West Anglia

The West Anglia group was created in 2005. The region covered by the group includes: Beds, Bucks, Herts and Northants. The group was set up mainly for networking, but further objectives include: exchange of information on aspects of indexing – both current and future; help and advice on self-employment and running a freelance business; improving work opportunities and helping students. We aim to meet every three months – in January, April, July and October. We try to arrange meetings at venues within easy walking distance of a train or coach station, but car sharing can be arranged for those venues not easily accessible by public transport. Everyone is welcome to join us at meetings, whether from the locality or further afield.

The West Anglia group runs a discussion forum that is is open to all members of the Society.

Further information

For further information, please contact the West Anglia group coordinator:

Forthcoming meetings

Wednesday October 26th at 12.00. Murati’s Pizzeria Ristorante, 28 St John Street, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes MK16 8HJ. For further information and menus see www.muratispizzeria.com/locations.

Previous meetings

Five of us met at the Higgins Art Gallery and Museum café in Bedford on the 24th August. We’d booked a table sitting outside under an awning, which was lovely and cool on a sticky, muggy day.

This is a good venue. The food is good, and being in the centre of Bedford, it is easily accessible by Public Transport. And the Gallery and Museum are well worth a visit.

It was good to see everyone again and to see that we’ve all kept well and Covid-free. All of us are very busy with work – it seems there are not quite so many indexers to take on work. We’ve noticed that Cambridge University Press and Newgen have both upped their indexing rates, the former substantially. Good news for indexers!

The number of people in this group has declined steadily over the years, and two of the people in this group are retiring from indexing at the end of the year. Let’s hope the group can continue to function if only on an informal level.

Seven of us met at the Capadocia Restaurant in Newport Pagnell on the 19th January. We felt very safe sitting inside as there was only our group plus two other diners for the length of our stay. This is a Turkish restaurant and the food was excellent – substantial and very high quality and good value.

It was good to see everyone again and to see that we’ve all kept well and Covid-free. The amounts of work that we’ve taken on has varied. Some have been very busy whilst others of us have taken on as much work as we’ve wanted to. This was basically a very informal meeting, a post-Xmas celebration, and we talked more about families and holidays than we did about indexing!

Nicola said that there won’t be any more face-to-face conferences, but they are planning a half-day meeting in London this year with strictly limited numbers.

Wednesday October 20th at 12.00. A return to the Higgins Pantry in Bedford. Seven of us met for lunch. It was good to see people again. Some people had a lot of work on, some of us are semi-retired. We discussed the recent book on indexing, Index, a History of the, by Dennis Duncan. We all seemed to have bought a copy of it. We also discussed indexes offered by Newgen at very low rates, so many offers that we have ceased to reply. We also talked about the recent Sideline strand on falling membership numbers. We didn’t see this as a problem, as long as the SI can cope financially. In fact, selfishly, falling numbers could mean less competition for work! The then forthcoming online conference was discussed, with bookings looking good. A small step in returning to normality.

Tuesday January 14th at 12.00. The Higgins Pantry, Bedford. Six of us met for lunch. We had used this venue before, and the food and atmosphere were as good as ever. We compared notes on indexes completed, and the vast range of subjects covered. We all had work on. Nicola had a heavy workload, and Beverley Winkler also does copy editing and proofreading. We discussed Cambridge University Press, as Nicola had recently visited them with Paula Clark Bain and discussed their indexing needs with a group of editors. We learnt that the SfEP conference will be held in Milton Keynes in September.

Thursday October 24th at 12.00. Abbot’s Kitchen Café at St Albans Cathedral. Five of us met for lunch, with two apologies for absence. We hadn’t used this venue for some time. Since then the café and gift shop area has been completely refurbished. Lovely surroundings and good food. We talked about the London conference, and the ideas for future conferences, with Birmingham and Germany both in the frame. Embedded indexing was discussed, as Jane and Beverley have both done a lot of work for CUP. They are prolific publishers, so a lot of work is available.