Regional Day Out ~ Lincoln

Monday 31st May 2010

Lincoln castle and Ellis mill

Join us for a bank holiday day out in the city of Lincoln for some sightseeing and socialising.

10.30am-12.20pm Lincoln Castle – FREE!

Building of this magnificent castle began in 1068 and for 900 years it was used as a court and prison. Many original features remain and there are superb views from the castle walls. The Magna Carta is displayed at the castle. Mensa will have an exclusive guided tour.

12.30pm-1.50pm Lunch at the Magna Carta - PAYG

This famous pub is located between the castle and cathedral and serves reasonably priced food and a good selection of drinks. Mensa will have exclusive use of their upstairs restaurant.

2.00pm-3.00pm Ellis Mill – FREE!

The only surviving windmill of the nine that once stood on the Lincolnshire Edge. Ellis Mill dates from 1798 and having been lovingly restored still mills flour today. Guided tours are on Saturdays and Sundays only but the mill will be open especially for Mensa this afternoon.

3.00pm-4.00pm Museum Of Lincolnshire Life – FREE!

Located next to the mill is the Museum Of Lincolnshire Life reflecting the culture of local people from 1750 to the present day. Exhibits illustrate commercial, domestic, agricultural, industrial and community life.

4.10pm-5.30pm Farewells at The Victoria – PAYG

Join us for a drink – alcoholic or non-alcoholic - and chat at this quaint pub on Union Street, not far from the mill and museum, before heading home.

This event is being subsidised from regional funds so, apart from food and drink on a pay-as-you-go basis, is FREE to all members and their guest. However, bookings are required and numbers are limited. Please contact Maxine Bates on [Phone Number] or [Email] by 24th May stating which events you wish to attend. Families very welcome!

Regional News

This month we have a change to our team of officers as Matthew Smith steps down from his role as Derby LocSec due to other commitments. However, I’m pleased to reintroduce Alistair Blackett who some of you will know from his previous role as High Wycombe LocSec. As you will see from one of the announcements in this issue of Empress, Alistair is getting married this month and relocating to live with his new wife in Derbyshire. Many thanks to Matthew for hosting a successful “3rd Wednesday” event and for offering members the opportunity to try clay pigeon shooting, paintballing and other activities. Welcome back to Alistair and congratulations on your marriage from all your friends in East Midlands Mensa.

Further to feedback received on our questionnaire at the end of last year, I’ve arranged a regional event in the beautiful city of Lincoln. Being in the far north of our region it’s infrequently visited as far as regional events go. Join us on the late May bank holiday, Monday 31st May, for some Mensa exclusive tours of the main tourist attractions and to meet other members. Full details are on the front cover of this issue of Empress.

If you have any comments regarding East Midlands Mensa – good or bad – I’d be happy to hear from you. I’m on [Phone Number] or [Email]

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 Jacquie Harrison

Lively Lincs

On Sat 8th May at 12:00pm - Conversations over lunch/drinks

The second Saturday is on the 8th so please join us in the coffee bar at The Collection, Danes Terrace at noon. Some have lunch/snack, others just partake of drinks. Usually we’re at the far end of the room. All very welcome, for more details/encouragement please contact Christine on [Phone Number], or [Email]

On Sat 22th May at tba - Eating meeting

We are hoping for great weather on Saturday 22nd so we can replicate last year’s delightful time eating outdoors at Ask, overlooking Brayford Pool. Christine needs advance numbers so that she can arrange a suitably-sized table, so please contact her as above.

And finally advance notice of something different in June - Christine will book beach hut[s], (suitable for wheelchair access), with water and power from 10am on Sunday 20th June and would be pleased to see anyone who would like to join us for however long, to enjoy the delights of the quieter end of Mablethorpe’s miles of sandy beach and the amusements of Queen’s Park: putting, crazy golf, boating lake.

Please contact her in advance for further information.

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th May at 8:00pm - 5OTM

Join us from 8.00 pm on Wednesday 5th for our monthly get together at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road (near Nottingham railway station). We usually range in age from 20s to 60s and discuss all manner of subjects, both silly and serious. Look for the yellow Mblem to the left of the bar or contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email] beforehand for directions. New faces are always welcome.

On Wed 12th Aug at 7:00pm - Chicks and Flicks

The following Wednesday 12th we have our “chicks & flicks” event which is a meal at Nando’s Portuguese peri-peri chicken restaurant followed by a film at Cineworld. Find their new menu at now with more veggie options. For film options look at We meet at 7.00 pm prompt inside the doors to the Cornerhouse in the city centre. Contact Paul Henchliffe on [Phone Number] or [Email] for further information. Again new faces of all ages are most welcome.

