* * * Stairway To The Stars * * *

Picture of members dressed up as movie characters.
Did you realise that so many famous movie characters come from the East Midlands area? Those above dropped in on the 'Night at the Movies' themed party held at 'Mensa at Oasis' in December.

Regional News

Our winter ball weekend takes place on 17th and 18th February with a variety of events surrounding an evening of fine food and dancing at the Rutland Square Hotel in Nottingham in aid of Cancer Research UK. Tickets for the ball cost £25 with £5 from each sale going to this worthwhile charity. Bookings close 31st January so you may just be in time to reserve your place. Please contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email]

If dining and dancing are not your cup of tea then Tara Morgan is arranging a pottery course on 3rd, 4th and 24th February. A couple of hours on each day will allow you to throw a pot, trim and finish it, then paint your pot for kiln firing. The event takes place in the pottery studio at Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley, reserved specially for Mensa, and the entire course costs a bargain £10 per person plus a pound or two for the clay depending on the item you make. If you ever wanted to learn pottery then this is the ideal time. A lunch or dinner can be arranged before or after each class. Numbers are limited so please contact Tara on [Email] or call her on [Phone Number] to reserve your place. If you cannot make all three dates then you may still be able to participate.

Talking of cups of tea. plans are afoot to host a national tea drinking event on 21st April. This originated from comments that many Mensa events are held in pubs and not all members like those venues. My personal suggestion is to name our event "T@3" with different groups getting together at 3.00pm on that date in various locations around the East Midlands. Venues could range from homes of members to village tea shops to posh hotels. The teas could also range from Tetley to Earl Grey to the increasingly popular fruit flavoured teas. What do you think? Do you like this idea and can you suggest any venues?

As always, your Local Secretary would be delighted to hear from you or see you at one of their events.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all non-online events listed here are susceptible to being cancelled, if not already marked as such. If you intend participating in any event listed here, please contact the event organiser beforehand to confirm that the event is still on.
photo of Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

On Thu 8th Feb at 9.00pm - 2Th: Pub

There's nothing worth watching on the TV, Radio 3 is broadcasting a composer that you can't stand and you've finished reading all the books you got for Christmas. In that case join us at the Dusty Fox. We'll be talking about such things as Seasonally Affected Disorder - is it just an excuse for an extra hour in a nice warm bed on a cold dark morning?

On Wed 28th Feb at 8.00pm - Roadshow

The Roadshow makes another visit to Kettering and the Talbot Inn in Meadow Road is the venue once again. Meet in the lounge, where we'll be celebrating the 59th day of the year.

To find us at either venue look for the Mensa mag on one of the tables. Details from [Phone Number] or [Email]

Ian Sargent

photo of Richard Allen

Herts & South Beds

On Tue 6th Feb at 7.30pm - Pub Meal

A new venue for our regular pub meal, now on the first Tuesday, at the Millstream, Letchworth Road, Hitchin. The pub is about 10 minutes' walk from Hitchin station and is served by bus routes between Hitchin and Letchworth. Ring Helen on [Phone Number] or [Phone Number] for details and encouragement.

On Wed 14th Feb at 8.30pm - Pub Quiz

We've been competing at the monthly quiz at the Plume of Feathers, Little Wymondley, fairly regularly, so why not come and join the fun? Food should be available. The pub is in Little Wymondley village and is served by bus 101 (Luton - Hitchin - Stevenage). Ring Helen on [Phone Number]/[Phone Number] or me on [Phone Number] for further details and encouragement!

On Fri 23rd Feb at 8.00pm - LFOTM

Join us in the lounge of the White Horse, Hertingfordbury to chill out at the end of the month - look for the mag and Mblem. Ring Gwen on [Phone Number] or ring me on [Phone Number] for details and/or encouragement.The hotel is about 20 minutes' walk from Hertford North station or alternatively bus 724 (Harlow - Hertford - Hatfield - St Albans) stops outside. Meals are available.

On Every Fri evening - Cinema - Stevenage

Join Helen at the cinema in Stevenage on Friday evenings. Cineworld's 16 screens give plenty of choice! Call her on [Phone Number] or on [Phone Number].

