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


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!



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: 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: 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!

20th Dec | Christmas Social in the Vine Lounge

Our Christmas Social in December was great fun as usual. A delicious buffet provided by members, a huge Christmas Raffle, Members’ Hamper Draw (won by Linda Morrison) plus quizzes and Secret Santa gifts! We are now looking forward to our new programme of  activities for 2019, and to welcoming our new committee and chairlady after our forthcoming AGM in mid-January.

1st Nov | Guy Fawkes – a talk by Barbara Faulkner

It was Barbara Faulkner’s fourth visit to Capel Ladies Club to give us one of her many entertaining talks. This time, appropriately enough, it was all about Guy Fawkes.

We heard all the back story of how Guy Fawkes, a converted Catholic, was disillusioned by the continuing persecution of Catholics by Protestants in England. Having unsuccessfully tried to raise a Catholic rebellion in his own country, he went to Spain to join the Catholic cause in wars against the Dutch Protestants. It was here he became an expert in using gunpowder, and when the plotters back in England formed their plan to blow up Parliament they persuaded Guy to return and join their conspiracy. The rest is history and the story of how the plot was foiled and plotters arrested and later executed is well-known to us all.

For years afterwards Gunpowder Treason Day was decreed a Public Holiday, with church services, the firing of cannons and celebrations. Fireworks were added in the 1650s, and effigies of Guy Fawkes, or sometimes of the current Pope, were burnt on bonfires. Anti-Catholic feeling persisted up until the mid nineteenth century when laws about tolerance and freedom of worship were finally passed in England. However the customs around Guy Fawkes Night have persisted and are still very widely observed in our modern times.

We all reminisced about our childhood Bonfire Nights with soup, sausages and sparklers, and Catherine Wheels that refused to spin properly, and modest boxes of fireworks for family displays, so different from the organised, more sophisticated (and probably safer) gatherings today! At the end of Barbara’s talk we all repeated the old rhyme, “Remember, Remember the fifth of November…….” and let off party poppers en masse! A fun evening!

4th Oct | Golden Anniversary Dinner

On 4th October 2018, Capel Ladies Club celebrated its Golden Anniversary, marking 50 years since its formation in September 1968.

Nearly 50 members attended the evening which began with wine and canapés in the Vine Lounge. This was followed by a delicious two-course meal served in the Library which was decorated with gold trimmings and bunting, with gold cloths and centre-pieces of flowers and balloons on the tables!

After the meal everyone retired to the Vine Lounge again and the evening drew to a close with the cutting of a celebration cake, (baked and iced by Audrey and Di respectively), and then the draw for the Golden Raffle took place.

Current Chairlady Di Barker gave a short speech thanking the committee and all the members for their continuing support which she said has been the backbone and reason for the longevity of the Club over the years.

In spite of its vintage Capel Ladies Club still has the same original aims – to provide the opportunity for ladies of all ages in the Capel area to gather socially, listen to invited Speakers and enjoy trips out as well as raising money for charities and supporting the local community.

Here’s to the next 50 years!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.