For this month’s “eating meeting” we’re heading down the M1 to visit our Mensa friends in Loughborough for a meal at the Harvester restaurant at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 25th. Please see the Leicestershire Letter section for details.

On Fri 28th May at 8:30pm - Rocky Horror Show

Brad, Janet, Frank and friends are finally returning to the Theatre Royal on Friday 28th May. If you’re a Rocky Horror Show fan please contact me. We’ve a block booking in the first row of the upper circle for the 8.30 pm performance and all tickets are sold but please check for cancellations. Or buy your own ticket and meet us at the theatre on the night. Don’t dream it – be it!

If you’re a theatregoer but prefer something with a little less audience participation I’m organising a trip to see Calendar Girls, also at the Theatre Royal, on Tuesday 1st June. Tickets range from £13-£25. Please contact me as soon as possible if interested in seeing this play, stating seating preference, so that I can purchase tickets.

On Sat 29th May at 7:00pm - Eating meeting

Continuing the bank holiday fun I’ll be hosting my annual Eurovision Song Contest party from 7.00 pm on Saturday 29th. Bring a buffet contribution and/or wear something related to a European country. Take part in the optional sweepstake. Heckle the acts in the lounge or chat in the kitchen. Please contact me for directions to my home in Langley Mill and to let me know you’ll be partying.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Member Moments

Congratulations to Adam Reece of Lincolnshire celebrating his 21st birthday on 29th May

Congratulations to Alistair Blackett and Jackie Watson on their wedding day in Derbyshire on Sunday 9th May 2010

Derby Diary

On Wed 19th May at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

It’s Matthew’s final event as Derby LocSec. Join him for a farewell drink and/or meal at the Standing Order (Wetherspoon) on Irongate. Look for Mblem on long table in low ceiling area beyond bar. New faces of all ages welcome. Directions/encouragement on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Matthew Smith

photo of Sue Watford

Leicestershire Letter

Four meetings this month in Leicestershire.

On Fri 7th May at 7:30pm - Theatre - Salome

Joyce Moore is organising a trip to Curve Theatre, Rutland Street, Leicester, to see a contemporary production of Salome by Oscar Wilde, on Friday, 7th May at 7.30 pm, with tickets at a special preview price of £10. If you would like to go, please contact Joyce on [Phone Number], email [Email] to check availability.

On Sun 9th May at 7:00pm - Music Night

Following this we have a candlelit performance of Russian Orthodox and folk music by the Lyra Voice Ensemble (graduates of the St Petersburg Conservatoire) in the small mediaeval church at Eastwell on Sunday, 9th May, at 7.00 pm. Tickets for this are also £10, and include a buffet supper with drinks, and a chance to meet the singers after the performance. Contact [Email], tel [Phone Number].

On Tue 25th May at 7:30pm - Eating meeting

Then on Tuesday, 25th May, at 7.30 pm, Maxine is hosting a meal at The Harvester on the A512/Ashby Road, where there is a free salad bar with every main course. Please book with Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email], by 21st so a table can be reserved.

On Thu 27th May at 8:00pm - Pub

A casual get together at The Pub on New Walk where we can plan activities over the summer. Give Paul Coulson a call on [Phone Number] or email [Email] for directions.

On Sat 29th May at 7:30pm - Thai meal

Finally, on Saturday, 29th May, also at 7.30 pm, we are visiting the comparatively new - but highly recommended - Thai restaurant in Melton Mowbray, at 24 Burton Street, LE13 1AF . It has a very comprehensive menu at reasonable prices. Please let me know by Friday, 21st May, if you would like to come: [Email], tel [Phone Number]

Sue Watford

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

On Mon 3rd May at 9:00pm - FThOTM

For the second time in two months our 1st Monday meeting is on a bank holiday so I hope that it doesn’t clash with too many people being away.

We’re back at our normal venue on Monday 3rd May: The Malt Shovel in Bridge Street, Northampton. The usual suspects will be there from 9pm so why not pop in. You should find us at one of the tables at the back of the pub, close to the door to the beer garden.

On Thu 20th May at 8:00pm - Roadshow

The Roadshow meeting is on Thursday 20th May at 8pm. After a six month break we return to Daventry, to the Coach & Horses in Warwick Street. For this meeting we hope to get one of the tables at the front of the pub.

