Two stick men, one holding the other in the air.
Please pick me up.

Reader Survey

In this issue we include a short feedback form about you and East Midlands Mensa in the hope that we can improve what we offer as part of your membership. Please spare a few moments of your time to complete and return by 30th November; all your comments will be read and as a thank you all forms will be entered into a draw to win £10.

Your comments really do matter

Regional News

As a large proportion of members do not/cannot attend Mensa social events I thought this month I would remind you that you can get involved in our society without even leaving home. If you have the technology you can read about other members, participate in forums, and much more on the British Mensa web site at We also have a regional web site at where you can see who’s who in our region as well as see dozens of reviews/photos from past events. If you are not able to get out to events you can still correspond with other members in the East Midlands via our email group. To join simply send a blank email to This is usually low traffic so won’t clog up your inbox!

Whether you are connected to the internet or not you are entitled to join two Special Interest Groups covering a multitude of hobbies and interests from health issues to history, rambling to rock music, sport to science fiction. Most groups issue regular newsletters and some now offer a pdf version as an alternative to a paper mailing. If you opt for the former, since there are no postage costs involved you can join as many Special Interest Groups as you wish.

We are always happy to receive contributions for our Empress newsletter too. If you have an interesting or unusual occupation or hobby that you would like to share with other members you’re very welcome to write a small article. Quiz contributions, member profiles and announcements of births/engagements/marriages/exam results/charity fundraising/etc are also gratefully received. Contact details for me and the current editor can be found on the back page of Empress.

If you can spare a few moments, please complete and return the feedback questionnaire in this issue. All your comments will be read. Your comments really do matter.

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 Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sun 8th Nov at 3.00pm - T@3

Join me on Sunday 8th at 3.00pm for tea at the Van Hage Garden Centre in Chenies, just east of Amersham / Little Chalfont on the A404. See for details. The centre has a good café offering jacket potatoes, quiche, etc. if you are able to resist their scones and cakes. As well as a wide range of items for the garden, including plants, ornaments, fountains, paving, statues, tools there are also Christmas cards, wrapping paper, toiletries, books and lots of other possible presents to buy. Get your shopping done early!

Ring or e-mail me 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 Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Thu 5th Nov at 8.00pm - FThOTM

First Thursday is at our regular venue of Jurys Inn on Midsummer Boulevard on 5th November from 8.00pm. Look out for the Mblem on one of the tables to the right in the foyer. Parking is a bit busy around Jurys and The Hub, so we usually try and get in across the road and then walk through the underpass.

On Wed 18th Nov at 8.00pm - 3WOTM

Our Third Wednesday meeting at the Old Beams in Shenley Lodge is on 18th November. 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 as we don’t always get the same table.

On Sat 28th Nov at 3.00pm - T@3

We finish off November with another popular T@3 on Saturday 28th at Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Fenny Stratford, just south of Milton Keynes. Look for us in the restaurant from 3pm onwards – there are several sections so we may not be immediately obvious, but we’ll be there somewhere. Hopefully it should be all decorated for Christmas by then, so will be worth a look.

Hope to see you there,

Jo Sidebottom

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

Derby Diary

On Wed 18th Nov at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

Just our regular 3WotM meeting this month. Join us at the Standing Order in Derby on Wednesday 18th, for a meal or just a drink and some great conversation from 7.30pm. Look out for the yellow Mblem on a long table in the area just beyond the bar. Contact me as above for more details/directions.

As always it would be great to hear from you if you have any suggestions for future meetings or events, or if you would like to advertise one of your own.

Matthew Smith

photo of Sue Watford

Leicestershire Letter

On Sat 28th Nov at 7.30pm - Pub

On Saturday 28th at 7.30pm we'll be eating at The Black Horse, Grimston (at the centre of the triangle formed by the A46, A606 and A607). Would you let me know by Tuesday 24th, please, if you'd like to come.

Sue Watford

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 12th Nov at 8.15pm - FThOTM

Thursday 12th from 8.15pm is our regular first FThOTM meeting - except, to avoid clashing with Bonfire Night, I'm holding it a week later this month. 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.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

On Fri 27th Nov at 7.30pm - LFOTM

Join us at the Prince of Wales, Hertingfordbury village (about one mile west of Hertford town centre, just off the A414) on Friday 27th from 7.30pm for LFotM. A warm welcome and stimulating conversation guaranteed! This is a revisit to a former venue, which has recently reopened under new management and serves a good range of food as well as of beer. I'm looking to move the venue to somewhere more easily accessible by public transport next year, so if you've any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know. Look for the Mag/Mblem. Hertingfordbury is about 20 minutes' walk from Hertford North station.

Richard Allen/Gwen Jones

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Thu 5th Nov at 8.00pm - 5OTM

Remember remember the 5th of November and pop along to the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road, near Nottingham railway station, for a friendly drink and natter. Look for the yellow Mblem usually to the left of the bar from 8.00pm until closing.

