Archive | May 2018

23rd May | Otley Hall Gardens visit

Otley Hall is a Tudor-built moated Manor House, and family home, set in 10 acres of beautiful gardens in peaceful Suffolk countryside 8 miles north of Ipswich. Although the house is open at certain times to the public, it was the gardens that Capel Ladies came to visit in mid-May. Otley’s gardener Simon took us on a tour of the extensive gardens pointing out features and telling anecdotes about their origins and history.

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The gardens include a large area of water which was once part of the moat, looking very tranquil with yellow flag iris, cow parsley and ox-eye daisies along  the banks, and plenty of shade-giving trees. There was a grass labyrinth, a herbarium and a knot-garden, all of historical significance but each added comparatively recently by Tudor garden design experts. Also a long, green, arbour-like tunnel covered in honeysuckle and climbing roses amongst other greenery. The only sounds were birdsong and the occasional screech of peacocks (both white and blue) which live in the gardens. After our pleasant walk around we visited the tea room for cake and refreshments. What a nice way to spend a May afternoon!

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3rd May | Memories of a Headteacher – talk by Brian Carline

Brian Carline, our speaker in May, is a former Head Teacher with forty years experience in the profession. It turns out he was originally half of a double act in the world of stand-up comedy, and has even appeared on TV in the vintage talent show “New Faces”! He told us that one of the essential qualities of being a good teacher is a sense of humour, and this was well illustrated in his very amusing talk!

He has worked in a number of secondary schools in quite difficult areas of the country, from Toxteth and Salford  to parts of Essex and the East End of London, and he recounted many amusing anecdotes about the staff, pupils and families which he has come across over the years. He had us all laughing from the word go – and yet throughout his talk of the tough characters and difficult families his devotion to the job and his compassion for the pupils in his care was clear for us all to see. A very entertaining evening which culminated in many of us remembering our own school experiences!