Ian Sargent

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

For both meetings a copy of the Mensa mag will mark our position.
photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans In MK and Bedford

On Thu 6th May at 8:00pm - FThOTM

First Thursday is at our regular venue of the Jurys Inn Hotel on Midsummer Boulevard, on 6th May, from 8 pm. Look out for the Mblem on one of the tables to the right in the foyer. Parking is a bit busy around Jury’s and The Hub, so we usually try and get in across the road and then walk through the underpass.

On Wed 19th May at 8:00pm - 3WOTM

Our Third Wednesday meeting at the Old Beams in Shenley Lodge is on 17th from 8.00 pm. If you’re definitely planning to come, please let me know as it will help us to grab the right sized table, but don’t let that put you off deciding on the spur of the moment – you’ll still be welcome. See for location and menu details. You can eat or not, as you wish – their food is quite good and reasonably priced. Look around for the Mblem - we don’t always get the same table each time but we are often in the small room through on the extreme right.

On Sun 23rd May at 11:00am - Sunday walk

Our final meeting this month is a Sunday walk and lunch. We’re trying again with Caldecotte Lake, on the south side of Milton Keynes. We’ll meet at 11.00 outside the main entrance of the Caldecotte Arms, on the north side of Bletcham Way (H10), just east of the A5. Afterwards we’ll have lunch in the Caldecotte Arms, which is a Brewers Fayre type pub/restaurant. It’s easily recognisable as the one with the windmill.

Hope to see you there,

Jo Sidebottom

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

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sat 22nd May at 12:45pm - Visit to Bekonscot

Visit Bekonscot Model Village on Saturday 22nd May. Meet at the entrance at 12:45pm.

Bekonscot claims to be the world’s oldest model village – building started in 1929. There are six miniature towns from the 1930’s to explore, over 200 buildings, 3,000 inhabitants and 1,000 animals. A complex model railway system links them all, with main and branch lines, sidings and up to eleven passenger and goods trains running at a time. All these are set in 1.5 acres of gardens. Additional attractions include a ride-on light railway, children’s playground and model boats. There is a refreshment kiosk inside the village, or once we have seen it all we may adjourn to Jung’s patisserie in Beaconsfield for more sophisticated treats.

Describing itself in 1953 as “The resort of choice for any discerning motor-car day tripper” Bekonscot is also easily reached on foot from the railway station at Beaconsfield . The site won Chiltern Railways “Attraction of the Year Award” in 2009 and 2 for 1 offers may be available if travelling by train.

Admission is £8.50 for adults; various concessions and family tickets are available. Children under two are free. Full details at

Please ring me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email] for directions / encouragement.

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Herts Happenings

On Sat 1th May at pm - Baldock beer festival

It’s Baldock beer festival time again and I’ll be there both on Friday 30 April from about 7.30 pm and also on Saturday 1 May. I don’t yet know if I’ll be there in the afternoon or evening; ring to check.

The venue is Brandles School, Weston Way, Baldock, on the south side of the town and about 15 minutes’ walk from the station (Kings Cross - Cambridge line). Ring me on [Phone Number] for further details and encouragment.

On Thu 6th May at 8:15pm - FThOTM

Regular first Thursday of the month meeting. 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 on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement. The pub is about ten minutes’ walk from the railway station.

On Sat 15th May at 3:00pm - T@3

Our second T @ 3 event. As previously, this will be at the Wyevale Garden Centre, Hitchin (on Cambridge Road at the east end of the town). Buses from Hitchin to Letchworth pass the venue, or it’s about a 30 minute walk from either Hitchin or Letchworth stations. If it’s a nice day, we’ll be in the outdoor seating area at the back. Ring me on [Phone Number] for further details and encouragement.

On Fri 28th May at 8:00pm - LFOTM

Join us at the Cowper Arms, Digswell (near Welwyn village) for Last Friday. Good food and good beer available to suit all tastes! The venue is next to Welwyn North railway station (Kings Cross - Cambridge and Peterborough line with trains every 30 minutes). Contact me on [Phone Number] for further details and encouragement.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Ainsley and Ian Mullen of Hertfordshire are pleased to announce the arrival of their baby daughter Caitlin Amelie on 24th February 2010

photo of David Seddon


On Mon 10th May at 8:00pm - Eating meeting

Luxury Buffet Dining in ‘The Glasshouse’ restaurant at The Grove, Watford WD3 4TG

Cost is £36 per person excluding any drinks. This isn’t a cheap event but we have had lots of interest in visiting this venue.

I have reserved 10 places for this event - so please could you contact me as soon as possible to secure your place if you wish to attend!

The present buffet menu consists of Seafood, Tapas, Mezze, Salad, Sushi, Hot Buffet (Roast Beef, Chicken, Poached Salmon and much more ) Wok buffet, Cheese board and Desserts. You may eat as much or as little as you like. Come along and sample the excellent cuisine and beautiful surroundings.

