unusually falls in the same week. Join us from 7.30pm for a meal or later for a drink at The Cadland, High Road, Chilwell. A yellow Mblem will be on display on tables 20-24 at the far side of the bar.

On Sat 17th Feb at 2:00pm - Zip Wiring

On Saturday 17th it will be our final “alphabet event” and we’re going zip wiring! This is part of the Go Ape adventure course at Sherwood Forest which also includes cargo nets, bridges, high ropes and ladders. The whole activity lasts 2-3 hours, including a 30 minute safety briefing, with no time limit to complete the course. You should dress appropriately with flat secured footwear and gloves. The restrictions to participate are minimum age 10 years, minimum height 1.4m and maximum weight 130kg. Cost is £25 for age 10-15 or £33 for age 16+. Please express interest with Maxine. I propose booking the session to start at 2.00pm so that we are finished before sunset.

On Sun 18th Feb at 10:00am - Charity

If anyone is feeling charitable and would like to get involved in a little fundraising we are doing a bucket collection at Tesco in Hucknall from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 18th for Cancer Research UK. Please get in touch with Maxine if you may be willing and able to spare an hour or so to help. It’s a lot more interesting than it sounds and a worthwhile cause!

On Tue 20th Feb at 7:00pm - 3TuOTM

We now have a regular event in Newark that takes place at The Ram on Castle Gate on the “3rd Tuesday” so our next get together will be from 7.00pm on Tuesday 20th. Contact host Pete on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions/encouragement or just turn up on the night and look for a yellow Mblem on the table to the right of the front door. Food is available if you wish to eat.

On Tue 27th Feb at 7:30pm - Eating meeting

To link in with the winter Olympic games taking place in South Korea this month our “eating meeting” at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th will be at Korea House, High Road, Beeston. As the name suggests this is an authentic Korean restaurant with BBQs set in the middle of the tables. If you’ve ever wanted to taste kimchi or bimbibap now’s your chance! It’s moderately priced and gets glowing reviews on the internet. Book your place with Maxine by 23rd please.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

In Northampton

On Sun 11th Feb at 10:30am - Brunch

As usual our breakfast/brunch meeting is on Sunday 11 February at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop in Market Walk, Northampton Town Centre. We shall be reviewing our activities and theatre plans for the year and explaining what would happen <<if I ruled the world . . . . .>>. Contact Marianne on [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for encouragement or to confirm your worst fears.

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 1st Feb at 8:00pm - FThOTM

February is the most depressing month of the year so let us help you banish those February blues at the start! As ever, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth! Leys Avenue is the main shopping street in Letchworth and is a few minutes' walk from the station (Kings Cross to Cambridge line). Call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement.

On Fri 23rd Feb at 8:00pm - LFOTM

Last Friday is at our usual venue of the Cowper Arms, Digswell. The pub is next to Welwyn North station and is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Peterborough and Cambridge. Good food, beer and conversation guaranteed! Please call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

Look out for a yellow Mblem on the table at our events. Contact Jo via [Email] / [Phone Number] / [Phone Number].

On Wed 7th Feb at 7:00pm - Alphabet Event – Z is for Zen Garden

Alphabet Event – Z is for Zen Garden

Milton Keynes has the honour of signing off East Midlands’ series of alphabet-themed events with a visit to Zen Garden on Wednesday 7th at 7pm. This is a pan-Asian buffet restaurant on Midsummer Boulevard near Jury’s Inn. Please let me know by Monday 5th at the latest if you plan to come so I can book a table.

On Mon 19th Feb at 8:15pm - 3MOTM & Quiz

Our regular Third Monday visit to the Barge in Woolstone for the quiz is on Monday 19th. Meet from 8.15 - the quiz starts at 8.30pm and costs £1 per person. Please let me know beforehand if you’re coming - the maximum team size is 6 people so it helps to know whether we’ll be one team or two, or somewhere in between.

On Sun 25th Feb at 10:00am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast, is Sunday 25th, when we visit Brown’s, next to Jury’s Inn on Midsummer Boulevard (West), for breakfast. Join us from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink.

Just a reminder about our M-MK & Bedford Facebook group – if you would like to join please search for the group and send me a request. I also keep an email distribution list for meeting reminders and any last-minute changes, so if you would like to be added to this please let me know.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at one or other of our events this month. Do remember that you’re welcome to bring a guest with you, so if you’ve never been to a Mensa event and are a little nervous about coming along on your own, just bring a friend.

Jo Sidebottom

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] / [Mobile Number] for details

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Tue 6th Feb at 8:00pm - Indoor board games

Join Dave and Alison at their home in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, for a relaxed evening of indoor board games. Arrive for an 8pm start on Tuesday 6th February. Please contact Dave on [Email] or [Phone Number] for directions and to let him know which games you would like to play.

On Fri 9th Feb at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

Meet me from 10:30am onwards on Friday 9th February for a morning of informal conversation and coffee. This month we are going to Costa in the Next superstore on Crest Road, adjacent to Junction 4 of the M40, HP11 1UA. For further information on the venue see There is plenty of free parking on site.

