Mary stands, driver in hand, with her playing partners, next to a sign announcing the first tee of the Derby course.

Well done, Mary!

East Midlands Mensan Mary Cater (2nd from left) was part of the winning Best Team at the 4th Annual Mensa Golf Championships that played out on Friday 29th July. The event, which attracted around 50 members and guests, took place at the home of the PGA’s UK headquarters, The Belfry, in Sutton Coldfield.

Mary said, “The Mensa Golf Day is a great day out for anybody who plays golf: friendly but competitive golf on a different course from your normal one, with a very enjoyable meal and socialising afterwards. There is an individual competition as well as a team competition and this year it was great to win the Team Competition with my playing partners.”

Mary’s playing partners, who live outside the East Midlands area, were, from left to right, Sue Finlay, (Mary), Mike Finlay, and Brian Stanley.


Regional News

Happy birthday Mensa! We celebrate our society’s 65th birthday on 1st October and, as this falls on a Saturday, we have a variety of events taking place around our region. In the afternoon between 2.00pm and 5.00pm Jo Sidebottom has put together a series of short talks relating to computer matters. “IT Without Tears” will cover the creation of newsletters in MS Word, presenting data using Excel pivot tables, and protecting personal data. The venue is Herald Snooker Club in Milton Keynes and the event is free to attend, but please let Jo know you’ll be there on [Phone Number] or [Email]

In the evening there will be a party in our private function room at Ilkeston Town Football Club in Derbyshire. The venue is only five minutes’ drive from M1 J26 and has ample parking. Again the event is free to attend, but you must confirm attendance in advance to help catering. Contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email].

There will be a buffet, birthday cake, music, dancing and – with several new members already booked - chance to make new friends. The party will take place from 7.30pm to midnight with timings designed to enable easy travel if wishing to attend both the afternoon and evening events and allow driving home at the end of the night without it being stupidly late, although there are some nearby guest houses and hotels for anyone wishing to stay overnight locally.

Finally I hope a lot of you have been busy geocaching over the summer and autumn because this nationwide activity co-ordinated by David Seddon comes to a close on Mensa’s birthday and prizes will be awarded. If you’re quick and contact Bobby Raikhy at the Mensa office for details you could still win!

All these events are open to members and their guests of all ages. Please do join in the celebrations and make this a “Brilliant” day!

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all non-online events listed here are susceptible to being 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.

More or Leicester

On Thu 20th Oct at 8.00pm - 3ThOTM

As summer turns to the chills of autumn, I thought we’d once more gather round the campfire at The Craddock Inn on the Third Thursday of the month(note to self: ask landlords permission to setup bonfire in the middle of the bar) to garner wisdom from the tribe elders. Alternatively, we can just do the usual thing and have a drink and a natter! Thursday 20th at 8.00pm . . . but you knew that anyway, didn’t you? (

On Thu 27th Oct at 8.00pm - Eating meeting

We’ve not had an eating meeting in Leicester for some time, so it’s time to rectify that by a meet-up at Wetherspoons in the Corn Exchange. This is the one in the market place with the bridge that’s never seen any water! The diary info is Thursday 27th at 8.00pm. Please let me know if you’re coming so I know how big a table to grab!

If you need any further info, or just want to say hi, please contact me as below. If you could also remind me that it’s my wedding anniversary on the 5th, then that would be great as well!

Paul Coulson

Derby Diary

On Sat 1st Oct at 7.30pm - Mensa's 65th birthday party

Saturday 1st is Mensa's 65th birthday and to celebrate we're having a party in the function room at Ilkeston Town Football Club. The event is free and includes a buffet, birthday cake, music, dancing and socialising. You will only need to buy any reasonably priced drinks from our private bar. However, you must advise attendance in advance to help catering. Contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]. The party will run from 7.30pm until midnight. New faces especially welcome.

On Thu 13th Oct at 7.30pm - At Home

Sandy and Janine have kindly offered to host an event at their new home on Mackworth estate from 7.30pm on Thursday 13th. There will be an option to play table tennis or boardgames, or just sit and chat whilst listening to music. An Indian takeaway can be ordered for those wishing to eat. Soft drinks will be provided but you are welcome to BYOB. Please phone Sandy and Janine on [Phone Number] for their address and to say you'll be there.

On Wed 19th Oct at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

Our regular get together at the Standing Order on Irongate in Derby is on Wednesday 19th. There are usually 15-20 of us and it can be quite an international gathering with regular guests from Austria and France. Join us in the low ceiling area at the rear of the pub from 7.30pm for food or just a drink. Contact Alistair on [Phone Number] for directions or encouragement to come along.

