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Derek and Marjie's epic trip for Mensa anniversary

Fri, 30/09/2016
Marji and Derek Sellar

Derek and Marjie Sellar at the Glasgow AG in 2014

He won’t exactly be walking 500 miles, but Mensa’s Scottish officer Derek Sellar is planning an epic journey to celebrate the society’s 70th anniversary.

Derek, from Glasgow, has set himself the challenge of visiting every city in Scotland within 24 hours on October 1, 70 years after the first official Mensa meeting in Oxford.

With his wife Marjie, who is also a Mensa member, Derek will cover about 560 miles on a journey that takes in Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Elgin, and Inverness.

Derek said: “British Mensa tasked every RO (regional officer) with running a single event on the anniversary of Mensa's birth - Saturday October 1.

“Now, some ROs will be hand delivering invitations to members across their region. They may have a lot of members but they are compressed into a barely believable small area. Scotland is a little on the large side.

“Our geography conspires against us meeting on a regular basis, so this is your opportunity to express your views and opinions on Mensa. Or as Marjie says: come along and have a blether with us. We really want to meet you!”

Derek decided that, if it wasn’t possible for all the 1,190 Mensa members in Scotland to come together for one event, he would do his best to travel to meet as many of them as possible in one day.

He will start with coffee and croissants at the Village Hotel in Glasgow’s Pacific Quay – the venue for the 2015 British Mensa annual gathering – at 7.30am on Saturday October 1.

At 9am he aims to be in Stirling, where he will share morning coffee with local members at the Golden Lion Hotel, before heading to the Village Hotel in Edinburgh for more coffee and buns at 11am.

The epic road trip will then take a lunch break at the Station Hotel in Perth at 1pm-ish. Leaving at 2pm, Derek and Marjie will then head to Dundee for a cup of tea and more cake – although not necessarily Dundee cake – at the Queen’s Hotel at 2.45pm.

The plan is to arrive at the Village Hotel in Aberdeen at 5pm, although the timetable is likely to have become a little “flexible” by this point!

The pair will depart from Aberdeen at 5.45pm and aim to arrive in Elgin at 7.30pm. The venue has yet to be fixed – it may or may not involve cake.

They will then depart on the final leg of the tour at 8.15pm and aim to arrive in the bar at the Mercure Hotel in Inverness at about 9.30pm.

In all, the trip is expected to take about 13 hours, although traffic and other delays could affect the timetable slightly.

Derek and Marjie hope Mensa members from around Scotland will join them during at least one of the stopping points for refreshments or just a chat.

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