Richard Allen

Derby Doings

On Wed 21st Feb at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

Please join us for a quiet drink and bite in the Standing Order on Irongate to recover from, and reminisce about, the fun and games in Nottingham the previous weekend.

More info on [Phone Number] or [Email].

Bernie Briggs


On Sat 3rd Feb at 7.00pm - Meal and/or Drinks

Join us at The Red Cow on Hinckley Road in Leicester Forest East for a meal and/or drinks. The pub serves a variety of foods until 10.00pm. Ample parking is available. We will try and sit to the left of the bar in the eating area - look for the magazine on the table. For directions email me at [Email] or phone me on [Phone Number].

Rebecca Mawby

photo of Jacquie Harrison


On Sat 10th Feb at 1.00pm - Lunch? Coffee? Chat? Wander?

We return to The Collection on Danesgate for lunch, or just coffee and a chat, followed by a wander around the exhibits. Some are free and worth the time. We will be in the Coffee Shop at 1.00pm. Everyone welcome, family friendly. Please ring me on [Phone Number] for encouragement, etc.

Jacquie Harrison

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Mon 5th Feb at 8.00pm - 5OTM

We have our regular get together from 8.00pm at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road. Look for the yellow Mblem on the table, usually to the left of the bar. The pub belongs to the Tyne Mill chain and serves real ale brewed next door and also offers a vast array of whisky, good value soft drinks or coffee. New faces always welcome.

On Wed 14th Feb at 7.00pm prompt! - "Chicks & Flicks" night

Our "chicks and flicks" event falls on Valentine's Day. Whether you're single or part of a couple join us for dinner at Nando's. Meet at 7.00pm prompt inside the doors to the Cornerhouse complex so we can buy tickets for a film later. 10% discount at the restaurant and 2-4-1 cinema tickets makes it a cheap night out.

On 17th and 18th Feb - Winter Ball Weekend

Our winter ball weekend takes place on 17th and 18th February when there is opportunity to visit the Galleries Of Justice, Nottingham Castle or Brewhouse Yard Museum, explore ye olde pubs or take an informative walk with a Blue Badge guide. Not forgetting our charity ball in aid of Cancer Research UK on the Saturday evening, of course! Please see the separate ad for all these events and note that a few of them do require pre-booking.

On Tue 27th Feb at from 7.30pm - Postcode Pubcrawl

Following Bernie's pleasant evening at The Picture House on Fox Street, Sutton-In-Ashfield, we're returning. Find us in the no smoking area up 3 steps beyond the bar for food or just a drink. Tuesday is grill night though the regular Wetherspoon menu is also available. We're not yet halfway through visiting a venue in each postcode so it's not too late to pick up a collector card with chance to win some prizes. Please contact me if you have pub recommendations for NG4, NG13, NG19, NG23, NG25, NG31 or NG33.

You can contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email].

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates


photo of Jo Sidebottom

Milton Keynes & Bedford

On Thu 1st Feb at 8.00pm - FTh: Movable Feast

Join us at the Tokyo Japanese Restaurant in Greyfriars, Bedford. Booking essential by Tuesday 30th January.

On Sun 11th Feb at 3.00pm - At Home/Games

Please join us for games and chat. Soft drinks and nibbles will be provided, BYOB if you wish. Feel free to bring along your favourite games.

On Wed 21st Feb at 8.00pm - 3WOTM

Continuing our new venue, the Suffolk Punch at Heelands, Saxon Street, just below H3 (beside Novotel) - drive into Heelands and approach from the back. Real ales/good value food - look for Mblem in lounge bar on right.

Contact me at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions and/or encouragement for any of these events.

Jo Sidebottom

High Wycombe & Amersham

On Thu 15th Feb at 8.00pm - Mexican Meal

We visit the highly acclaimed "La Hacienda" in Frogmoor in the centre of High Wycombe. Call me on [Phone Number] by Tuesday 13th February to reserve your place.

At the time of writing I am not long back from Oasis, Christmas is a fortnight away and here I am thinking about February!

My last meeting was a Thai meal which was well attended. I organised the meal at the request of a couple of local members and was pleased to welcome 9 people in all including some new faces.

I welcome suggestions for future meetings. They don't have to be meals though eating meetings seem to work well in this area.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year.

