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, Malcolm Henley:

Forthcoming meetings

Wednesday 9 January  at 12.00 – The White Lion, Watling Street, Dunstable LU6 1RS

Our post-Christmas lunch. See the White Lion’s website for further information and menus.

Previous meetings

Wednesday 17 October 2018 at 12.00 – the Crown pub, 9 Market Square, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1BE.

Four of us met for lunch. We received two apologies for absence. We enjoyed a good lunch in a quiet dining room, so conversation was easy.  We talked about the recent conference. Only Nicola King had been able to attend. It was interesting to hear that SI and SfEP members were interspersed between the tables at dinner, and had a joint plenary session. Looking at next year’s event, two days in London, we must aim for  West Anglia to be represented in force. We congratulated Nicola on becoming the new SI Chair. She told us that there has been a steady supply of new SI members, but none of them live in the WA region.

Thursday 16 August 2018 at 11.00 – Blue Mountain Yard Caribbean restaurant and café, 1 Harnett Drive, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5RT

Five of us met for lunch. A new venue for us. A friendly, busy restaurant. Some of us found the food rather too fiery for our tastes. We discussed the forthcoming conference, only one of us was planning to attend. We compared notes on the availability of work. We all felt that we had sufficient jobs coming in. After lunch four of us went for a very pleasant stroll in the nearby riverside park.

Wednesday 11 April 2018 at 12.00 – The Star, 230 Heath Road, Leighton Buzzard LU7 3AY

Meeting cancelled due to lack of take-up.

Wednesday 10 January 2018 at 12.00 – The Flying Horse, 2 The Green, Clophill, Bedford MK45 4AD

Just three of us turned up for our post-Xmas lunch, and we received three apologies for absence. We’ve used this pub several times over the years, and it was as good as ever. We discussed the low turnout. Hopefully it was an aberration, but I will be monitoring the situation with future meetings. All three of us reported having plenty of work, and hoped that this was a good omen for 2018.

Wednesday 11 October 2017 at 12.00 – The White Lion, Watling Street, Dunstable LU6 1RS

Five members met in Dunstable for a convivial lunch. Nicola King raised the subject of The Indexer and its future prospects. We also talked a lot about the new website. Two of those present had already built their new profiles. We all like the look of the new site, and it is felt to be easy to navigate. The forums seem easy to use, and we felt positive overall with the whole project. This was our first meeting without John Silvester, who has moved away. His contribution was much missed.

Thursday 6 July 2017 – Higgins Pantry, Bedford

Nine members plus one offspring met at the Higgins Pantry in Bedford. This was our highest turnout for several years. The café was very busy and noisy, which made it difficult to hold a proper meeting. We talked about the conference and the Oxford Book Index Symposium, which were pronounced a success. We were pleased that Jan Worrall,a former group member, was awarded the Bernard Levin prize at the conference. We also touched on next year’s conference at Lancaster. We were pleased to see John Silvester, a group stalwart since its inception. His forthcoming move to Lincolnshire means that this might be his last WAG meeting. He will be sorely missed. We were also delighted to welcome a former WAG member who had left indexing some time ago. She is now considering returning to the fold.

Friday 31 March 2017 – Inn on the Green, Harpenden

Three West Anglia members, plus one SfEP member met at The Inn on the Green in Harpenden. Two apologies were received. They discussed the forthcoming Conference and Oxford Book Index Symposium. They also talked about Brexit and its possible effects on our business. The editor has many overseas clients, and suspects there will be an impact on his work. National Indexing Day met with general approval, and the editor was aware of the event.

Thursday 5 January 2017 12.00 – Flying Horse, Clophill, Bedford

A return visit to the Flying Horse for our post-Xmas lunch. The pub and food were as good as ever, and we all enjoyed a good lunch. We discussed various subjects. The SI conference met with general approval, and most of us hope to attend. Brexit came up, as one member had just indexed a book containing his first encounter with the term. We spent some time discussing attendance at our meetings. We normally get between five and eight members (out of 18), and it tends to be the same people each time. It was agreed to poll the members to see what they want from the meetings, and what would tempt them to attend.

Wednesday 12 October 2016 – Debenhams restaurant in Milton Keynes

Six of us met in what was a new venue for us, and we all had a good lunch. It was comfortable, if a bit noisy for a meeting place. We had all been to the Birmingham conference, and we discussed our impressions. We thought the venue and food were excellent, and the organisation first-rate. Our only real quibble was the one-day format, which meant that things could get a little rushed, with insufficient time for networking. We talked about Sideline, which has gone rather quiet. One or two felt that, in the past, discussions had got too ‘robust’, and this could be intimidating. As usual we discussed our workloads. Most people were happy with their levels of work, with sufficient coming in. One or two have had problems with late payment. We felt that there’s not much one can do about this, apart from declining further work from them.