January 2023 report

A coachful of ladies from both the W.I. and Capel Ladies Club set off to Ely for the annual Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair. It was a cold, wet November day, with a bitter wind blowing, but inside the Cathedral it was warm and bright with plenty to look at and buy – arts and crafts, decorative items, clothes and hats, Christmas ornaments and wreaths, and there was a wonderful mix of aromas such as mixed spice, cinnamon, pine and oranges from the various stalls. Outside in the cold and wet a cheery carousel covered in lights turned round, filling the air with seasonal music, whilst the poor market stall-holders selling artisan breads, cheeses and chocolates, stood under their canvas awnings looking cold and miserable, hoping in vain for customers! I felt really sorry for them, but as there was no shelter for prospective buyers to inspect their wares, no-one that I saw chose to stand in the cold wind and rain to buy their goods! At the end of the afternoon, we clambered thankfully onto a nice warm coach with our various purchases, and our friendly driver Marcus, from Felixstowe Coaches, brought us safely back to Suffolk.

Our next activity was running our stall at the Community Association Christmas Fayre in November. Thanks to everyone who supported us – we raised £107 towards our current charity for this year – The Blossom Appeal, which is raising funds to build a brand-new Breast Care Centre at Ipswich Hospital for treating cancer patients. Our final total for the year now amounts to £273.00!

Nearly all our members came to the Capel Ladies Club Christmas lunch, held this year at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club. The dining room was beautifully decorated and the food was delicious! Everyone enjoyed their meals and we hope to return there next year!

Just the Christmas Social to go now, before we say Goodbye to 2022! A very enjoyable year for Capel Ladies Club, with a good variety of speakers, trips and outings. Let’s hope 2023 will be equally successful!

So far, next year’s events include our A.G.M. and a visit to see the Orchard Players’ New Year Show. Here’s wishing everyone reading this a Happy and Healthy New Year! And don’t forget to keep a look-out on our website for details of up-and-coming events for Capel Ladies Club! You may even feel like joining us – all welcome!

December 2022 report

We were unlucky with the weather on our “Walkabout Woodbridge” outing in October. It was pouring with rain and quite breezy too, but nevertheless an elite group of CLC members made the trip, and although none of us fancied the walk, we found an oasis of warm, dry surroundings in the shape of Notcutts Garden Centre, and were soon settled in a cosy corner of the restaurant with coffee and refreshments! After a while we decided it was time for lunch and we moved to our reserved dining area and ordered our meals. There was a good selection to choose from, sandwiches and hot food included, and while the rain beat down on the roof we laughed and chatted together. Afterwards we all had a look round the Christmas shop where some of us chose some festive gifts. It was a fun day out in spite of the weather!

Our first meeting in November was a chance to get creative, and Ann Wilding was on hand to show us an alternative way of making greetings cards. We sat round tables with coloured ribbons, sticky tape, scissors and templates, and most of us were soon getting stuck in. Some members chose to watch rather than risk getting in a muddle, and they were the ones to go and get the teas and coffee ready so that worked well too! A fun, sociable time was had by all!

Coming up we have our coach trip to Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair, and then our Christmas Lunch at Hintlesham Golf Club. Goodness – as I write this, I realise that the festive season is really and truly almost upon us! Come and share some of the fun – check out the rest of our website to see what else we get up to, that should tempt you along!

November 2022 report

After all the various highs and lows, and seriously worrying events of recent times, it was good to see a show which was a complete diversion from all of that! This was our Capel Ladies visit to see “Kinky Boots”, a lively feel-good musical at the New Wolsey in September.

The show is based on the true story of a failing English shoe factory and its successful recovery, thanks to the unlikely collaboration of the owner, Charlie Price, who has inherited the business, and a drag queen named Lola. The show was lively, fast-moving and full of energy, with some stunning dance moves and incredible costumes, which included those AMAZING kinky boots with their six-inch heels!

