Archive | February 2017

Feb 16th | Suffolk Police Museum visit


Fifteen Capel Ladies had an arresting evening at the Suffolk Police Museum for our February outing! The museum is situated at the Suffolk Constabulary HQ at Martlesham Heath, and is open after 6.00 p.m. on Mondays – Fridays by appointment only. We were met on arrival by a team of friendly volunteers – all ex-police personnel – who made us feel very welcome and who escorted us through the exhibits, telling us about life in the police service, showing us things of particular interest, and answering our many questions.

At one point we were allowed to try on some police uniforms and hold truncheons or handcuffs. Police hats have changed a lot during the years since the 1830’s, At first they wore top hats, then these changed to custodian helmets lined with cork and serge or strong felt, however now they have a lining of reinforced plastic, still light to wear but more protective. Most officers today wear flat peaked caps for practical reasons but there are still occasions when more protection is needed and helmets are used. Policewomen have bowler hats  with similar lining and covered in the regulation navy blue serge.

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There was a huge range of items on display for us to see. One cabinet contained a large collection of fearsome weapons – knuckle dusters, flick knives and daggers which made us shudder! There were riot shields of different sizes which you could hardly lift, and it was incredible to think that, using these, the policeman had to be totally mobile and able to run whilst holding one up! The police issue stab vests were very heavy too, with the added panels of protective padding!  We tried different styles of truncheons for size, some wooden, some plastic – and a new lightweight metal one which was telescopic and could be produced at the flick of an arm.

There were press cuttings and displays of past crimes and investigations, amongst many ancient pieces of equipment such as early typewriters and computers, and a fingerprint kit with ink and roller – no longer in use of course in this digital age!

At the end of our tour we were shown to a comfortable coffee lounge where we had some refreshments before thanking our hosts and leaving the building, past a collection box for donations towards the upkeep of the museum and its exhibits. I’m sure we each put in a contribution after a thoroughly worthwhile, informative and enjoyable visit.

Feb 2nd | Body Shop Evening – Lindsey Imlach

20170202_202805 There was an excellent turnout for our first “In” meeting of the year – a Body Shop Evening. Our new chairlady, Di Barker, began by welcoming everyone and introducing the new committee for 2017 before handing over to Lindsey Imlach, the Body Shop consultant.

Founded in 1976 by the late British environmental and human rights campaigner the late Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop started life as a small outfit in Brighton selling just 25 products. Customers were encouraged to recycle packaging and there was a real emphasis on natural ingredients that were ethically sourced and cruelty-free. Now the range consists of over 300 products and there are more than 2500 stores worldwide.

20170202_192532The natural ingredients of these products come from all over the world, from Guatemala and the Brazilian rainforests, Ecuador and Cameroon to Ghana, Sudan and even Norfolk in the UK! They are all community-traded raw ingredients which play an important part in keeping village co-operatives and farms in very rural areas of the world as thriving businesses. Moneys raised help to pay for the education of children and young people, and also conserve the environment in which they live. Here in East Anglia there are nine flourishing family farm businesses, which might otherwise have failed, now growing crops such as camomile to produce Norfolk Essential Oils.

Lindsey passed round various creams and lotions for us to try and then there was an opportunity to buy some of the products. It was a very interesting and enlightening evening, and a very sociable time for everyone who attended.

Coming up we have a visit to Suffolk Police Museum, a meal out to the Wenham Queen, a talk about the Funny Side of Policing and another about Knickers!  (None of these are connected, by the way!)

Come and join us!