One Weekend in Notts

Baked potatoes, a quiz, lucky dips, trips underground, a singing competition and a pub brunch. All squeezed into a fun weekend in Notts. For more about this, see below


Regional News

Did you know that as part of your Mensa membership you can join Special Interest Groups (SIGs)? Members can subscribe to two SIGs free of charge to receive newsletters through the post or an unlimited number if happy to receive electronically. There are around 100 SIGs on offer so whether you enjoy rock music or rambling, cats or crafts, science or Star Trek, whisky or wellbeing why not take a look at, sign up and get more from your membership? Some SIGs even organise special events around the country so members can meet others with the same interest.

If you have a hobby or interest and may be prepared to give a lecture or demonstration of it we would love to hear from you! Expenses are available for anyone willing and able to help and room hire with refreshments can be arranged. At the diamond anniversary celebrations in Nottingham back in 2006 we organised a whole series of “M to M” events where members taught other members their speciality. These workshops ranged from wine tasting to self-defence to magic to card making and much more. You are a diverse bunch of people so why not share your hobby with others and see if they can enjoy it as much as you?

I’m on [Phone Number] or and would be happy to hear from you regarding any aspect of your membership.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the July edition of Empress. Thank you to Maria Falces for steering the helm for the last three months. Hopefully we’re now enjoying the nice warm summer weather. A good time to get out and about and there are plenty of Mensa events in the region to choose from. I will be taking part in Relay For Life in the first weekend of this month, raising money for Cancer Research UK. Why not pop along to the Harvey Hadden stadium in Bilborough to see me going around in circles. For more details see Notts News.

Mark Sloan

Maria Falces

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all events listed here are likely to be 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.

In Leicestershire

On Mon 16th Jul at 8:00pm - Pub Social

Join us for our usual convivial third Monday of the Month gathering at the Cradock Arms, 201 Knighton Road, Leicester, LE2 3TT. We usually gather in the lower part towards the rear of the bar. Look out for the magazine or Mblem. For directions or encouragement please contact me on [Phone Number] or by email at [Email].

On Sat 28th Jul at 7:00pm - Pub Meal

The last Saturday of the month meal will be at the Stilton Cheese Inn, High Street, Somerby LE14 2PZ I hope you can join us but please let me know by Monday 23rd July as booking is essential. There won't be a meal in August but the meals will resume in September. Contact Sue on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Lively Lincs

On Sat 14th Jul at 12:00pm - Pub discussion

Our regular second Saturday meeting. Join us in the alcove of the Adam & Eve Tavern, 25 Lindum Road (opposite Pottergate arch) for a discussion around “Should we try to preserve all current species, or let natural selection take its course?” Pub food, hot drinks, car park. All very welcome. Contact Jacquie on [Phone Number] or [Email] for more details.

On Sun 29th Jul at 3:00pm - Tea in the garden

Sunday afternoon tea in our country garden – hopefully warm and sunny. We'll provide plenty of tea and cakes. Orchard tour on request. New and old faces, and guests, welcome. So we know numbers, please contact us by Friday evening (27 July) by emailing [Email] or telephoning [Phone Number], and please include your phone/mobile number so we can contact you on the day if bad weather obliges us to cancel.

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 4th Jul at 7:30pm - Theatre

Titanic The Musical is being performed at the Theatre Royal following the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the passengers on this ill-fated ship. Tickets £18-£39.50 with discounts for groups of 10+. Please contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] ASAP to express interest.

On Thu 5th Jul at 8:00pm - 5OTM

We're at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road near Nottingham railway station for a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and chat (silly or serious). Look for yellow Mblem on a table most likely in the Goldings Room to left of bar. New faces always welcome! Directions/encouragement to come along from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Sat 7th - Sun 8 Jul at 1:00pm - Relay For Life

A Mensa team are taking part in this 24 hour event at Harvey Hadden Stadium in Bilborough from 1pm Saturday to 1pm Sunday in aid of Cancer Research UK. Live music, demonstrations, food stalls, fundraising activities, walking round the track, candle of hope ceremony and lots more. Free entry! Find us in the Cocktail Crew marquee serving fruity cocktails! More info from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Thu 12th Jul at 7:30pm - Natter & Nosh

Find us on a large reserved table at the far side of the bar from 7.30pm for food or later for just a drink at The Cadland, High Road, Chilwell. On bus route and ample free parking. Menu at Further info from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] or just turn up on the night and find the yellow Mblem.

On Tue 17th Jul at 7:00pm - 3TuOTM

Join us at The Ram on Castle Gate in from 7.00pm for food or just a drink. Varied conversation is usually on offer too. Contact Pete on [Phone Number] or [Email] if needing directions or just turn up on the night. Look for a yellow Mblem on one of the tables to the right of the door as you enter.