The songs and music were written by the famous singer Cindi Lauper, and the Wolsey multi-talented cast certainly did justice to them with their skills at singing, dancing and musicianship. The show had a moral theme running through it, too, about being accepted in life and dealing with relationships and grief. The happy ending left us all in good spirits as we headed for the car park!

Vanessa Hale, from Wiltshire Farm Foods, was our October speaker. She spoke about the variety and convenience of all the meals – but, as the proof of the pudding is always in the eating, we simply HAD to try some of the flavours for ourselves! These included shepherd’s pie, hotpot, chicken curry and sweet & sour chicken, and desserts were sticky toffee pudding and blackcurrant cheesecake amongst others! I think the general feeling was that they were all very tasty, and the flavours didn’t have that characteristic hint of shop-bought ready meals, they were every bit as good as home-made! I’m sure quite a few of us will be trying some at home in the weeks to come!

Our next gathering is a trip to Woodbridge on October 20th, with a chance to look round the shops or walk by the river, followed by lunch at Notcutt’s Garden Centre. Then in November, at our next “In” Meeting, we will be getting creative as we make alternative-style Christmas cards with Ann Wilding. On 17th November we are off on a coach trip with Capel W.I. to Ely Christmas Fair in the Cathedral, and then follows a busy December with our Christmas lunch out and Christmas Social in the Vine Lounge. Now if all THAT doesn’t tempt you to join us, I don’t know what will!

August 2022 report

On June 16th Capel Ladies Club held their usual Summer Social, but with a different twist this year, as it was a “Country & Western” themed evening. We were entertained by “Mr Smooth” (Jim Hawkins), a versatile singer who performs all types of songs. We enjoyed numbers from the songbooks of Glen Campbell, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers, amongst others – and a few ladies even took to the floor to do some line dancing! There was a tasty buffet with contributions from each of us, and a Cowboy-themed Quiz with prizes including cans of sausages and baked beans, in the tradition of a Cowboy’s breakfast! A fun evening, it was just a pity more members couldn’t make it due to holidays or illness.

Our next project was Scarecrow-making for the annual Scarecrow Trail, and as it has been a Right Royal Year, we thought something regal would be suitable… so we chose The Queen of Hearts, Disney-style, with an angry expression after the loss of her tarts! Mary, Pat, Shirley and Sue spent a very entertaining morning creating the figure with a lot of laughs along the way!

On 7th July a party of us went to see the Orchard Players’ latest show in the Community Centre. It was entitled “Into the Light”, and it was an evening of songs – and dances – from many different genres with some brilliant performances from younger members, as well as the seasoned regulars and the live band. A fun, foot-tapping evening – CONGRATULATIONS Orchard Players! My overall favourite number was the Victoria Wood classic, “Barry and Freda” – Let’s Do It! Finally, to end a busy month, Capel Ladies manned the refreshments stall at Rose Chiverton’s Open Garden Event in aid of the Blossom Appeal, our charity for this year. Rose’s garden is unique as it includes a permanently laid out model railway track with working trains. These can all be operated with remote hand-held controllers, and visitors to the garden had great fun sending the trains going, over the bridge and round the circuit! There were stalls selling plants and pink items as well as tea and home-made cakes to try! It was a scorching afternoon and the men’s singles final was on the tele, so although it was a fair turnout, we might have had even more visitors on a cooler day with no other distractions!

We look forward to afternoon tea at Kersey Mill to end our busy summer season! Do try and join us in the autumn – we begin with a talk from a Wimbledon Line Judge on Thursday 1st September! Have a good summer – and remember to check out our Programme here on the website for details of our Autumn activites!

July 2022 report

Capel Ladies Club members had a great time at their latest outing on June 16th! They were on a visit to “The Shed” at Sproughton, a unique period café and salerooms selling antiques, homewares, gifts, outdoor furniture, plants and flowers, retro items – and even ladies’ dresses! It was indeed a browser’s paradise, with refreshments, too! After having a look round, with some ladies making purchases, everyone sat down to tea and cakes in the charming Nora’s Tea Room, which was decorated with memorabilia in a 1940s style, with proper teapots and strainers, and china cups. Even the waitresses were dressed in 1940s outfits, down to the last detail with seamed stockings! It was a most enjoyable afternoon, and many of our members said they will definitely make a return visit on their own!

