Stepping out to beat cancer!

Pictured above are some of the brave survivors of cancer. On 7th/8th July a team of Mensans from around the UK joined many other teams to take part in the Cancer Research UK Relay For Life in Nottingham.


Regional News

This month we once again have an array of social events to entertain you. Thank you to all the volunteer hosts who are offering meals for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, picnics or dinner as well as pub quizzes, walks, skittles, visits to historic halls and brewery centres, and much more. If there is nothing that appeals in your own area you are more than welcome to host your own event. Please get in touch with myself or your Local Officer and we can help to organise it.

Don’t forget that now is the time to be reserving your accommodation and booking events for the British Mensa Annual Gathering taking place in Plymouth 5th-8th October 2018 if you wish to venture down south and meet members from all over the UK. See for updates on this weekend event. Don’t forget you can use our East Midlands Mensa Facebook group if seeking car shares, etc.

I hope you have enjoyed our fabulous summer – don’t worry lawns will return to green as tans fade! As we shortly head into autumn please do let us know if you have suggestions for future events. If you can’t participate in our social events you can still get involved by contributing an article for Empress, compiling a quiz with 20 questions on your specialist subject or joining any number of the Mensa special interest groups.

As ever you can contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the September edition of Empress, my last before handing over the reins to Maria for the next three months. If anyone out there would be interested in trying their hand at editing, do feel free to get in touch with us. All that is required is a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, or any document editor which can export out to PDF (the format the newsletters are submitted in). It’s really quite easy and not too time-consuming.

Mark Sloan

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.

In Leicestershire

On Mon 17th Sep at 8:00pm - Pub Social

I will be hosting the meeting this month at the Cradock Arms, 201 Knighton Road, Leicester LE2 3TT. You will find me in the lower area of the pub at a table with the yellow Mblem. I look forward to seeing you there but if you need directions or want to meet me at the door before the meeting, then please get in touch on [Phone Number]/e-mail me at [Email]

On Sat 29th Sep at 7:00pm - Skittles & Supper

We will be in the Skittle Alley at the Blue Bell Inn, 36 Main Street, Hoby LE14 3DT. The evening will consist of playing skittles in 2 teams and a hot buffet meal will be provided. Booking is essential before September 13th and you will need to pay me £7.95 per person and tell me your menu choice. Please get in touch with me on 01949 861356 or [Email]

Lively Lincs

On Sat 8th Sep at 12:00pm - Pub discussion

Our regular Second Saturday meeting. Join us in the alcove of the Adam and Eve, 25 Lindum Road (opposite Pottergate Arch) for a discussion around “What is the future of town centres?” Parking, pub food, all welcome. Contact Jacquie on [Phone Number] or [Email] for more details.

On Sat 15th Sep at 12:00pm - Lunch

Join us for a light lunch at the café in the Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre, 28 Plough Hill. After lunch, weather permitting, we plan to explore the town using the official Walkabout Caistor leaflet. Meet outside the Centre – we'll be holding a Magazine. Please let us know you're coming, so we can look out for you. Email [Email] or phone [Phone Number].

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th Sep at 8:00pm - 5OTM/Sheep Racing

This month's get together at the Vat & Fiddle pub (NG2 1NB) features hilarious sheep racing! We have private use of the Goldings Room. Buy a wad of sheepy money for £2.50 then watch six battery operated sheep in racing silks stagger and bleat their way to the finish line! All money going to charity and prize for the winner. Further info from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] or just turn up on the night.

On Sun 9th Sep at 12.00pm - Wollaton Hall

A visit to Wollaton Hall and Park (NG8 2AE). Optional tour of the Hall at noon lasting 45 minutes and costing £5 per person. Followed by a stroll around the lake then picnic. Also option to visit the natural history museum. Ideal for families. Parking £3 per car for 3 hours. See Empress for further details or contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Thu 13th Sep at 7:30pm - Natter & Nosh

Our '2nd Thursday' get together at the Cadland, High Road, Chilwell, for food and/or drink plus varied conversation. Menu at Look for yellow Mblem on a large table to far side of bar. New faces welcome. Directions/encouragement to come along from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Tue 18th Sep at 7:00pm - 3TuOTM

Join our growing group for food/drink/chat at our new venue of The Prince Rupert pub on Stodman Street in Newark (NG24 1AW). Look for a yellow Mblem on the table or contact Pete beforehand on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions/encouragement. New faces always welcome!

