These locks at Stockton were on an early section of Ian's Northampton to Birminham trek. Wy not join him for the final leg on March 29th?


Regional News

The survey on membership carried out at the end of last year continues to be analysed. Thank you to everyone who completed it. Hopefully your responses will enable us to offer better membership benefits in future. Quite a few of you suggested event ideas or offered to organise something so either myself or your Local Secretary may be in touch with you in due course to see if we can turn words into actions. There’s no pressure but the more volunteers we have to organise different types of events the better for everyone.

Don’t forget if you’re unable to join in our social events for family, work, financial, logistical or health reasons you can still enjoy your membership by joining some of the dozens of special interest groups, contributing to Mensa Magazine or Empress, subscribing to forums on the Mensa web site or chatting to East Midlands members via our Yahoo email group or Facebook group. Please contact me if you need help or advice on any of these.

There were no candidates for the role of Regional Officer so I’m happy to remain in the post.

Happy Easter to everyone. Enjoy the Bank Holidays if you don’t have to work.

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 Sat 2nd Mar at 3.00pm - T@3

Back to the ever-popular Dobbie’s Garden Centre restaurant again on Saturday 2nd for T@3. Dobbie’s is in Fenny Stratford, just south of Milton Keynes. We will probably be in the conservatory out behind the restaurant, so look for the Mblem on a table.

On Sun 10th Mar at 10.15am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast will be at 10.15am on Sunday 10th at Wetherspoon’s on Midsummer Boulevard West, next to Chiquito’s and not far up from the railway station (NOT the other Lloyds/Wetherspoons nearer the shopping centre and next to Jurys Inn). Come for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink – look for the Mblem on a table.

On Mon 18th Mar at 7.30pm - 3MOTM

On Monday 18th we continue our new Third Monday of the Month meetings at The Barge at Woolstone. Join us from 7.30pm if you wish to eat or chat beforehand, and then from 9.00pm we will form one or more teams for the quiz. Cost is £1 per person. See for location and menu details. If possible, please let me know beforehand if you’re coming so we can reserve a big enough table.

Just a reminder about our M-MK & Bedford Facebook group – I’ve found that I can only actually invite my own Facebook friends, so 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 in March. 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 Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

The Northants group springs back into action and there should be at least two events per month: a pub social in Northampton on the 1st Thursday and another pub social elsewhere in the county on the 3rd Thursday. Other dates for walks, museums visits, meals, etc., will be slotted in as and when available. I'm always on the lookout for other events/attractions suitable for a Mensa meeting so if you know of anything please pass on the details. Bear in mind that two months’ notice is required to get it into the Mensa magazine and Empress; and if pre-booking is required it would be useful have even more notice.

On Thu 7th Mar at 9.00pm - FThOTM

We start off on Thursday 7th at 9.00pm with a visit to The Fish, Fish Street, Northampton. If you enter by the main door on the corner of The Ridings then you should find us around a table at the far end. As we’ve been quiet for four months there should be plenty of gossip to catch up with. This is a pedestrian area so you will need to find somewhere to park nearby if you come by car.

On Thu 21st Mar at 8.00pm - Roadshow

The first Roadshow meeting of 2013 is two weeks later: Thursday 21st at 8.00pm and we head south to The Coffee Pot, High Street, Yardley Gobion, NN12 7TN. The village is just off the A508, just north of the Buckinghamshire border. We will try to grab the table in the bay window just to the right of the main entrance.

For both meetings a copy of the Mensa magazine, or another Mensa symbol, will show you who we are. If you need any further information contact me.

Our Northamptonshire countryside walks are normally 3-4 miles in length but if you want something that is a bit more of a challenge join me on Good Friday, 29th March. Weather permitting, this will be a walk along the Grand Union Canal into the heart of Birmingham, starting from Hampton-in-Arden railway station (on the Coventry to Birmingham line) at 10.30am. The overall distance will be about 9 miles, of which 7 will be on the canal towpath.