On Fri 21st Oct at 8.00pm - Ilkeston fair

It's our annual trip to Ilkeston fair on Friday 21st. Please phone Susan on [Phone Number] or Maxine on [Phone Number] to find out our 8.00pm meeting point as this is likely to depend on who is coming and from which direction. Also phone in case of inclement weather as the event may be cancelled if heavy rain. You are welcome whether you want to try the white knuckle rides, sample the food, or just wander and soak up the atmosphere.

On Sat 22nd Oct at 12.30pm - Rail Journey

Finally Peak Rail has recently started operating from Matlock Railway Station. Join me for a run from Matlock to the lovely Peak District village of Rowsley on Saturday 22nd where there will be time for a meal at the Grouse and Claret before returning to Matlock at 16.19. Thereafter there will be an opportunity to explore this interesting Derbyshire town. Please contact me by 17th October to let me know that you are coming.

Alistair Blackett

photo of Christine Howells

Lively Lincs

On Sat 8th Oct at 12.00pm - 2SaOTM

Our usual venue for our 2SaOTM is changing management and we don't know if it will be open in October. However, we will definitely be meeting somewhere for our chat and coffee, so do email me for details of the venue. It may not be same place but will be same time: Saturday 8th October 12.00-2.00pm

Christine Howells

Contact [Email] for details

photo of Jenny Habib


On Wed 26th Oct at 7.45pm - LWOTM

The meeting on Wednesday 26th from 7.45-ish will be at the Old Mill on Berkhamsted High Street (at the end nearest to Hemel Hempstead). There is a car park, but this is popular, so do try to be there early. We meet at the end beyond the bar, where it is usually quieter. Turn right as you come into the pub, and walk to the end, we will be on your right. We are still meeting here as it is a good place but if anyone would like to meet at another place or do something different, please let me know.

My good wishes to you all.

Jenny Habib

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Sat 1st Oct at 2.00pm - IT Without Tears

We start off October with our Mensa Brilliant ‘IT Without Tears’ event on Saturday 1st at 2.00pm at the Herald Snooker Club in Stacey Bushes, Milton Keynes, - a free workshop for Mensans and their guests, covering:

  • laying out a newsletter using MS Word
  • analysing and presenting data using Excel pivot tables and charts
  • protecting your personal data

Contact me for more details, or to book your place.

On Thu 6th Oct at 8.00pm - FThOTM

Our regular First Thursday meeting will be at 8.00pm on the 6th at Jurys Inn Hotel on Midsummer Boulevard. Look out for the Mblem on one of the tables to the right in the foyer.

I'm delighted that Mike has decided to start hosting meetings in Bedford again, and hope to meet lots of new faces there.

On Sun 9th Oct at 8.00pm - 2SuOTM

His first event, on the 9th, is 2SuOTM, from 8.00pm for My Favourite Things, a thinly-veiled excuse to get together for a relaxing evening of chat over a glass of wine. Each month you are asked to bring samples (or memories) of your favourite things to share with others - this month the theme is odours! E-mail Mike on [Email] or phone him on [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement/parking hints.

On Sat 15th Oct at 2.00pm - Wrest Park

On Saturday 15th we will be making another visit to the magnificent Wrest Park house and gardens, near Silsoe, Beds. We first visited a few years ago but the gardens have just reopened after a complete renovation, and there is a new Visitor Centre, so we thought it was worth another look. Entrance is £8 for adults, or free to English Heritage members. Meet outside the Visitor Centre at 2.00pm.

On Thu 20th Oct at 4.00pm - 3ThOTM

Now that autumn is here, come and join Mike and Rachel on 20th for 3ThOTM, 4.00-6.00pm, by the fireside at Oaklands for a nice cup of tea and some hot buttered crumpets. E-mail Mike on [Email] or phone him on [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement/parking hints.

On Sun 30th Oct at 10.15am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast will be at 10.15am on Sunday 30th, but over the winter months we are moving to Brown’s on the front of The Hub – next door to Jurys Inn. We decamped there at Easter when our regular venue was closed, and everyone enjoyed it, so we want to give it another go. Feel free to come for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink, but if possible please let me know by Saturday 29th so we have an idea what size table to grab when we arrive.

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

Jo Sidebottom

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

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sat 29th Oct at 11.00am - Walk

Ian has offered to lead another walk, this time from Hambleden to Henley. He has prepared a gentle, flat walk of approximately four miles, much of it alongside the River Thames. We will set off from Hambleden Mill End car park at 11.00am on Saturday 29th, walk past Hambleden Mill and use the footpath across the weir to reach the South side of the river. The walk then takes us past Temple Island and into Henley itself. We will find somewhere to eat in Henley before using the bus to return to our starting point. There is a half hourly service in both directions between Reading and High Wycombe via Hambleden. (Arriva 800/850)

Please ring or e-mail me if you would like to come so that I know to look out for you.