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

News from Northampton

On Sun 9th Sep at 10:30am - Brunch

Our usual breakfast/brunch meeting is at 10:30 at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop, Market Walk in Northampton Town Centre. After the quiz (make it a bit easier, Pete - please!) we'll converse very quietly to test Ian's new hearing aid. Contact Marianne on email: [Email] or [Phone Number] for encouragement.

On Sat 29th Sep at 2:00pm - Croquet

Join us for a session at St Andrews Hospital, Billing Road, NN1 5DG at 2 p.m. at a cost of £10 (could be less if lots of us turn up). After some coaching there will be an informal competition. Plenty of parking and loos inside the hospital, but bring your own refreshments. This game is overtly genteel but covertly ruthless! Contact Marianne for reassurance on email and phone as above.

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

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

As ever, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth! Thursday nights are curry nights but other food (standard Wetherspoons' fare) is available as well. Leys Avenue is the main shopping street in Letchworth and is a few minutes' walk from the station (Kings Cross to Cambridge line). Call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement.

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

As ever, we are at the Cowper Arms, Digswell. The pub is next to Welwyn North station and is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Peterborough and Cambridge. Good food, beer and conversation guaranteed! Please call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Mon 17th Sep at 8:15pm - 3MOTM Quiz

Our monthly quiz outing to The Barge at Woolstone. Meet from 8.15 for a 8.30pm start - cost is £1 per person. Please let me know if you are coming so I know if we will be one team or two. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Sat 22nd Sep at 3:00pm - T@3

Join us at Dobbie's Garden Centre in Fenny Stratford for tea, coffee and cakes in the restaurant. We will probably be in the conservatory area at the back. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Sun 30th Sep at 10:00am - Breakfast

Join us at Carluccio's in the Centre:MK from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink. Look out for the Mblem, probably in one of the red booths outside. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

Just a reminder about our M-MK & Bedford Facebook group – 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 this month. 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 Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sun 16th Sep at 3:00pm - T@3

Join me at Church House, Hughenden, HP14 4LA for one of their famous afternoon teas. A good variety of home made cakes & local ice cream! Meet me there at 3pm. Please ring me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email] for further information or encouragement.

On Fri 28th Sep at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

We are going to the Red Lion Tea Room, HP14 4HF, which is on the main road between High Wycombe and Saunderton at the Bradenham Village turn. Join me there for breakfast, or just coffee or tea. Free car park. No need to book, but if you want to let me know you are coming phone [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Tue 18th Sep at 8:00pm - Indoor Games

Join Dave and Alison at their home in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, for a relaxed evening of indoor board games. All members and friends welcome. Space is limited, so please contact Dave for directions and to discuss what games you would like to play on [Phone Number] or by e-mail at [Email]

For further details or encouragement contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Susan Graves

Derby Diary

On Sat 8th Sep at 1:30pm - Brewery Centre

Join us for a visit to the National Brewery Centre (DE14 1NG). Ticket price £11.95/£9.95 concession includes a guided tour, free car parking and three beer tasting vouchers (equivalent to one pint) per adult. Meet near the reception at 1.30pm and we’ll aim for the 2pm tour. Contact Susan on [Phone Number] or [Email] for encouragement and so we can look out for you.

On Sat 8th Sep at 5:00pm - Pub Social

Follow on from the Brewery Centre trip or join us separately at The Lord Burton (Wetherspoons) at 154 High Street, DE14 1JE, for a chat and perhaps something to eat. Look for a yellow Mblem on a table. Contact Susan on [Phone Number] or [Email] for encouragement and so I can look out for you.