Ian Sargent

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

Derby Diary

On Wed 20th Mar at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

Join us for a meal or just a drink at the Standing Order (Wetherspoons) on Irongate in the city centre any time from 7.30pm on Wednesday 20th. We’ll be at the rear of the pub on a long table with a yellow Mblem on display. There can be anything between half a dozen of us (on a snowy day – thanks to those who ventured out in January) to 20 members and guests. Usually an evening of good conversations. Contact me for any information or just turn up on the night. All welcome.

On Sat 23rd Mar at 11.00am - Bark For Life

At 11.00am on Saturday 23rd we have something different. If you have a dog (or can even borrow one!) please join us for “Bark For Life” taking place at Shipley Country Park near Heanor. This is Race For Life for canines! A sponsored 3 mile walk on woodland paths around the park raising money for Cancer Research UK. There’s a £10 registration fee – with £5 for additional dogs at the same address – and each will receive a doggie bandana on the day. You are welcome to come along to this fun event without a dog too. Please contact me for further information or download a registration form from

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jenny Habib


On Wed 27th Mar at 7.45pm - LWOTM

On Wednesday 27th we will meet as usual at the Old Mill at 7.45-ish; the pub is set back from the London Road, next door to the Esso petrol station. Look for the Mensa Mag on the table.

Come and chat and see what happens.

Jenny Habib

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Christine Howells

Lively Lincs

On Sat 9th Mar at 12.05pm - 2SaOTM

We continue with our favourite pursuits of talking whilst eating. Firstly, our regular 2SaOTM lunchtime pub discussion at the Adam and Eve on Lindum Hill, Lincoln, Saturday 9th at 12.05pm. 'How far should the state regulate personal relationships?' will get us started on our wide-ranging discussion which may continue well into the afternoon. Lunch is available if desired.

On Sun 24th Mar at 3.00pm - Teatime Thinking

Our Alford philosophy group meets at my house on Sunday 24th from 3.00-5.00pm, where I will supply plenty of cake and tea while we discuss Nietzsche, starting from his view that saints act well only from fear.

Please contact me for directions etc. for both meetings.

Christine Howells

Contact [Email] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 7th Mar at 8.15pm - FThOTM

On Thursday 7th from 8.15pm we have FThOTM at the Millstream, Hitchin. Good food and good beer both available! The pub is about ten minutes' walk from the station.

On Fri 22nd Mar at 8.00pm - PFOTM

As Easter is very early this year, Last Friday is Penultimate Friday but still, as ever, we'll be at the Cowper Arms, Digswell, Herts (by Welwyn North station) from 8.00pm on Friday 22nd. The pub is next to the railway station, which is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge and Peterborough.

Would anyone be interested in joining me at occasional performances at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage? I'm interested in going to see "A Cricket Match" by Alan Ayckbourn from 5-7th March. Give me a call if you're interested.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Tue 5th Mar at 8.00pm - 5OTM

Find us in the Golding’s Room at the Vat & Fiddle from 8.00pm on Tuesday 5th for our monthly get together. The pub is near Nottingham railway station and has parking right outside on Queensbridge Road or adjacent Traffic Street. Soft drinks and coffee available if you’re driving or don’t want alcohol.

On Tue 12th Mar at 7.30pm - At Home

I’m hosting an “at home” event from 7.30pm on Tuesday 12th in Langley Mill. Tea, coffee and nibbles provided or bring whatever you wish to drink. Come for a cheap and sociable night out with the option of playing a boardgame or two. Contact me for directions and to let me know you’ll be there. I would also love to hear from you if you’d be prepared to host an “at home” event some time during the year.

On Thu 14th Mar at 7.30pm - Natter & nosh

On Thursday 14th it’s our “natter & nosh” event at the Beekeeper pub/restaurant in Beeston. Drop in any time from 7.30pm until late for food or just a drink. People come and go all evening and you’ll find us near the food order point at the end of the bar with a yellow Mblem on the table.