Looking ahead, I will be going to the Wycombe Swan on the afternoon of Saturday 5th November to see Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy ‘Season’s Greetings’ followed by an informal meal in town. Reserve the date now!

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of David Seddon

WATever . . .

On Mon 10th Oct at 8.00pm - Themed food evening

On Monday 10th at 8.00pm at [Address], an evening of conversation and comestibles! I will send out the usual email nearer the date advising the food theme. Please do let me know if you plan to attend as numbers may be limited.

On Mon 24th Oct at 8.00pm - Pub meeting

On Monday 24th at 8.00pm a pub meeting at the Essex Arms, Langley Way, Watford, WD17 3EG. Please look for the Magazine on the table.

David Seddon

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th Oct at 8.00pm - 5OTM

Join us for a drink and chat from 8.00pm on Wednesday 5th at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road. Our usual large table to the left of the bar has disappeared to make way for a door through to a new bar area with viewing window into the adjacent Castle Rock brewery and visitors centre. The new room is set out more like a restaurant than a bar and a while ago there were rumours that food (other than their current filled rolls) would be served. So watch this space! In the meantime find us in this new room with a yellow Mblem on display. New faces of all ages are always welcome.

On Wed 12th Oct at 7.00pm - Chicks & flicks

Our “chicks & flicks” event takes place on Wednesday 12th and we meet at 7.00pm prompt inside the doors to the Cornerhouse in the city centre. Then we’ll head off to dine at Nando’s chicken restaurant (though an increasing amount of vegetarian options too) whilst deciding whether to watch a film at Cineworld later. If timings aren’t right or there is no popular choice we either stay chatting over unlimited soft drink refills or head to a nearby pub for a chocolate dessert or hot chocolate drink. Maybe we should rename this event “chicks & chocs”!

On Fri 14th Oct at 7.00pm - Greyhound racing

On Friday 14th we’re once again heading to Nottingham Greyhound Stadium in Colwick to take part in the final of a competition held earlier in the year. We’ll be allocated a trap and each dog will be scored in a league table depending on their position in that race. Come along and cheer on our dog because if we win we receive a trophy and £250 cash donation to our chosen charity, Cancer Research UK. Over the coming year there will be several events to raise money for this charity. I realise there are hundreds of deserving causes but this is one with whom, unfortunately, most people have an association either directly or indirectly. Nobody will be forced to part with their hard earned cash but most people are quite happy to give a pound or two towards a fun night out. The greyhound tickets cost £5 (normal admission with race card is £6) with all money going to charity and under 18s are free if accompanied by an adult. Why not invite your friends, family or work colleagues on this event? Last time there were 48 of us which created a great atmosphere. Please contact me in advance for tickets.

On Tue 25th Oct at 7.30pm - Eating meeting

Our “eating meeting” at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th will hopefully be third time lucky! We’re going to Trattoria Antonio at Trent Bridge. Our attempts at Italian cuisine this year have failed. The restaurant in Heanor closed between the event being advertised and taking place and when I phoned to reserve a table with the restaurant in Shepshed I was told they would be closed the week we wanted to visit. On both occasions we finished up at a nearby Indian alternative and fortunately both were excellent. Fingers crossed we get to sample some pizza, pasta and tiramisu this time! Please reserve your place with me by 21st.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 6th Oct at 8.15pm - FThOTM

Regular FThOTM meeting is on 6th from 8.15pm. 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! The pub is about ten minutes' walk from the railway station.

On Fri 29th Oct at 8.00pm - LFOTM

Meet us at the Cowper Arms, Digswell (near Welwyn village) on 29th from 8.00pm for LFOTM. 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). Call me for further details and encouragement for either of these meetings.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Ian Sargent

Northants NNotes

Just two opportunities for you to meet up with Northants members this month and both are return visits to previous venues.

On Thu 6th Oct at 9.00pm - FThOTM

On 6th we head off to the Wig & Pen in St Giles Street, Northampton. Our 1st Thursday meeting kicks off at 9.00pm, where you can catch up with all the gossip.

On Thu 20th Oct at 8.00pm - Roadshow

The Roadshow meeting is two weeks later on Thursday 20th at the Barley Mow in Paulerspury. Head south from Towcester (or north from Old Stratford) along the Watling Street and turn off west in to the village. Watling Street was a Roman Road that, these days is better known as the A5 – it was also once the approximate boundary of the Danelaw in Northamptonshire. Now that the local history has been covered I can tell you that we will be at the pub from 8.00pm.