Our June “In” meeting was cancelled due to the Jubilee Celebrations, but Capel Ladies Club did participate in the Exhibition in the Community Centre, contributing a display about the Toys, Games and Hobbies we remember from the past 70 years! Many of these remembered items are still being enjoyed by children today, although in some cases they have been brought up-to-date a bit! We’re now looking forward to our Summer Social, which this year has a Country & Western theme, and also to watching the latest Orchard Players’ Show in July. We round off the summer with a visit to Kersey Mill, and then close our doors until September 1st when we will have a talk from an ex-Wimbledon Tennis Line Judge to start our autumn programme.

May 2022 report

It was a bright sunny St Patrick’s Day for our trip to The Outlook Cafe at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. About seventeen members, (many wearing a bit of green!) enjoyed coffee and cake and had a chance to catch up with each other and set the world to rights!

The Birds and the Bees

Our first meeting in April was a visit to the New Wolsey Theatre to see “The Birds and the Bees”, a cheeky comedy set on an East Anglian farm where Gail (appropriately named) keeps honeybees! This was a saucy and very funny romp concerning a lonely widowed mother, and a daughter whose marriage had recently broken up, but who both found love and romance in unexpected ways, after a few hiccups on the way!

In spite of the sometimes-raucous comedy, and bawdy sex scenes which had the audience in stitches, there was a heart-warming and positive moral to this story. Even when the best-laid plans don’t work out as expected, there are usually ways through the difficulties which give a happy outcome for everyone! A lovely, positive note to end on!

Coming up we have a talk on “The Silk Road from China to East Anglia”, “Reminiscences of a Bluebell Girl” and a garden visit with tea and cakes to look forward to! Why not join us? You’ll be glad you did!

April 2022 report

After another of our very pleasant coffee and cake gatherings at the Bluebell Tea Rooms, our next “In” meeting was appropriately entitled “Staying Fit and Healthy”! Our two guest speakers were Tom Leith, our popular local Physiotherapist, and Pilates Instructor Jill Sharp, who runs courses in Capel and Bentley. They were responding to questions from members and giving advice on health topics.

Tom talked about aspects which influence our overall well-being and mobility: good breathing, digestion and hydration, posture and exercise all play an important part. There were several questions asked, which led to much open discussion.

Pilates Instructor Jill Sharp, Physio Tom Leith & Brian Taylor from the Blossom Appeal

Jill gave us an outline of Joseph Pilates, and the fact that he’d developed his exercise regime as a result of his own sickly state, (he suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever), to improve his own health, strength and resilience. Its main focus is on exercising the body from the diaphragm to the pelvis.

During the evening we launched our charity fundraiser for breast cancer, to help the Blossom Appeal, and their spokesman Brian Taylor was there to report on the progress of the new Breast Cancer Treatment Centre at Ipswich Hospital. Building has just started, with completion scheduled for October. They are about half a million pounds away from their £6.2 million target, but with several pledges in place.

To boost funds for this very worthwhile cause we had a “PINK ITEMS” Bring and Buy Stall, and this, together with a donation from Capel Ladies Club, raised £100.00!

We also had a few guests, including some from East Bergholt, all in all it was a very successful evening. What we need now are a few more new members!

Our next meeting is for tea and cakes at The Outlook at Fox’s Marina, near Bourne Bridge, on 17th March, and our trip to the New Wolsey Theatre to see “The Birds and The Bees” is on April 7th! Come and join us!

January 2022 report

In mid-November a small group of Capel Ladies enjoyed another afternoon tea and some retail therapy at Corncraft Gift Shop and Tearoom, Monks Eleigh. It was a chance to do a bit of early Christmas shopping and relax over cakes and coffees!

Our Christmas meal was able to go ahead this year – and thirty-one ladies enjoyed a slap-up lunch at The Brook, Washbrook. The staff were very efficient and attentive and everyone enjoyed the festive food and the chance to celebrate after missing out last year because of Covid.