On Tue 26th Mar at 7.30pm - Eating meeting

Our “eating meeting” at 7.30pm on Tuesday 26th takes places at Ania’s on Mansfield Road in Sherwood. This is a Polish restaurant serving large portions of authentic dishes at reasonable prices. The owner is also the head chef and is very welcoming. Please contact me by 22nd to reserve your place as it’s only a small restaurant and quite popular.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Tue 12th Mar at 7:30pm - Theatre

We will be going to see “Yes, Prime Minister” at the Wycombe Swan on Tuesday 12th. This is a new, updated satire about a country on the brink of financial meltdown whose PM is staring disaster in the face. The original writers of the classic TV series have reunited for this anniversary production set in the modern world of BlackBerrys, spin and “sexed-up” dossiers. The fun starts at 7:30pm.

More details from Please obtain your own tickets from the theatre, but let me know you are coming so I can look out for you. There may be an opportunity to meet up for a coffee or quick snack before the performance.

On Sun 24th Mar at 1.00pm - Eating meeting

On Sunday 24th we will try the “Eat as much as you can” option at the Sunshine Chinese restaurant, 21A High Street, High Wycombe, near the Crendon Street traffic lights and only a short walk from the station. Cost is £14.80. Meet at the restaurant at 1.00pm. Family and friends are welcome to join us for a relaxed, informal meal and chat.

I will need to book a table so, if you can, please let me know you are coming by Monday 18th. You will still be welcome if you just arrive on the day.

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of David Seddon

WATever . . .

On Mon 11th Mar at 7.30pm - Evening Meal out

Monday 11th at 7.30 for 8.00 pm: Evening Meal out – The Cock Inn, Church Lane, Sarratt WD3 6HH. This is a lovely venue and comes highly recommended. Starters £3.30 to £6.95; main courses £9.50 to £17.60; vegetarian options from £10.95 to £13.25. Table D'hôte menu is £13.95 for two courses. Take a look here - I will need to know if you are attending to book the correct number of places. So please get in touch and let me know as early as possible!

David Seddon

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

More or Leicester

On Sat 9 Mar at 11.00am - Tea and Cakes

Ah, the stress and hassle of trying to find that perfect Mother’s Day present! Will they like it? Is it the right colour? Stress! Stress! Stress! Well, to try and help you out this year, why not take a break from your last-minute Mother’s Day shopping and meet us for relaxing Tea and Cakes in Brucciani’s in Churchgate, Leicester at about 11.00am? Have a good look around for the Mensa magazine on a table to find me, call me.

On Thu 28th Mar at 8.00pm - 4ThOTM

Our Fourth Thursday of the Month will indeed be taking place on the Fourth Thursday (I’m in Mensa, donchaknow? I can work these things out!). Usual place – The Craddock Inn; usual time – 8.00pm in the evening. We’re normally in the bottom bit, but please feel free to call or email me to let me know you’re coming, and we’ll look out for you.

Paul Coulson

Editor's Bit at the Bottom

One squashed editor wishing you a Happy Easter!

Rosie Jefferson

Mensa Games

Why not try something new this year! Or if you have played MensaGames in the past, it’s not too late for this year. A 2013 Entry Form can be downloaded from the event section of the member’s area. Log-in using your user-name and password at, call Diane Salter on 01902-772-771 (option 3) who is very friendly and helpful. Or contact me at, 01704-228-583 or 07977-221-423 and I will email you a copy.

Local Mensans successful at the 2012 Games Finals. Several East Midland gamesters reached the 2012 knockout finals games weekend:

Monopoly: ADAM REECE from Spalding, Lincs, won

Pool: PAUL CAREY from Oakham is champion

Settlers of Catan: PAUL HENCHLIFFE from Nottingham was runner-up.

Snooker: DAVID BALLARD from Northampton was runner-up.

Brain of Mensa: UNA ADAMS from Corby was 4th.

