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18th July | “My Life in Music” – a talk by Hattie Bennett

hattie-bennett-and-her-cello-e1564804595116.jpgMusic has certainly been an important ingredient in Hattie Bennett’s life, and as proof of this she brought along her favourite instrument – a cello – when she came to speak to Capel Ladies Club in July.

What a fascinating life she has had, too! Born into a musical family, with both her parents members of the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli, she grew up always hearing music around her. Her father played the cello and her mother the double bass.

From the age of four she was encouraged to learn to play first a child-sized cello, and then a piano, while her brother learnt the violin. By the time she was ten years old she had progressed to the cello, following in her father’s footsteps. They lived in Manchester and her parents were constantly travelling around the country playing in orchestras and concerts wherever they could. At the age of twelve her father took Hattie to play in the Stockport Youth Orchestra, and she absolutely loved it! Playing with other musicians was what she wanted to do, and at nineteen she seized the chance to go to Scotland with her cello to join an orchestra there. Whilst there she became engaged to a trombonist whom she married three months later. They moved to London where she studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

Music was in their blood, but in order to earn enough money to make a living and support their children the couple had to find somewhere economical to live, and in due course they ended up moving to a house in Felixstowe which had an acre of land attached. For a few years they lived self-sufficiently, just like in “The Good Life”, and while Hattie stayed at home and looked after the family and their smallholding her husband went off countrywide playing in orchestras and concerts, and teaching music at local schools.

However, after a few years Hattie’s yearning to get back to music herself inspired her to start an organisation called “Music in Felixstowe”, now in its 23rd season, which brings top musicians to Felixstowe audiences. Part of her mission is to promote talented young local musicians, and she has also launched a string group in one of the town’s primary schools. which puts on an annual performance featuring over 100 local schoolchildren working with professional musicians. There are also a number of concerts in local churches and even occasionally in the open air, some of which are free, but all of which showcase the talents of skilled local musicians. Hattie herself was awarded a B.E.M. in 2016, much to her complete surprise, and the organisation she founded is now a registered charity!

Hattie’s talk was lively, amusing and at times sad, but it was a joyous experience listening to her – particularly as she illustrated the different periods of her life with little ‘taster’ tunes on her cello, including “Old McDonald Had A Farm” and “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” to name but two!

To discover more about Hattie and for information regarding her music concerts see the website: www.felixstowemusic.com

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6th June | Summer Social

The theme for this year’s Summer Social was, appropriately enough, Europe, and our members had all made the effort to produce plates of food for the buffet with distinct continental connections! Flags and bunting were strewn across the tables, and there was a rather tricky European Quiz, devised by Rose Chiverton, our chairlady! She even managed to ask some of the questions in various European languages! The quiz was won by Di Barker who received her prize of Belgian chocolates! The tasty food and lively chatter made for a very jolly evening!

2nd May | CLC ‘In’ meeting

20190502_204147Unfortunately, the Speaker for our May meeting called off unexpectedly, but all was not lost! Our resourceful Chairlady Rose rose to the occasion and entertained us with some very amusing anecdotes about her recent holiday in India! Following this, one or two other members regaled us with interesting or comic accounts of their doings, and we even had a book review thrown into the mix! Then Sue Maynard asked for some volunteers – a few to be guinea pigs whilst others copied her in giving them an Indian Head Massage. This proved very successful and a second set of participants did the same again! It was evidently a very relaxing experience! Refreshments were then served and we had our usual social time chatting. What could have been a disastrous evening proved to be a very enjoyable one after all!

4th Apr | History of the Movies – a talk by Mark Mitchels

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20190404_192403It was an evening at the flicks for Capel Ladies and friends at our April meeting. Mark Mitchels took us through the origins of film-making and told us interesting facts and figures about movies through the ages, illustrated by film clips of each genre. Many of these were very familiar while some were new to us – and it was particularly interesting to be told some of the background stories and techniques employed by early film-makers.

20190404_211409 (2).jpgThere was a good turnout for this meeting and something for everyone’s taste. Many of us gasped at the antics of Harold Lloyd climbing the skyscraper and hanging from the clock-face – done without a stunt-man in sight! We were also amazed by the fast-moving high-speed chase involving Cowboys and Indians in the 1939 black-and-white film “Stagecoach” starring John Wayne, where there were some incredible stunts on and off horseback and stagecoach by fearless stuntmen who must have risked their lives during the making of that movie!

We learnt that the rainwater in that wonderful sequence from “Singing in the Rain” had to be souped-up by adding milk to it in order for it to give the desired effect and appearance for Gene Kelly’s famous dance scene. We also gasped in admiration at the amazing geometry of the violin-playing dancers in Busby Berkeley’s choreographed scene from the 1933 film “Gold-Diggers”. To achieve this perfection Berkeley developed the new technique of having the cameras above the dancers looking down on the action.

All in all, it was a very entertaining evening, which was enjoyed by everyone.

For more of the same why not come along for a taster visit on the first Thursday of the month in Capel Library. We start at 7.45pm and you will be assured of a warm welcome!

