Photo of a cluster of snowdrops in full bloom.

It’s almost Spring!


Regional News

As Olympic fever begins to warm up there’s an opportunity to tour Team GB training facilities as part of a Mensa exclusive Health & Wellbeing Day taking place on Saturday 31st March at Loughborough University. This will be in addition to lectures covering aspects of diet and exercise and a practical session showing a new technique to help stress and pain management. The cost of £39 per person also includes an arrival drink and healthy lunch. See for full programme/ booking form or contact Diane at the Mensa office. Bookings close 15th March.

For the third year a team of Mensans will be taking part in Relay For Life which is a 24 hour event raising money for Cancer Research UK. The event will take place at Harvey Hadden Stadium in Nottingham from noon on Saturday 14th to noon on Sunday 15th July. You can follow our progress at If you would like to join our team for this fun and worthwhile event please do get in touch with me for further details.

Please note our new regional web address listed above. Hopefully an easy one to remember. It is updated frequently by our web master Nick Stimpson so if you’ve not visited for a while why not take a look?

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer

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.
photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Thu 1st Mar at 8.00pm - FThOTM

Please join us on the 1st from 8.00pm for informal First Thursday chat. However, note that we have moved from Jurys to The Old Beams at Shenley Lodge. This was a popular previous venue and we decided we’d missed it enough to decamp back there. We will try to get a table in the small room at the right hand end - look out for the Mblem or mag. For location, menu, etc. see Feel free to join us for a meal or just a drink

On Sat 10th Mar at 3.00pm - T@3

Saturday 10th sees us back at Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Fenny Stratford, just south of Milton Keynes, for T@3. This is one of our most popular meetings and an ideal one to come along to if you’ve never joined us before. Not that you wouldn’t be welcome at any meeting, but most of us agree that T@3 has a particularly nice atmosphere.

On Sun 11th Mar at 8.00pm - My Favourite Things

Mike Hargreave Mawson continues to host meetings at his home in Bedford this month, with “My Favourite Things” on Sunday 11th at 8.00pm. This month’s theme for My Favourite Things is “years”, so bring along some memories to share with others.

On Thu 15th Mar at 4.00pm - Tea and Buns

Mike's second meeting of the month is Tea and Buns on Thursday 15th at 4.00pm.

Mike’s address is [Address]. He strongly advises contacting him for directions and parking hints if it’s your first visit - phone [Phone Number] or email [Email].

On Sun 18th Mar at 10.15am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast will be at 10.15am on Sunday 18th, but please contact me to confirm the venue. Come for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink, but if possible please let me know by Saturday 17th so we have an idea what size table to grab.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at one or other of our events in March.

Jo Sidebottom

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

More or Leicester

On Sat 3rd Mar at 8.00pm - Eating Meeting

I once had a sat-nav that - for some reason - refused to recognise the existence of Coalville. I don't know if this was some kind of existentialism thing or the result of some kind of long-standing family feud (or the fact that it cost about thirty quid when others cost about ten times that), but I have a new one now and I want to test its capabilities by heading to the Charnwood Arms Hotel ( for a bit of dinner on Saturday 3rd at 8.00pm. Please come and either help celebrate success, or just help come and find me! Either way, can you give me a call or drop me a line (details below) to let me know you're coming as that'll tell me whether to try and book, or just grab a table when I'm there.

On Thu 15th Mar at 8.00pm - 3ThOTM

Following on from that, we're back at the Craddock in Leicester on Thursday 15th at 8.00pm for our ThThOTM get together (actually on the Third Thursday? I'm just one crazy wild party animal, me!). It's been getting a bit busy in there of late, so look out for the magazine or yellow mBlem. Please get in touch to say "Hi", ask for directions, let me have ideas for things you wouldn't mind doing or if you're one of my sister’s old boyfriends. (It happens! You'll just have to come along to find out the details, won't you??) It'd be lovely to hear from you.

Paul Coulson

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Mon 5th Mar at 8.00pm - 5OTM

Join us at the Vat & Fiddle from 8.00pm on Monday 5th for a drink and chat. Find us in the Golding’s Room to the left of the bar. Males, females, young, young-at-heart, all welcome. Pop in briefly or stay for the evening. The pub is on Queensbridge Road close to the railway station. Contact me for directions.

