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6th Dec | Christmas Meal at Bramford Golf Club

The Capel Ladies Club annual Christmas Meal was held at Bramford Golf Club this year, where we all enjoyed a tasty three-course festive dinner, in pleasant surroundings amidst good company. Here are some snaps of the occasion:

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Next on the agenda is the Christmas Social on December 20th, which will round off our 50th Birthday year in style!

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15th Nov | Chelmsford Shopping Trip

marconi_banners-7a__largeOur Christmas Shopping trip this year was to Chelmsford, a different destination for us and one that was to prove very popular. Our coach dropped us off near the station which was very convenient for all the shops. There was a covered market, open every day, with a variety of stalls, plus two different shopping malls with a very good selection of shops.

We had had an early start and many of us wondered whether there would be enough places to look round and shop in but we needn’t have worried. Plenty of eating places too for coffees and lunch! A good day out! (And hopefully some of our Christmas shopping done too!)

Coming up we have two Christmas events to look forward to:

Our Christmas meal out at Bramford Golf Club, on December 6th, where I’m sure we’ll be made very welcome; and our Golden Christmas Social on December 20th in the Vine Lounge, which will round off our special 50th Birthday Year!

Wishing all our members (and readers!) a very Happy & Healthy New Year 2019!

18th Oct | Club Visit to M&Co, Hadleigh

On the 18th October nineteen members of Capel Ladies set off to M&Co at Hadleigh for a Style Party Evening, where we were welcomed with drinks and nibbles to sustain us through our shopping night. Kayleigh and her staff were so friendly and helpful, encouraging us to try on clothes we wouldn’t normally consider.

Lots of us tried on various outfits and got differing opinions from everyone as to whether or not they suited us! It was a lot of fun, and by the end of the evening many of us came away with purchases, so at our next club meeting there will probably be lots of members sporting their new clothes!

Afterwards some of us decided to move on to the George to end the evening with company and chat. We can recommend this if you want an evening choosing clothes with friends, as we all had a great time!

Many thanks to all the staff at M&Co.

Report by Di Barker

20th Sept | Guided Walk around Hadleigh – with Gill Dudley

Nine Capel Ladies took part in a walking tour round Hadleigh, a town which has 250 listed buildings and is famous for seeing off Tesco’s after a battle lasting 26 years! We were met by Gill Dudley, a Blue Badge volunteer guide, and we started off by the bus station where she told us all about Sir Cedric Morris. He was born in 1889 and was famous both as an artist and a plantsman, and lived for many years at Benton End. He loved irises which he grew and bred, and in the spring you can see the irises he grew in the Cedric Morris Gardens by the bus station. He died in 1982 and is buried in Hadleigh cemetery, and earlier this year two different exhibitions were held in London to celebrate his life’s work.

From here we moved to near Partridges to see the obelisk milestone, which we discovered from old pictures Gill had with her had been moved from the opposite side of the road. The bicycle shop opposite led Gill to tell us about the Gayford Flyer, a cycle race held in Hadleigh each year named after local man Oswald Gayford who was born here in 1893. In World War 1 he joined the Naval Flying Corps and earnt the Distinguished Flying Cross. His flying experience led to his appointment as officer in charge of the RAF Long Range Flight, and in 1933 along with his co-pilot Gilbert Nicholetts he flew a record-breaking distance in a huge Fairey long-range monoplane from Cranwell in Lincolnshire to South Africa in one flight, with extra fuel stored under the wings. It was 5340 miles and took them 57 hours 25 minutes to much acclaim and press attention. He later became Commanding Officer at RAF Wattisham, and later Bomber Command. He died in 1945.

We then moved on to the Market Place where Gill explained the symbols on the Hadleigh sign, the lamb for the Lamb of God, the V stood for ermine, meaning purity and the 3 woolsacks for the wool trade. She talked about the wool trade and how it brought wealth to East Anglia and also a little about how the wool goes from fleece to cloth. She spoke about carding the wool and Irene in our group discovered the origin of her surname Carder! The market got its Royal charter in 1252, and is still held regularly every Friday morning on the Market Place just off the High Street.

We looked at Victoria House that has a picture of an unknown man or possibly a woman, no one is quite sure and the picture is of unknown origin. We heard about John Ansell who was a millionaire and ran a department store in Hadleigh. He was keen to help the children of Hadleigh get an education so he built a school which is now Ansell Hall. This is now a multi-purpose building for use by the community.

The Corn Exchange had its moment of fame when a scene from the Lovejoy TV programme was filmed there, and nearby we spotted an old water pump. Hadleigh didn’t get piped water until 1930!