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7th Mar | Lighthouse Women’s Aid Project

downloadDomestic abuse would not have been my first choice of subject for an evening’s Speaker to the members of Capel Ladies Club. However, Katherine Ahluwalia, the Training Co-ordinator for the Lighthouse Women’s Aid Project, made it a very interesting, informative talk, chilling though it was at times, but with a definite positive outlook on the work of this essential organisation.

We began with a Quiz highlighting different types of abuse which amazed us with statistics showing how common and widespread abuse can be. Over two million women aged between 16 and 69, and seven hundred thousand men have experienced abuse at some time in their lives, and locally one thousand women a year call in at Lighthouse’s Berners Street Centre.

“Lighthouse Women’s Aid is a charitable organisation based in Suffolk, providing support and advice to women and children experiencing domestic abuse in their personal or family relationships.” So says the leaflet, and indeed this organisation has been providing safe and supportive refuge in Ipswich since 1976! They offer advice and support from trained staff on any issue in complete confidence and without judgement, and they run a Women and Children’s Wellbeing Centre in central Ipswich. The incredible thing is they are a charity and as such are completely reliant on donations and fund-raising!

Capel Ladies Club gave Katherine a donation at the end of the evening, plus an extra £20.00, being the proceeds of a scarf and jewellery swap-shop organised by Mary Butters on the night.

For more information on Lighthouse visit: www.lighthousewa.org.uk or ring 01473 228270.

Coming up we have visits planned to Little Hall Lavenham, the Theatre and a Garden Tour, plus a talk on The History of Film and a Sausage Evening! Come and join us!

7th Feb | Talk: The Role of a Parish Nurse

Until our first “In” Meeting of the year I had no accurate idea of exactly what a Parish Nurse did in our community, in fact I had assumed that it was a wholly medical role which involved a first aid professional who visited patients recently discharged from hospital, or new mums or elderly people who had had falls. I also assumed that they were a part of the NHS, like an add-on to the local doctors’ surgery.

In fact I was half right in some of these assumptions……. but my main mis-conception that they were connected to the local surgery was entirely inaccurate. In fact they are fully qualified volunteers working under the charity “Parish Nursing Ministries UK”, and in Capel they work with the support and backing of the local Methodist Church. Having said that, neither Caroline Ursell nor Margaret Sankey will ever try to “ram religion down your throats”!  In their own words they support all the people of Capel St Mary regardless of their age, background or beliefs, providing “whole person health care”.

Caroline herself is a registered nurse, with a MSc degree and a diploma in Child Psychology who works part-time in an Ipswich GP practice, while Margaret has a diploma in Occupational Therapy and a special interest in Care of the Elderly. Between them they can offer support for the “physical, mental, social and spiritual health” of individuals, and this can include help with understanding medical information, diseases and conditions, help and support for carers and dementia patients, post-natal well-being, mental health and increasing and maintaining safety and independence in the home. They will also offer help through prayer if the person so requests.

Although they have no official connection to the local GP’s surgery they do have an informal liaison with the practice manager and the medical staff there, which can be useful when advising or referring people who have gone to the Parish Nurses initially for help.

Caroline and Margaret organise regular drop-in sessions such as The Hope Hub at Capel Methodist Church on the first Saturday of the month for anyone wanting to meet new friends, have a coffee and a chat, play board games, do arts and crafts and discover local support and social activities. There is also DAF’s Café (Dementia And Friends) for those living with dementia and their friends and families on the 2nd and 4th Friday mornings of each month which is held in Capel Library. They also hold regular sessions at Dove Close. For more information see their website: www.CapelParishNurses.org.uk or check them out on Facebook.

Caroline’s talk at Capel Ladies was both interesting and informative, and I’m sure there are many people in the village who either benefit from the help of Parish Nurses at the present time, or who will certainly benefit from it in the future. To quote Caroline: “Parish Nursing is all about bringing hope to people.”

17th Jan | A.G.M.

Our AGM in January was quite well-attended, and after welcoming everyone our chairlady Di Barker led us through the business of the evening and gave her report of the club’s many activities for 2018. The highlight of course had been the special Dinner in October celebrating the Club’s 50th Anniversary with its Golden Theme, and also the Golden Christmas Social in December. Di remarked that once again outings had not been well supported, which was a shame.

After all the formalities had ended it was time to elect a new committee as five people were due to resign. These were Audrey Broadbent, Pat Bradford, Shirley Ward, Irene Carder and of course Di Barker. A vote of thanks was given to the retiring committee, but unfortunately no-one could be persuaded to step into their shoes!

It was therefore suggested that we leave this section of the AGM to be discussed and settled at our next “In” Meeting in February.

After this, refreshments were served, which included cakes made by the retiring committee. This was followed by another “Backwards Raffle” with a variety of prizes and much laughter as they were claimed by lots of different people, some changing hands in this way several times until the tickets ran out! We now look forward to 2019’s new Programme as arranged by last year’s committee, and hope that we’ll be able to form a new committee to run the club for this year!