On Wed 7th Mar at 6.00pm - Pamper night

I’m organising a pamper night from 6.00-9.00pm on Wednesday 7th. The venue is Eastwood Comprehensive School ( NG16 3EA) . There will be beauty treatments offered by students at bargain prices such as manicures, mini-facials, massages, reflexology. There will also be stalls selling a range of goods including jewellery, cakes, beauty products, patchwork gifts, accessories (hats, scarves, fascinators, etc.), books and a tombola. Tickets cost £2.00 in advance or £2.50 on the door including glass of wine and nibbles and entry into a prize draw. All proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK. Although aimed at ladies, gentlemen are very welcome too!

There will be no “chicks & flicks” event this month as it has been discontinued. Film times at the new venue of the Showcase cinema are too early/late and Nando’s tends to be busy with waits for tables. None of the regular attendees wanted to return to our old venue in the city centre and be forced to pay for parking. So well done Nottingham City Council for driving away customers! From next month I propose a new “natter & nosh” event on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Beekeeper pub in Beeston as 8-10 of us often meet there anyway and the venue is easily accessible from Nottingham or Derby. And has free parking!

On Tue 27th Mar at 7.30pm - Eating meeting

Our “eating meeting” will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th at Jasmine Garden in Long Eaton. This eat-as-much-as-you-like Chinese buffet restaurant comes highly recommended. There is a set price of £10.30 (or £7.90 for seniors) with over 40 dishes to choose from. Let me know by 23rd if you would like to join us so I can reserve a table. New faces welcome!

If anyone has restaurant recommendations or walk suggestions within Nottinghamshire for later in year I would love to hear from you.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sat 17th Mar at 3.00pm - T@3

Join me for a relaxed afternoon tea and lively conversation at the Van Hage Garden Centre in Chenies, just east of Amersham/Little Chalfont on the A404 at 3.00pm on Saturday 17th. See for details. The centre has a good café offering jacket potatoes, quiche, etc. if you want to resist their delicious scones and cakes. As well as a wide range of items for the garden, including plants, ornaments, fountains, paving, statues, tools, they also offer homeware, clothing, gifts and a food hall and delicatessen selling local produce.

Ring or e-mail me (details below) if you need help with transport or want to let me know you are coming. Or just turn up and look for us in the café.

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Christine Howells

Lively Lincs

On Thu 1st Mar at 7.00pm - Eating meeting

We're ringing the changes with a trip to Thai Sabai, Wigford Way, just round the corner from the Odeon on Thursday 1st at 7.00pm. For info, encouragement or to book contact Jacquie Harrison on [Phone Number] or [Email].

On Sat 10th Mar at 12.05pm - 2SaOTM

2SaOTM on Saturday 10th from 12.05-2.00pm for our Pub Discussion at the Adam and Eve on Lindum Hill. They don't open until 12.00, so beware of arriving early. Do join us for lunch or just a drink. We start with some chatting and at 12.30ish we will begin a discussion on 'Has sexism reversed?', then finish with more general chat. Contact me for encouragement.

On Sun 18th Mar at 3.00pm - Teatime Thinking

Sunday 18th from 3.00-5.00pm, continuing our Teatime Thinking: general discussion at my house over tea and cakes. Using the ideas of the main philosophers as a starting point but no previous knowledge required, anyone can join in. This month: Confuscius thought that after fulfilling filial duties, reading literature was the most important thing. What do we think are the important things to spend time on? Contact me for directions, encouragement.

Christine Howells

Contact [Email] for details

photo of Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

On Thu 1st Mar at 9.00pm - FThOTM

The first 2012 meeting in the County of Spires & Squires is on Thursday 1st and we are going to The Olde England, 118 Kettering Road, Northampton, NN1 4BP . On the corner of Hood Street, this is a new pub situated in a shop that has previously been home to an estate agent, insurance broker and greengrocer (and when I first used it in the 1960s the greengrocer was Mr Bramley!). We'll be there at 9.00pm.