On Tue 31st Jul at 7:30pm - Eating Meeting

It's summer so let's enjoy a meal at Esquina Spanish tapas restaurant, Tamworth Road, Sawley, NG10 3AU. See their menu at and reserve your place with Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] by 27th please. New faces welcome!

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

News from Northampton

On Sat 7th Jul at 12:30pm - Lunch & Walk

Join us for lunch at 12:30 at the Cross Keys, 2 West St, King's Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6XA followed by a woodland walk in the nearby Bedford Purlieus National Nature Reserve. More information from Ian on [Phone Number] or email:

On Sun 15th Jul at 10:30am - Brunch

Once again we'll be meeting up for breakfast/brunch at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop in Market Walk, Northampton Town Centre. After Pete's quiz, we'll be considering which of the 7 dwarves we each most resemble - and whether the others agree! Contact Marianne on [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for encouragement.

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 5th Jul at 8:00pm - FThOTM

As ever, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth! Thursday nights are curry nights but other food (standard Wetherspoons' fare) is available as well. 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 27th Jul at 8:00pm - LFOTM

As ever, we are at 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

On Sun 8th Jul at 10:00am - Breakfast

Join us at Carluccio's in the Centre:MK from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink. Look out for the Mblem, probably in one of the red booths outside. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Mon 16th Jul at 8:15pm - 3MOTM Quiz

Our monthly quiz outing to The Barge at Woolstone. Meet from 8.15 for a 8.30pm start - cost is £1 per person. Please let me know if you are coming so I know if we will be one team or two. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Wed 25th Jul at 6:00pm - Wolverton walk

Meet in the Agora car park by the church for a pre-prandial stroll round Wolverton's walking trail. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Wed 25th Jul at 8:00pm - South African meal

Another attempt at visiting Braai Shack in Wolverton. Please let me know by Mon 23rd if you are coming so I can book a table. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

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 Mon 9th Jul 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. All members and friends welcome. Space is limited, so please contact Dave for directions and to discuss what games you would like to play on [Phone Number] or by e-mail at [Email]

On Sat 21st Jul at 11:00am - Circular Walk

Scenic walk from the National Trust Ashridge Visitor Centre, HP4 1LT to the hill fort at Ivinghoe Beacon. The full 7 mile walk includes open countryside and woodland. Some steep slopes. Return to the visitor centre for a late lunch. Please let me know if you are planning to join us. For further details or encouragement contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Fri 27th Jul at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

Join me at Seasons Café and Deli, 6 Market Square, Old Amersham HP7 0DQ for relaxed conversation, cake and coffee. See for location and menu. No need to book, but if you want me to look out for you, let me know you are coming on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

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 Wed 18th Jul at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

New name, same time and place for our regular get-together at the Standing Order pub on Iron Gate (Wetherspoons). Join us to eat or just for a drink and a chat from 7.30pm. Look for the yellow Mblem on a long table in the rear section. Contact Susan on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions, encouragement and if you would like us to look out for you.

On Sun 22nd Jul at 1:30pm - Walk & Cake

Join us for a two mile walk at Rosliston Forestry Centre (DE12 8JX) near Swadlincote then tea and cake afterwards at Chapmans Nurseries over the road. Parking is £3. Meet outside the Visitors Centre, look for the magazine. Let me know you are coming, so I can look out for you, by emailing [Email] or ringing Susan on [Phone Number]

Susan Graves

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

West Midlands Mensa invite us to join them on Saturday 25th August (Bank Holiday weekend).

Mensans with children and child members and their families are welcome to join West Midlands members for either, or both, of the following events:

10.00am meet at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park on Pershore Road.

This wonderful, and surprisingly diverse, facility has inexpensive ticketing costs and, being smaller than a zoo, is ideal for little legs!

Cannon Hill Park for a picnic lunch from 12.30pm.

Please bring your own refreshments. In the event of inclement weather the MAC Arts Centre has a large cafe and plenty of space for shelter.

Both facilities are served by the same car park, which charges a small fee. There is a bus stop directly outside the Nature Centre (as it was called, until recently).

Please save the date and look out for further information soon.

Family Mensa Facebook Group

Finding interesting and stimulating places to go and things to do as a family is one of the main challenges for those bringing up a bright spark.

A new way for parents, grandparents and young Mensans to meet other people and find out what’s going on locally and nationally is now available through the Family Mensa Facebook group. The group is closed, meaning posts are not visible to people who are not members of it, and is the perfect place to find out what’s on, “meet” other people like you and tell others about events. The group is open to Mensa members with children or grandchildren, non-Mensan parents and grandparents of young members, and the younger members of Mensa themselves, provided they meet Facebook’s minimum age of 13.