No local success in Backgammon, Chess, Cribbage, MasterMind, Mensa Connections, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit

All eleven knockout games plus Brain of Mensa are now available for 2013 for only £5 per game, most of which is returned in prize money.

The 2013 finals will be held in Edgbaston, Birmingham, weekend of 25th - 27th October but I will make the earlier rounds as local as possible - the more entries the easier that becomes!

The Mensa Games are an annual set of game competitions amongst British Mensans, mostly played tournament style and organised overall by the Games Officer. They are open to all members of British Mensa, including Ireland. The knockout games are an annual event where you are able to meet like-minded Mensans socially to play various games. Most games are one-on-one knockouts, with others such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit involving three or four players, with two participants going through to the next round. Age varies between 9 and 90 and there is normally a fairly even split between female and males.

In the early stages of the games, one of the players in each match is nominated as the 'Home' player and has the responsibility of providing the venue - normally in their own home, although for some games (such as pool and snooker) they may choose a local club venue. Alternately they may suggest a neutral venue or offer to travel to the opponent's home. Although the games can be competitive in the later stages, the social side of playing is an important consideration, giving members a chance to meet new people in their own homes. For some people this may be their only or first 'active' participation in Mensa events. With this in mind, we try to arrange the matches so that the same participants don't play the same players as last year, at least in the first round of games. The other main factor is geographical and we try to keep travelling to a minimum in the early stages.

While we are still in favour of games being played 'face to face', most two-player games can be played over the Internet if both parties agree; with the cost of travelling ever increasing, the trend is to play more and more of the games online or on Internet sites. On the Games Entry Form, there is a tick box if you are willing to play at least one round of your chosen game(s) electronically.

I look forward to meeting you!

20 Questions (No. 138)

The fruity answers from our January quiz were avocado, apple, fibre, Brazil, Nottinghamshire, cranberry, papaya, spring, sloe, guava, blackcurrant, strawberry, pomegranate, pineberry, banana, China, watermelon, durian, peach and raspberry. Entries were received from Michael Warren of Derby, Pamela Covey of Woburn, Roger Plant of Nottingham, Alex Foster of Derby, Patrick Cavanagh of Mullingar, Lynn Faulkner of Nottingham, Don Foster of Notts and Chris Impey of Tring with Lynn winning the book token.

This month’s quiz is once again compiled by Les Hurst. M is for March but M is also the first letter of each answer. How many do you know? Answers by 20th March to ‘20 Questions (No. 138)’, [Address], for chance to win a £10 book token. You may also email to [Email] but please include your name and postal address.

1. Captain Scarlet protected earth from which martian invaders?

2. In Switzerland they call it Mont Cervin but what do we call it?

3. Yannick Bisson plays a Canadian detective in which TV series?

4. Which New York thoroughfare became home of the advertising industry in the 1950s?

5. Agatha Christie wrote straight novels under which pseudonym?

6. Which team did James Hunt drive for when he won the F1 Championship in 1976?

7. Which name comes next in this list: Samantha, Sarah, Cherie, Norma, Audrey?

8. George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion was the basis of which hit musical?

9. The elephant bird became extinct in the 17th century on which island?

10. The first detective novel is usually said to be which by Wilkie Collins in 1868?

11. Which phrase is used by the British Film Institute for tapes of lost TV programmes?

12. In music which first name links a Mussorgsky and a mouse?

13. St Paul is the capital of which US state?

14. Which dietary system was based on the work of Sagen Ishizuka?

15. Who is the famous mother of actress Mariska Hargitay?

16. Bonnie Prince Charlie is one of two people in the Skye Boat Song. Who is the other?

17. Mozart’s 41st symphony was the basis of which hit for the Wombles?

18. Which of the 50 states of the USA is nicknames the ‘bay state’?

19. In September 2008 the river Wansbeck flooded which Northumbrian town?

20. Who was the dog in ‘Three Men In A Boat’?