On Thu 22nd Mar at 8.00pm - 3ThOTM

Our Third Thursday meeting is on Thursday 22nd and it's in the south of the county. The Coffee Pot, High Street, Yardley Gobion, NN12 7TN , is where we are heading for 8.00pm. The village is just off the A508, close to that road's junction with the A5.

A copy of the Mensa magazine, or another Mensa symbol, will show you who we are. If you need any further information contact me. If you don't like walking into a strange venue by yourself feel free to bring along a friend or family member.

Ian Sargent

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

Derby Diary

Alistair's new job and working hours are making it very difficult for him to continue in the role of Derby LocSec so he has resigned. We are therefore seeking any member living or working in the DE postcode area to take on the role. It is not an onerous task as our regular 3WOTM event is always well attended and runs itself and I host eating meetings within Derbyshire every 2-3 months. If anyone is interested in the role feel free to contact me on [Phone Number] for a no obligation chat.

On Fri 9th Mar at 7.00pm - At Home

Last time Susan Luke and Mark Graves hosted an 'at home' event it was very enjoyable so they are repeating it from 7.00pm on Friday 9th. Come along to their home in Ilkeston to chill out and chat. Take-away can be ordered for those who wish. Indian was popular but other options are available such as Chinese, pizza or fish & chips. Bring whatever you wish to drink. Please phone [Phone Number] for directions and to say you'll be there.

On Wed 21st Mar at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

We will be at the Standing Order on Irongate from 7.30pm on Wednesday 21st. Look for the yellow Mblem on a long table in the low ceiling area at the rear of the pub. It's a Wetherspoon venue so prices are reasonable and you may eat and/or drink so join us at whatever time is convenient for you. There are usually 12-16 of us and new faces are always welcome.

Maxine Bates

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 1st Mar at 8.15pm - FThOTM

Thursday 1st from 8.15pm. Regular FThOTM meeting, which this year coincides with St David's Day. Come and join us! We'll be around for our usual mix of lively conversation and a good atmosphere. As always, we're at the Millstream, Cambridge Road, Hitchin. Good food and good beer both available! Call me for more details and encouragement. The pub is about ten minutes' walk from the railway station.

On Sat 3rd Mar at 3.00pm - T@3

Join Julie Perry for tea, coffee, cakes and conversation on Saturday 3rd at Country Gardens, Dunsbridge Turnpike, nr Shepreth. We'll be in the restaurant from 3.00pm - look for the meerkat on the table. Children welcome (soft play area in cafe). No 26 bus stops outside. Phone Julie on [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Fri 30th Mar at 8.00pm - LFOTM

Friday 30th from 8.00pm. LFOTM. We end the month in the usual way with good food and drink at the Cowper Arms, Digswell, Herts (by Welwyn North station). Call me for more details and encouragement. The pub is next to the railway station, which is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge and Peterborough.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of David Seddon

WATever . . .

On Mon 12th Mar at 8.00pm - 'A favourite piece of music'

Monday 12th 8.00pm: 'A favourite piece of music'. Hosted by Margaret Etall. Spaces are limited, so please advise if you would like to attend. I can supply Margaret’s address nearer the time. Usual drinks and nibbles.

On Mon 26th Mar at 8.00pm - Pub meeting

Monday 26th 8.00pm: Pub meeting at the Essex Arms, Langley Way, Watford. WD17 3EG Please look for the Magazine on the table. New members always warmly welcomed.

David Seddon

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Work Experience Enquiry

My name is Hannah and I am 16 years old. I am enquiring if anyone reading this newsletter works (or knows someone who works) in the legal profession. I am seeking work experience to do after I have finished my GCSEs this summer. I live close to Derby but would be happy to travel further afield.

If you think that you could be of help, please could you email me at [Email]. I would really appreciate any help or advice that you could give me.

Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan?

Photo of the frontage to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, with a doorman dressed as an old fashioned policeman.

Join us at 12 noon on Saturday 7th April at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, 221b Baker Street, home of the world’s greatest consulting detective. Admission is £6 (£4 under-16s), 10% discount if we are a group of 11 or more.