All you need to do to join is search for Family Mensa on Facebook and click Join Group. You will then be asked for the name and membership of the Mensa member concerned – that could be yourself, or your child or grandchild. Please remember that any events or get-togethers you post in the group must be family-friendly, and children should always be accompanied to events by a responsible adult. The direct link to the new group is:

One weekend in Notts...

The group pose outside the pub claiming to be 'The Oldest Inn in England'

We managed to hold three events in two days 11th/12th May hence making a fun-packed miniweekend! On the Friday evening I'd organised a supper and quiz night to raise funds for Cancer Research UK so I was quiz mistress, chief cook and bottle washer all rolled into one! Around 35 guests travelled from around the East Midlands as well as London, the North West and Dublin to enjoy some food and test their brain cells. With ten rounds of ten questions on various subjects there hopefully was something for everyone. Most teams consisted of four members but it was the only team of two who walked away with the prize basket of booze plus four family vouchers to visit the Midland Railway Centre in Derbyshire during 2018. Along with a popular lucky dip the event raised £300 for charity.

The following day ten of us met in Nottingham city centre to take part in the underground festival happening that weekend. This was chance to explore some of the caves underneath the city that are not usually open to the public. Unfortunately some of the tours were very popular and had sold out but we managed lunch in the historic Trip To Jerusalem pub set into the rock beneath Nottingham Castle where we discovered one of our group was celebrating a birthday so had to sing to him! We were then given a private tour of the cellars by the landlord to learn about the history of the pub as well as the brewing process. Very interesting! After the obligatory group photo by the statue of Robin Hood we headed to the 'Lost Caves' underground bar in the Lace Market area of the city. I'd heard it was difficult to find and they weren't joking! But a kind member of staff from the adjacent hotel escorted us to an entrance and pointed down a corridor to a door that didn't actually look like a door. After passing through it we were greeted and shown to a wooden table with seating covered in animal furs in a cave. The novelty factor and waitress only service made the drinks a tad pricey but definitely worth a visit for a special occasion.

On the Saturday night we assembled at my home on the Notts/Derbys border for my annual Eurovision party. Most guests brought a buffet contribution relating to a European country so we had everything from cheeses to Swiss rolls to pizza to homemade Russian salad. Not forgetting the obligatory Buck's Fizz upon arrival and Bailey's to toast Terry Wogan at act nine which just happened to be the UK this year. After the excitement of the stage invasion and the sweepstake money being awarded to the holder of the Israel ticket we carried on partying until around 3am. Just six of us made it to the survivors lunch on Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who attended one of these events and especially those who travelled some distance to do so.


Lakes Party Weekend 2nd-5th November 2018

A weekend based at Whinfell Forest CenterParcs in the beautiful Lake District.

Package includes 3 nights accommodation in a twin/double room, 3 parties (2 with optional fancy dress), some buffet meals, help-yourself bar, cocktail of the day, unlimited access to the sub-tropical swimming paradise, walks, quizzes, tastings, board games, firework display and much more.

Join in as much or as little as you like. All ages welcome!

Full details at

20 Questions (No. 201)

The tree answers from the April competition were oak, yew/Scots pine/juniper, laburnum, white, pine, hazel, sycamore, cork oak, magnolia, sweet chestnut, elm, palm, Asia, ash, blue/purple, eucalyptus, lime, cacao, copper beech and South America. Well done to Pamela Covey from Woburn who wins the £10 book token.

Many thanks to regular entrant Roger Plant for compiling this month’s competition on fish and fishing. Send your entries to arrive by 20th July to ‘20 Questions (No. 201)’, [Address], Nottingham, NG16 4AW or

1. Goldfish are members of which family?

2. Scyliorhinus canicula is better known as?

3. What is the biggest fish in the world?

4. What is the largest freshwater fish in the world?

5. What is the scientific name for the tail of a fish?

6. Who invented fish fingers?

7. What is a paternoster?

8. Who wrote The Compleat Angler?

9. What is a young pilchard commonly called?

10. Which fish has the highest omega 3 content per gram?

11. How deep in metres can sharks go in the sea?

12. What do sharks have on their skin instead of scales?

13. Alevin and parr are stages in the development of which fish?

14. What colour are the spots on plaice?

15. Smoked herrings can be either of two food products. Which ones?

16. What is a gaff?

17. What does a fish use to detect pressure changes in the surrounding water?

18. What is a “miller’s thumb”?

19. What is the most endangered species of fish in the world?

20. How many portions, to the nearest million, of fish and chips are consumed in the UK every year?