One of our members – Sue Maynard – was also celebrating a “Special” Birthday, and after a chorus of “Happy Birthday” our Chairlady Mary Butters presented her with a potted plant! Altogether it was a very happy occasion!

Coming up we have our Christmas Social, and then, in January, a visit to the Orchard Players’ show, “Musical of Dreams”. Lots to look forward to – why don’t you join us?

November 2021 report

Now that Autumn has arrived, we are properly into our Autumn programme, and we now have something a bit more meaty to report on!

Brian Faulkner & Chairlady
Mary Butters

After our entertaining Jazz Galore Social we had a second gathering in September for our Open Evening. It was a very successful night with the craft and cards stalls as well as Kristy Barbouti’s Zova Chic clothing outlet for visitors and members to browse. There was a raffle which included some floral table arrangements made by Linda Evans, and coffee and cakes were served. At least two new members signed up and there were a few more interested ladies who promised to come to our next meeting. This was, of course, the talk by Brian Faulkner, the charismatic vet, entitled “Oh, the Life of a Vet…!” on 7th October.

Brian was born into a Northern Ireland farming family, the eldest of three children. His family had a mixed farm with cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens, and they also grew vegetables, largely potatoes. It was generally expected of Brian that, as the oldest boy, he would take over the family farm when he grew up, but instead he went off to Edinburgh University to train as a vet. Although his training involved all types of animals, he preferred the smaller creatures and domestic pets, and after working in Lincolnshire for a while he eventually married a Suffolk-born girl and his current practice is in Aldeburgh, not far from where he lives. Being very interested in animal and human behaviour he also gained a degree in psychology, and has lectured on this in different parts of the world.

He gave us a very interesting and amusing talk, relating some of his funny experiences with different animals, and he told us that a lot of the time the problems animals have can be aggravated by the way they are kept and treated. Their owners sometimes need to be educated in how to look after them properly with careful attention to their diet, exercise and surroundings. Much like humans really! Capel Ladies had one or two questions for him, and we even learnt some interesting facts about the sex life of the ferret! A very entertaining evening – and so nice to be back at a normal scheduled meeting!

Here are the details of our Programme leading up until Christmas, which we hope will go ahead without any further Covid restrictions! As a rule, we meet on the first Thursday of each month in Capel Library, with the meeting starting at 7.45pm., although it’s best to arrive by 7.30pm to find a seat. On the 3rd Thursday of the month we usually have an outing of some kind. We hope to see as many of you as possible who would like to join us at these events!

  • 4th November – ‘Suffolk Ghosts and Hauntings’ – Robert Halliday.
  • 18th November – Trip to Corncraft, Monks Eleigh for Christmas Shopping (own transport).
  • 2nd December – Christmas Meal at The Brook, Washbrook (details coming soon).
  • 16th December – Christmas Social, with table decoration demo by Brenda Eyers.

We look forward to welcoming anyone who would like to join us! For more details please see elsewhere on the website, or ring our Chairlady Mary Butters on 01473 310859.

Tea Party + 2021 July Report

Capel Ladies Club finally hit the road again at the end of May with our postponed Tea Party attended by a couple of dozen members on a beautiful sunny day in Liz and Tony Gullivers’ lovely garden! We even managed a sizeable Raffle and most people won a prize of some kind! We are now looking forward to our Summer Social on 1st July, when Jazz Galore will be entertaining us in the Community Centre, and there will be the usual cold buffet and access to the Bar!

Before this we plan an afternoon trip out for coffee at the Milkshed Cafe, at Sproughton, on 17th June at 2.30pm, and with the Scarecrow Trail weekend coming in July we have a scarecrow-making team ready for the challenge to create a mysterious and glamorous lady!

I reckon we’ll all take a breath in August for our summer break, ready for our new season which will hopefully begin in September, back in the Library from 7.45pm on the first Thursday of the month!

Guests and new members always welcome! Have a good summer!