On Sun 25th Feb at 12:30pm - Italian lunch

Join me at Bella Vita, 1 Bell Street, Princes Risborough, HP27 0DE at 12:30 on Sunday 25th February for a relaxed Italian lunch. More details at Afterwards we will have a short walk around the town. I will need to book so please contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email] by Monday 19th February if you would like to come.

For further details or encouragement contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Susan Graves

Derby Diary

On Sat 10th Feb at 3:00pm - T@3

For our second postcode district in our tour we will visit Swarkestone Garden Centre in DE73. Join us at 3pm in the café on Saturday 10th for tea and cake or whatever you fancy. Look for the magazine and please let me know you are coming if you would like me to look out for you. Contact Susan or Mark on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Wed 21st Feb at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

The usual 3rd Wednesday get together at the Standing Order on Irongate in the city centre falls on 21st. Meet from 7.30pm for food and/or drink and chat. Look for a yellow Mblem on a long table in the rear section of this Wetherspoon pub. New faces welcome.

Susan Graves

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Buffet & Quiz Night

Saturday 3rd March 2018 The Kegworth Hotel, Packington Hill, Kegworth, DE74 2DF A hot buffet comprising chili, rice, beef lasagne, vegetable lasagne, garlic bread, chips and salad. Followed by a general knowledge quiz. Play in teams of up to four people with prizes for the winners. Also optional raffle. Cost £10 per person. Book via or Maxine by 23rd February.

Lakes Party Weekend

Guests in costimes hold up cards forming the message 'Wish you were here'

Fri 2-Mon 5 November A weekend based at Whinfell Forest CenterParcs in the beautiful Lake District. 3 nights accommodation, 3 parties, helpyourself bar all weekend, unlimited access to the swimming dome, walks, quizzes, tastings, firework display and much more. Contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] for further info.

Irish Mensa Annual Gathering

Athlone, Co Weatmeath. Friday 4th to Monday 7th May 2018

Come to the heart of Ireland and experience the Irish Mensa Annual Gathering with plenty of events to choose from and Mensans from around the world to meet. Athlone (town of Luan’s ford) County Westmeath is home to Ireland’s longest river, the Shannon, and is very near to the geographical centre of the country. It is a town full of history, spectacular scenery and splendid food. The weekend will include something for everyone from the active Baysports water park - including the world’s tallest floating slide - and walking tours, to the relaxed coach tour and the so-laidback- it’s-almost-horizontal afternoon tea cruise. Also on offer is a tour of Athlone Castle, a historical lecture, escape rooms, craft beer tasting plus lots more. There are flights to Dublin from many UK airports. Athlone is easily reachable by car, bus, train or even boat if you fancy hiring one and cruising your way to IMAG. Our base for IMAG 2018 will be the four-star Sheraton Athlone Hotel in the centre of town just a few minutes’ walk from both the bus and rail stations. The hotel has all you could need for a comfortable stay whether you are travelling alone or as a family. Special rates have been arranged for the weekend so make sure to mention Irish Mensa when booking.

IMAG is famous for a host of interesting and fun activities, great food and its friendly atmosphere so even if you have never attended a Mensa event this is a perfect time to start! Come for the whole weekend or choose just one event,

whatever takes your fancy. Mark the date in your diary now, look out for the full events list and booking form on the website and for more information.



20 Questions (No. 196)

You are a festive lot with a bumper crop of entries for our December competition. Thanks to all who entered and for the season’s greetings too. The answers were a thousand, pumpkin pie, underneath the mistletoe, gold, all year long, 24 days, red, the fairies, Christmas Day, kept time, a kiss of love, a good one without any fear, underneath his beard so snowy white, free, pacing the floor, the child, a 54 convertible, the very next day, twice, and merry and bright. Congratulations to Helene Parry of Brentford who wins the £10 book token.

Here’s a sports themed quiz to link in with the winter Olympics taking place this month. Send your answers to arrive by 20th February to ‘20 Questions (No. 196)’, [Address] or [Email]. Don’t forget to include your name and address!

1. Which country won the first football World Cup in 1930?

2. How high in centimetres is the crossbar in rugby?

3. In which year were ball girls introduced at Wimbledon?

4. Who is the current world snooker champion?

5. What colour is the central zone of an archery target?

6. How many points is the green ball worth in snooker?

7. Who owned the race horse Shergar?

8. The ice skeleton racing toboggan track called the Cresta Run is in which town?

9. What number is opposite 20 on a dartboard?

10. Who won the men’s London marathon in 1994, 1995 and 1996?

11. On which island was athlete Linford Christie born?

12. Who won Great Britain’s only gold medal at the 1952 Olympics?

13. What nationality is golfer Vijay Singh?

14. Which county cricket club plays its home matches at Grace Road?

15. From which bridge does the University Boat Race start?

16. How many feathers are there on a badminton shuttle?

17. Who was the first American to win the Tour De France?

18. In which country were the first Commonwealth Games held?

19. How many players are there in a softball team?

20. Who was the first English footballer to be knighted?