Alistair Blackett

photo of Jenny Habib


On Wed 28th Feb at 7.45pm - LWOTM

The White Horse pub, Bourne End, on the Hemel Hempstead Road (the old A41) half way between Hemel and Berkhamsted. Do come and drink, eat or just join us for a quiet chat. All members welcome. Any ideas for other meetings also welcome. Just come and explain them, we would love to hear from you.

Jenny Habib

photo of Tara Morgan


On 3rd, 4th & 24th Feb - Y is for Y not try something different

Y not try a pottery activity that takes place over 3 days - 3rd, 4th and 24th February? A couple of hours on each day will allow you to throw a pot, trim and finish it, then paint your pot for kiln firing.

The event takes place in the pottery studio at Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley, reserved specially for Mensa, and the entire course costs a bargain £10 per person plus a pound or two for the clay depending on the item you make. If you ever wanted to learn pottery then this is the ideal time. A lunch or dinner can be arranged before or after each class.

Booking with a deposit of £5 is necessary as we are limited to 10 people so please contact me on [Email] or [Phone Number] to reserve your place. If you cannot make all three dates then you may still be able to participate.

Tara Morgan

Sitting On The Fence?

Stylised graphic of two people sitting on a fence.
Picture of Gwen Jones.

Can't find the kind of Mensa meeting you're looking for? Finding Mensa meetings thin on the ground in your neck of the woods?

It's often said that people who feel like that should consider organising their own Mensa meetings, a valid suggestion (contact your LocSec for advice and support), but it could be that you're suffering from Regional Boundary Syndrome. The grass sometimes is greener on the other side of the fence, so take a look at Mensa mag event listings for your neighbouring region/s. Don't forget that any member is entitled to attend meetings anywhere in the country (and to bring a guest if they wish).

You can also receive the newsletter of your neighbouring region by selecting it as one of your SIGs.

In my own area, changes in regional policy mean that meetings along the regional boundary are no longer publicised in both regions (with one regular exception I know of). Also, some members may not be aware there have been boundary changes between our two regions in the last year or so. So check neighbouring listings, or you may never know what you're missing!

Gwen Jones

LocSec: Bishops Stortford & Harlow; Cambridge (East Anglia Region)

The Mensa Winter Ball

Weekend Events Programme

SAT 17th FEB 2007

Galleries of Justice



Meet at the Galleries of Justice. Journey through 300 years of crime and punishment at this award winning attraction. Witness a trial in the old courtroom, experience life as a prisoner, see the conditions convicts faced and what torture instruments were used in bygone years, and the police gallery explains law and order. Normal price is around £8 but we have negotiated this heavily discounted rate.

Ye Olde Pub Crawl



Meet in the lobby of the Rutland Square Hotel Nottingham boasts some of the oldest pubs in England, including two who each claim to be the oldest. We'll visit the Salutation Inn, Bell Inn and Trip To Jerusalem carved into the rocks at the base of Nottingham Castle, for some afternoon drinks and conversation. An ideal event for those accompanying Officers of the region, who will be stuck in a committee meeting during this time!

Mensa Winter Ball



In the Rutland Square Hotel's banqueting suites East Midlands Mensa cordially invite you and your guests to our charity ball. We're going to spend Saturday night banishing the winter blues with fine food, good company and a disco led by our professional disc jockey playing a wide variety of music to encourage lots of dancing! All of this is in a good cause; £5 from the sale of each ticket goes to Cancer Research UK, a charity we hold dear. Our venue is the Castle Suite of Rutland Square Hotel, one of Nottingham's best banqueting suites and overlooking the castle gates. The Rutland Square hosted our very popular black tie dinner at the Mensa's Diamond gathering, where our guests reported very positively about the venue.

Dress Code: Smart/Formal

Dinner: 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Carriages: 2.00am

SUN 18th FEB 2007

Treasure Hunt



Meet in the lobby of the Rutland Square Hotel for a revamped version of the Diamond treasure hunt. Solve 50 clues - some simple observation and some cryptic - whilst walking around historic parts of the city. Play either individually or as part of a team. There will be a small prize for the winner(s).