Looking forward to a memorable evening!

David Seddon

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jenny Habib


On Wed 26th May at 7:45pm - LWOTM

We will meet at the upper room in the “Eat Fish“ restaurant on Berkhamsted High Street.

All members young as well as adult very welcome, you do not have to eat, just have a glass of fruit juice or any other drink and enjoy the chat. However the food is good and reasonable if you are hungry. Having a room to ourselves helps the conversation, so do come and join in!

Don’t forget you can park across the road behind Tesco’s store. Parking is free after 6.00 pm.

Jenny Habib

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Think Tank

This month’s think tank is courtesy of Paul Scofield from Berkhamstead.

What law would you introduce if you could?
A Law banning all medical practitioners so that we could get the population down a bit.
. and which would you repeal?
All of them - let’s start afresh!.
Which charity do you most like to support?
The one that begins at home.
Whose picture would you like to see on a bank note?
My son’s
Name a place local to you that you’d recommend people visit
Salcey Forest
What device would you like to see invented?
A teleport
Who would you like to see in the Big Brother house?
Oh let’s put any current MPs in there whom we feel let down by.
How would you reform parliament?
Well first I’d ban all Political Parties. Then I’d change the system to be less reliant on geography. Let’s have a member of parliament for interest groups as well as places. If people’s sense of community relates to 100-150 people, then via some kind of system we should elect our communiy leader who represents us. Somehow that needs to be distilled down to make a feasible parliament without having people focused on the big names.
How can we save the planet?
We can’t - we’re not that important - the planet will take care of itself. Most specifically it’s quite capable of killing off any nasty destructive organisms that threaten it. We need to forget trying to influence a system that thinks in millions of years by using a brain that thinks ten years is a long time.
Name an event at which the British could win an Olympic gold medal.
Exploiting an opportunity to make money out of something for themselves.
What song would make a good national anthem for England?
‘My old man’s a dustman’ has always been a favourite...
Who would you like see entered into room 101?
Any kind of system that enables people to communicate outside of their community. No good has really come of any of them. I want to focus on my friends, family and neighbours.
Suggest a new question for this page.
Suggest a course of action or an idea that will help to rebuild a sense of community to people.

Thanks to Paul and everyone who has submitted a Think Tank contribution. Do you have some good answers to these questions? If so email me or write a letter, or simplest of all, visit, click the “Think Tank” tab and complete the questionnaire on-line.

‘20 Questions (No. 104)’

Thanks to Mark Sloan for compiling this month’s quiz on cars. Send your entries to arrive by 20th May to ‘20 Questions (No. 104)’, 80 Milnhay Road, Langley Mill, Nottingham, NG16 4AW for chance to win a prize.

1. What make of car appeared in the opening titles of The Shining?

2. What is the name of the car that the Dukes of Hazzard drove?

3. What model of car travelled through time?

4. The Ghostbusters drove what make of ambulance?

5. What car would you associate with the number 53?

6. What was James Bond’s ride in Die Another Day?

7. What did Steve McQueen drive in Bullitt?

8. What make of car was Stephen King’s Christine?

9. Who drove a pink Rolls Royce with the license plate FAB 1?

10. The Dodge Monaco driven by Jake and Elwood was known as what?

11. Three what were used as getaway vehicles in The Italian Job?

12. In the original Gone In 60 Seconds how many cars were destroyed?

13. Who said “The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.”?

14. What series of highly controversial videogames first appeared in 1997?

15. Who was given the nickname “Stickers” in Disney/Pixar’s Cars?

16. MG stands for what?

17. The Bluebird-Proteus CN7 was driven by whom when it set a land speed record in 1964?

18. Which is the odd one out: CCs, GPS, MPG, BHP?

19. The Cars of the Stars Motor Museum is located where?

20. What make of car was the original KITT

The answers to the March quiz were Hayes, Luton, Nottingham, Dublin, Watford, Leeds, Hemel Hempstead, London, Peterborough, Brentford, Woking, Swindon, Skelmersdale, Harrow, Cheshunt, Dover, Milton Keynes, Dunstable, Gateshead and Wolverhampton.

Entries were received from Patrick Cavanagh of Ireland, Andy Cole of Cleethorpes, Pamela Covey of Woburn, Geraldine Ellis of Nottingham, Janie Comber of Milton Keynes, Chris Impey of Tring, Susan Hamilton of Lincoln and Richard Pecout of St Albans with Susan being first out of the hat and winning a £10 book token.