On Wed 11th Nov at 7.00pm - Chicks & Flicks

On Wednesday 11th Paul is hosting our “chicks & flicks” event when we enjoy an informal meal at Nando’s peri-peri chicken restaurant (veggie options too) followed by a film at Cineworld. Contact Paul on [Phone Number] or [Email] to help table reservation, for cinema listings and to find out how to get discount at both venues. Or just meet us at 7.00pm prompt inside the doors to the Cornerhouse.

On Tue 24th Nov at 7.30pm - Eating meeting

This month’s “eating meeting” is an early festive celebration at 7.30pm on Tuesday 24th. We will be dining at The Terrace Café which is located in the Japanese Water Gardens, Toton Lane, Stapleford and the restaurant is booked entirely for Mensa. A three course meal will cost £20 with choices of vegetable soup, pate or brie wedges for starters; roast turkey, salmon or nut roast for mains; and Yule log, apple crumble or brandy snap basket for desserts. To book I’ll need a fiver deposit and your menu choices. There are just ten places still available at the time of writing.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

Lakes Party Weekend 4th-7th December 2009

A weekend of partying, activities or just relaxation based at CenterParcs in Cumbria. £120 gets you three nights accommodation, three parties, two buffet meals, cocktail of the day, complimentary bar throughout the weekend, and a programme of events that includes walking, tea tasting, wine tasting, quizzes and more. Limited number of places available. See or contact Maxine as above.

photo of Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

On Thu 5th Nov at 9.00pm - FThOTM

If you can drag yourself away from all the Firework celebrations join us on Thursday 5th at 9.00pm for our First Thursday meeting. This should be in the Fox & Hounds at Harlestone but it may be subject to a late change – so please contact me for confirmation at least 24 hours in advance.

On Thu 19th Nov at 8.00pm - Roadshow

The Roadshow meeting this month goes to Daventry for the first time. It will be on Thursday 19th at 8.00pm and the venue is the Coach & Horses in Warwick Street. We will try to grab one of the tables near to the front door, probably to the right as you walk in.

For both venues a copy of the Mensa mag will identify us.

Ian Sargent

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

photo of Jacquie Harrison

Lively Lincs

On Sat 7th Nov at 12.00pm - FSaOTM

Christine is trying a new venue without music for this month's First Saturday so join us at The Collection at 12 noon on the 7th November for lots of great conversation, food and drink. We may wander around the exhibits later if you wish. For more details or encouragement, please contact Christine on [Email] or telephone [Phone Number]. Everyone very welcome.

Please be aware that the FSotM will become the second Saturday in December due to the Christmas Market and traffic.

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Jenny Habib


On Wed 11th Nov at tba - 2WOTM


Please join us for drinks, chat and good company second Wednesday of each month. We are a new group with enthusiastic members full of good ideas about places to visit and events to attend. If you would like to join us please contact Elaine Yates on [Phone Number] or for details about events and venues. We would love to see you!

On Wed 25th Nov at 7.45pm - LWOTM

On Wednesday 25th at 7.45pm 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.

Jenny Habib

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

20 Questions (No. 98)

Jo’s transport themed quiz from the September issue was obviously quite difficult as there were just two entries from Pamela Covey of Woburn and Richard Pecout of Hertfordshire with Pamela getting one more point than Richard and winning the £10 book token. The answers were Ferdinand Porsche, Gustave Desiré Lebeau, Liverpool to Manchester, Georges Latil, John Outram, Kitty Hawk, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, The Queen Mary, Daimler Benz, Henri Giffard, Edward Tyer, Cornelius Drebbel, Edouard Benedictus, The Flying Fish, Charles and Frank Duryea, Pan Am, The Orient Express, Short Brothers, Dr Frederick Lanchester and Lisieux in France.

This month’s quiz is set by Mark Sloan. Can you name the film from the tag line? Send your answers to arrive by 20th November to ‘20 Questions (No. 98)’, [Address].

1. In space no one will hear you scream.

2. The first casualty of war is innocence.

3. They're not just getting rich...they're getting even.

4. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll hurl.

5. He's having the worst day of his life...over, and over...

6. You won't believe your eye.

7. Invisible. Silent. Stolen.

8. Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

9. Stealing, cheating, killing... Who said romance was dead?

10. Man is the warmest place to hide.

11. You'll believe a man can fly!

12. Makes Ben Hur look like an epic.

13. Check in. Relax. Take a shower.

14. The story of a man who was too proud to run.

15. This is the weekend they didn't play golf.

16. Intelligence is relative.

17. They'll never get caught. They're on a mission from God.

18. Who you gonna call?

19. Nice planet. We'll take it!

20. This ain't no chick flick!