Nottingham Castle


PAYG (£3*)

Meet outside the Castle entrance. This 17th century ducal mansion sits high up on Castle Rock with great views across the city. Today it houses fine art in the Long Gallery, exhibitions of ceramics, textiles and regimental paraphernalia and continually changing temporary displays. Also enjoy a stroll in the Victorian gardens.

Sunday Lunch at the Salutation



Find us in the non-smoking Snug. Join us for lunch at this ancient inn with its traditional pub grub menu.

Guided Walk



Meet in the Salutation Inn. Enjoy a stroll with an informative and entertaining Blue Badge guide (many of you will remember Margaret from her guided walks at Mensa's Diamond) to explore the old town walls. The walk will take you to the exclusive Ropewalk, to the historic Lace Market, and to areas in between.

Brewhouse Yard Museum


PAYG (£3*)

Meet at Brewhouse Yard Museum. The entrance is located at the base of Castle Rock. This museum depicts the social history of Nottingham over the last 300 years.

* Nottingham Castle and Brewhouse Yard Museum entry is by a combined ticket - the adult ticket for £3 is good for entry into both venues.


Please book your choice of accommodation direct with the hotels

Rutland Square Hotel £45 Single £65 per room - Small Double (queen size bed) £85 per room - Double (king size bed) Call 0115 941 1114 and quote "Mensa" for these discounted rates.

Travelodge £50 per room (approx) www.travelodge.co.uk

Winter Ball Menu

Fricassée of Woodland Mushrooms cooked in White Wine and Cream, served on Toasted Brioche or Carrot and Coriander Soup. ~~~~~ Suprême of Chicken filled with asparagus mousse and served with sun-blushed tomato cream or Pancakes filled with Tomato and Spinach coated with Mozzarella Cheese Sauce baked until golden ~~~~~ Traditional Old English Sherry Trifle or Profiteroles filled with Cream served with chocolate sauce


The Winter Ball, Galleries of Justice, and Guided Walk must be prebooked.

Send a cheque, payable to "East Midlands Mensa", to: Mensa Winter Ball, [Address]

Please remember to enclose an SAE for us to send you your tickets, and to include a note giving us your menu choices for the ball!

Questions or queries? Contact Maxine Bates on [Phone Number] or [Email]

20 Questions (No. 65)

Did you know the answers to the Mensa quiz set in the December issue of Empress? They were Australian, WV2 4AH, Reina Knizia, Greenshires Group Ltd, Abbie Salney, 1970, August bank holiday, Peter Devenish, 2, train, Alan Farrell, Liverpool, 1st January 2000, Caroline Garbett, Ed Loach, Florida, Susan Watkin, Spirit Of Mensa, Clive Sinclair and 1st October 2006. The winner of the weekend break for two at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham was Michael Warren with only one other entry, also correct, from Paul Henchliffe. Congratulations, Michael, and enjoy your weekend!

This month our quiz is set by Alistair Blackett and the answers are all places in the East Midlands. Please send your entries to '20 Questions (No. 65)', [Address] to arrive by 20th February to win some Mensa goodies.

1. Which airport was popularised by Lorraine Chase?

2. Which town on the River Soar is home to a university with a strong sporting tradition?

3. What is the name of the forest reputedly home of Robin Hood?

4. In which range of chalk hills can the Prime Minister's country residence be found?

5. Which town in Buckinghamshire has the most northerly London underground station?

6. Which racing circuit near the Northants border has hosted the British Grand Prix?

7. The majority of which county lies within the Peak District?

8. Which city has strong links to the travel agent Thomas Cook?

9. Which cathedral city lies on the River Witham?

10. Where is the National Tramway Museum?

11. Which association football team plays their matches at Sixfields?

12. Which town is home to the Charles Wells Brewery?

13. Which city hosts cricket test matches at the Trent Bridge ground?

14. Which town is home to the headquarters of RAF Strike Command?

15. Which town is famed for its concrete cows?

16. What is the country's first "Garden City" founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1903?

17. Which county has the motto "Multum in Parvo"?

18. The headquarters of the RSPB are found in which Bedfordshire town?

19. Which Hertfordshire city is home to CAMRA ?

20. Which river rises in Staffordshire and flows northwards to form the Humber estuary?