We stopped to look at St. Mary’s Church with its lovely 13th century broach spire. The graveyard there is unique in that it was the oldest continually used burial site in Suffolk.  The Deanery Tower is late 1400s and it was built for William Pykenham, the Archdeacon of Suffolk. The bricks are all handmade and the blackened bricks were charred and used for the decoration. It is said that it has very little in the way of foundations but it has stood firm for over 500 years! The remains of his gatehouse are in Ipswich, the Pykenham Gatehouse near the library in Northgate Street.

Turning round we saw the Guildhall which over the years has had many uses and been extended. Originally it would have had shops downstairs, but it has also been assembly rooms, a school and a corset factory.  We walked to the back of it to peep in the delightful little gardens and then came to the end of the tour.

Gill was a lovely lady and she had with her a folder full of old photos and newspaper clippings showing old pictures of Hadleigh which were interesting too.

Report by Di Barker

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Photos by Pat Bradford

2nd Aug | Summer BBQ at Bramford Golf Club

Our Summer Barbecue this year was an unqualified success! The weather was perfect, a cool evening after a sweltering day, and the setting of Bramford Golf Club with outdoor tables overlooking the lakes and greens provided a lovely backdrop. Sarah and Roy made us very welcome, providing a delicious spread which included all the popular barbecue foods plus a number of salads and baked potatoes and desserts too. Nothing was too much trouble for them. After the meal several ladies had a go at putting just for fun. A most enjoyable evening, and one that we may repeat!

5th Jul | Orchard Players’ Show – ‘Oliver!’

Hearty Congratulations are due to The Orchard Players and director Glyn Hill for their stunning production of “Oliver”, their annual summer show for this year.

It was without doubt one of the best versions of this show that I personally have seen, and judging by the audience reaction on the night when Capel Ladies watched it, I wasn’t the only person to think that!

Oliver is one of the best-loved of British musicals with so many memorable songs and a great storyline, but it still needs an able team of performers to step up and do it justice, and that’s exactly what the Orchard Players did! There was a large cast of 40, including 15 youngsters, many of whom had never performed before.

The setting of Victorian London seemed to extend into the auditorium with brick paper covering the front and sides of the stage, and there was a tall, brick tower to one side which Bill Sikes climbed as he fled the Bow Street Runners. Even the talented musicians who played live for the performances were in their own sectioned-off corner with a washing line of “wipes” (the silk handkerchiefs that Fagin’s urchins regularly pick-pocketed) hanging up around them! Scene changes – and there were lots of these – were executed efficiently and seamlessly, and the costumes were amazing! The lighting and special effects, like the murder scene, previously filmed in silhouette, also added to the atmosphere.

But the stars of the show were the actors themselves – each character portrayed just as you would have expected to see them in a London show! Fagin, as the cunning, silver-tongued Jewish ‘protector’ of the gang of urchins, Bill Sikes, terrifying as the murderous criminal, and Nancy as the loyal, caring street-girl who loved him in spite of his cruelty towards her. Her version of the song “As Long As He Needs Me” brought a tear to my eye.

And then there were the children! Their singing, dancing, acting and enthusiasm was AMAZING! They obviously loved what they were doing and gave top performances, especially the star of the show – Oliver! Once again, when he sang “Where is Love?” there was a lump in my throat!

There were many notable moments and great performances by a number of the cast, too many to mention here. It was certainly a memorable evening’s entertainment, and I could have watched it all over again and enjoyed it as much!

Report by Sue Woolgar

21st Jun | Afternoon Tea at Hall Farm

Afternoon tea was on the menu at our June outing when a number of Capel Ladies visited Hall Farm at Stratford St Mary. The setting was a pleasant one with views from the cafe of the farm fields and various animals including llamas, donkeys and sheep; and it was another hot afternoon so it was cooler to sit inside.

The tea and cakes were served on heavy wooden boards which were difficult to pass up and down to everyone, and although there was a good variety of sandwiches they must have been left uncovered for a while as the bread was a bit dry, There didn’t seem to be a huge choice of cakes and the scones came creamed and jammed already with minimum fillings, so the food was rather disappointing. Having placed the platters and pots of tea and coffee on the tables the waiter/waitresses left the ladies to their own devices and didn’t return to see if anything else was required, so the party felt rather neglected on the whole.

After the tea several ladies visited the farm shop to look around before returning to Capel. A slightly disappointing afternoon, especially when each person had paid out almost £13.00 for their afternoon tea-time treat.