These are the last pre-planned Northants meetings for a while; as in 2010 we are closing down for Winter. However, if anything of interest crops up at short notice those of you for whom I have e-mail addresses will get a message.

Ian Sargent

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

Editor's Bit at the Bottom


So many events going on in East Midlands in October that their listing has over-run into the review pages of this newsletter; I hope there’s something in there that tempts you out and you have a great time.

Rosie Jefferson

Member Moments

Congratulations to former Leicester LocSec Rebecca and her partner John on the early safe arrival of their daughter on 8th August 2011.

How are you celebrating?

Mensa Brilliant Day – Geocaching

Hopefully by now lots of you will have already taken up the challenge of geocaching and finding a nearby Mensa Brilliant Day Geocache. If you haven’t then simply log on to, create an account, then get out there with your GPS and get hunting! There’s also an app for your GPS enabled iPhone or smart phone (first 3 searches are free!) Mensa has received special permission from Groundspeak to place these caches around the UK.

There’s a super competition on the main website – but you will need to find the password in one of the caches to enter the competition. The main prize is a Cryptex ® security box personally made by Justin Nevin. It’s a really lovely prize for the competition winner. You can check it out at . Entries must be in by 30th November.

Happy hunting and good luck!

IT Without Tears

Saturday 1st October 2011 at the Herald Snooker Club, Stacey Bushes, Milton Keynes. At 2.00pm, a free workshop for Mensans and their guests covering:

  • laying out a newsletter using MS Word
  • analysing and presenting data using Excel pivot tables and charts
  • protecting your personal data

Contact Jo Sidebottom for more details or to book your place - [Email][Phone Number] or [Phone Number]

Mensa’s 65th Birthday Party

Saturday 1st October 2011 at The Lounge Room, Ilkeston Town Football Club, New Manor Ground, Awsworth Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 8JF. From 7.30pm – midnight, a free event for Mensans and their guests with:

  • music
  • dancing
  • a buffet
  • a birthday cake.

Contact Maxine Bates for more details or to book your place – [Email][Phone Number]

See MENSA magazine’s October 65th anniversary issue


  • a roundup of Brilliant events around the regions
  • the results of the Brilliant poetry competition
  • the results of the Brilliant photography competition
  • a look at the Mensa archives with Glenys Hopkins
  • a look at other things that happened in 1946

20 Questions (No. 121)

The songs and singers from the August competition were No Dancing by Elvis Costello, Dancing Queen by Abba, Don’t Stop Dancing by Kaskade, Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes by Ultravox, I Don’t Feel Like Dancing by Scissor Sisters, You Should Be Dancing by The Bee Gees, Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen, I’m In The Mood For Dancing by The Nolans, Come Dancing by The Kinks, Dancing Girls by Whitesnake, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Leo Sayer, Domino Dancing by The Pet Shop Boys, Dancing by Elisa, Dancing In The Street by Martha And The Vandellas, The Politics Of Dancing by Re-Flex, Ballroom Dancing by Paul McCartney, Dancing In The Moonlight by King Harvest, Dancing Girls by Nik Kershaw and Dancing On The Ceiling by Lionel Richie. Entries were received from Helene Parry of Brentford, Judith Meller of Kegworth, Alex Foster of Derby, Rita Beeson of Kempston, Ian Nelson of Letchworth, Michael Warren of Derby, Pamela Covey of Woburn, Pat Naylor of Nottingham, Sue Barker of Bury, Jocelyn Binks of Bedford and David Crozier of St Albans. The winner is Judith.

It will soon be Halloween so this month’s quiz is about witches and wizards. Send your answers to ‘20 Questions (No. 121)’, [Address], to arrive by 20th October. The winner will receive a £10 national book token.

1. Who was the Worst Witch?

2. Which school did adolescent wizard Harry Potter attend?

3. In legend Merlin the wizard was imprisoned by whom?

4. Disney’s Wizards Of Waverly Place features which family?

5. What is the real name of the man dubbed Wizard Of New Zealand?

6. The Salem witch trials took place in Massachusetts in which year?

7. Who wrote The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe?

8. What is the name of the good witch in the Wizard Of Oz?

9. The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches is a series of novels written by whom?

10. In which year was The Blair Witch Project film released?

11. What was the name of the white witch who froze Narnia?

12. Witches from which Lancashire borough were famously tried in 1612?

13. What does the wicked witch write in the sky above the Emerald City?

14. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is located at which theme park?

15. Who directed the film Wizards released in 1977?

16. What was the name of the lion in The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe?

17. The Disney film The Sword And The Stone features which wizard?

18. Who played Sabrina The Teenage Witch?

19. Which company created the online role playing game Wizard101?

20. The Witches Of Eastwick were Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and whom?