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

Third Wednesday brings our regular get-together at the Standing Order pub on Iron Gate (Wetherspoons). Join us to eat or just for a drink and a chat from 7.30pm, cheap prices. Look for the yellow Mblem on a long table in the rear section. Contact Susan on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions and/or encouragement. New faces especially welcome.

On Tue 25th Sep at 7:30pm - Eating Meeting

Join us for an excellent eat-as-much-as-you-like Chinese buffet at Lotus Lounge, Central Road, Alfreton, DE55 7BH. Cost £14.90 per person. Menu at Reserve your place with Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] by 21st please.

Susan Graves

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

There’s been a murder!

Taking a train ride these days can be deadly! Train and crew from the Murder, Mystery & Suspense evening on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Express held on June 23rd. This was a joint event with the Sherlock Holmes SIG

Relay For Life 2018

The Cocktail Bar

On 7th/8th July a team of Mensans from around the UK took part in the Cancer Research UK Relay For Life in Nottingham. This is a 24 hour event where one member of each team walks on the track for the whole duration to signify that cancer never sleeps. The event was opened by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham who then walked the first lap with cancer survivors before a team parade – just like the Olympics! The survivors were then invited into a large marquee for a special tea party.

Throughout the weekend we walked (including several fancy dress laps to add to the fun), listened to live music, watched demonstrations, took part in a salsa dancing class, ate from the food vans, watched the football world cup on specially set up screens, and visited each others fundraising stalls. Our “Cocktail Crew” team sold fruity cocktails which were very welcome in the heatwave! As darkness fell there was a “candle of hope” ceremony to remember those who have died of this terrible disease and celebrate those who have survived. That includes many Mensans of both categories and one of the reasons I’m an avid fundraiser for this particular charity. As the event drew to a close there was a party on the track and a final team parade looking a little more dishevelled than 24 hours previously!

Thank you so much to my team of Adam, Janet, Jayne, Mark, Michael and Stewart who joined me from as far as Dublin, the Wirral and wilds


20 Questions (No. 203)

Did you guess the fishy answers from the July competition? They were cyprinidae, small-spotted catshark/lesser-spotted dogfish, whale shark, beluga sturgeon, caudal fin, Clarence Birdseye, fishing tackle arrangement, Izaak Walton, sardine, mackerel, 4,000 metres, dermal denticles, salmon, orange, kipper and bloater, a hook for landing large fish, lateral line, bullhead freshwater fish, bluefin tuna and 167 million. The £10 book token goes to Nigel Bryant of Bedford.

Following the release of the Mamma Mia 2 film this summer, we have an Abba themed competition! Send your answers to arrive by 20th September by post to ‘20 Questions (No. 203)’, [Address] or by email to for your chance to win the book token.

1. In which year did Abba win the Eurovision Song Contest?

2. What mode of transport features on the ‘Arrival’ album cover?

3. Which song took Abba the longest time to record?

4. Abba had to seek permission to use their name as it is also a Swedish producer of what?

5. ‘Does Your Mother Know’ was originally titled what?

6. What was Abba’s only number one hit in the US charts?

7. Benny joined which group at the age of 18?

8. Thank You For The Music’ peaked at which number in the UK charts?

9. Which group had the Christmas 1999 number one with a cover of ‘I Had A Dream’?

10. Who is the oldest member of Abba?

11. What was the first single released from the ‘Voulez Vous’ album?

12. In which year did the ‘Mamma Mia’ musical first appear in London’s West End?

13. Which member of Abba was born in Norway rather than Sweden?

14. What was the last song ever recorded by Abba?

15. ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ was a number one hit in how many countries?

16. Which group had a hit with a medley called ‘Abba-esque’?

17. What is a ‘Super Trouper’?

18. Which song kept ‘Chiquitita’ at number two in the charts in both UK and Sweden?

19. What is the name of Agnetha and Bjorn’s daughter?

20. What was Abba’s last UK number one in 1980?