Contact Neil Matthews at [Email] or on [Phone Number] to confirm your interest.

The game is afoot!

Forget the Olympics ... THIS is what London has been waiting for... The Young Mensan Masquerade Ball

Saturday 14th April 2012

A night of Mystery, magic, and mayhem. Drink, Dance & Dine until the clock strikes midnight.

Age: Mensans 18-35

Time: 7.15pm

Dress Code: Black Tie & Mask

Location: Golden Sunrise Boat, Temple Pier, River Thames

Tickets: £50 avaialable from the 'National Events' section of the British Mensa website

Entertainment: DJ, Magician, Buffet, Fun Casino Table & Bar.

Also, on the night the person who adorns the most fanciful mask will be in with a chance to win a copy of 'The Fry Chronicles' personally signed by Steven Fry himself.

Every Mensan may bring a non-Mensan + 1.

This is a ball NOT TO BE MISSED.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Please add 'Jade-Amanda Laporte' on Facebook for more details and if you would like to be added to the Facebook group.

Lakes Party Weekend

Photo of the main building at CenterParcs Whinfell Forest, a glass building with a sweeping curved roof. Taken from across a blue lake on a day with a clear blue sky.

Join members and their guests from around the UK and beyond for partying, swimming, walking, activities or just relaxation at CenterParcs Whinfell Forest resort in the Lake District.

Package includes three nights’ accommodation in a twin/double room, three parties, some buffet meals, help-yourself bar throughout the weekend, cocktail of the day, unlimited access to the water dome and programme of events.

Cost £145 per person.

For full details see or contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Forthcoming weekend events

23rd-25th March

Think @ Oxford

4th-7th May

IMAG, Cobh, Ireland

29th June-1st July

West Midlands Weekend, Worcester

19th-23rd July

Mensa At Cambridge

8th-12th August

European Mensa Annual Gathering, Stockholm

17th-19th August

Mensa Olympics Weekend, Cardiff

24th-27th August

SMAG, Renfrew, Scotland

21st-24th September

British Mensa Annual Gathering, Belfast

9th-12th November

Lakes Party Weekend

20 Questions (No. 126)

The numerical answers to the January quiz were 2, 4, 7, 180, 18, 88, 9, 3, 50, 27, 5, 20, 60, 29, 12, 8, 451, 35, 11 and 6. Entries received from Tony Dodd of Belvoir, Roger Plant of Nottingham, Pamela Covey of Woburn, Alex Foster of Derby, Chris Impey of Tring, Pat Naylor of Nottingham, Tony Allen of Northampton, Ron Britton of Nottinghamshire, David Crozier of St Albans, Philip Abbott of Watford, Rita Beeson of Kempston and Marianne Croll of Derby. The winner was Alex. Well done!

We celebrate St Patrick’s Day this month so we have an Irish themed quiz. Send your answers to arrive by 20th to ‘20 Questions (No. 126)’, [Address], for chance to win a £10 book token.

1. What is the longest river in Ireland?

2. Which Irish author wrote ‘Ulysses’?

3. In which building can you view the Book of Kells?

4. What, in English, is the name of the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland?

5. Blarney Castle is in which Irish county?

6. The Gaelic word ‘carrick’ translates as what?

7. Which Irish city is famous for its crystal?

8. The Dublin statue of whom is nicknamed ‘the tart with the cart’?

9. What are the names of the two cranes that dominate the Belfast skyline?

10. A ‘black velvet’ cocktail consists of Guinness and what other ingredient?

11. How many islands belong to the Aran Islands?

12. In what year was the ban on divorce lifted in the Republic of Ireland?

13. Michael Flatley and Jean Butler created which show?

14. Which company produce the best selling Irish whiskey?

15. What are the two main ingredients of the Irish dish colcannon?

16. In which Irish city would you find the Odyssey Arena?

17. What is the name for a traditional Irish ring depicting two hands clasping a heart?

18. The Giant’s Causeway is formed from what type of igneous rock?

19. A bodhran is what type of Celtic instrument?

20. Which Irish author won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925?