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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!

3rd Sept | Afternoon Tea at Bluebell Tea Room

It was a real treat for sixteen members of Capel Ladies Club to meet up for the first time since Lockdown began, and by all accounts the last, now, for a while! The occasion was Afternoon Tea in the Bluebell Tea Room at the By Pass Nurseries, where Mandy and her team made us all very welcome.

We had finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and cakes too, accompanied by unlimited cups of tea and coffee – delicious! The service was excellent and came with plenty of smiles and everyone enjoyed the occasion very much!

It was especially nice to see Molly Johansen with us, as she has recently had a bout of very poor health, and it was good to see she is on the way to recovery. At the end of the afternoon Rose Chiverton thanked Mandy and her team, and confirmed that Capel Ladies Club will definitely be continuing into 2021 with some new committee members joining our ranks.

The only unfortunate thing is that we won’t be able to meet as a whole club for at least six months or more, thanks to Covid-19! Oh well, perhaps we should split into breakaway groups of six and have our own mini-meetings on the green near the war memorial……!

Just joking, of course – but roll on next Spring when perhaps we’ll be able to gather in the Library once again at 7.45pm. on the first Thursday of the month!

Meanwhile – Keee-eep smiling! (And remember to wash those hands!)

20th Feb | Indian meal at Zaynab

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In mid-February a small group of Capel Ladies gathered at Zaynab, our local Indian restaurant, for an evening meal. It was a very enjoyable occasion with delicious food and friendly service. For some of us it was the first time we had tried Indian restaurant food but I’m sure it won’t be the last!

10th Dec | Christmas Meal at The Chequers, Great Blakenham

Around thirty Capel Ladies attended our annual Christmas meal, this year at The Chequers, Great Blakenham, where we all enjoyed a warm welcome and good service, plus delicious Christmas food chosen from a varied seasonal menu. We plan to return for a third helping another time!

14th Nov | Coach Trip: Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair

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Now in its eighth year, this popular event is widely acknowledged as one of East Anglia’s exceptional Christmas shopping experiences. Over 120 trade stalls are located in the Cathedral’s magnificent nave, its famous Lady Chapel and a heated marquee in the beautiful Cathedral grounds. This popular event, inside one of Cambridgeshire’s most iconic venues, makes Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair a perfect day out.

And so it was for Capel Ladies Club. Undaunted by the wet weather (as everything was under cover) a coachful of members spent an enjoyable day visiting all the stalls, Christmas shopping and sampling some of the goodies on offer! There were Christmas bits, jewellery and clothing, and a food hall where amongst other things there was gin and cider tasting!

Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a grand day out, well-organised by deputy Chairlady Linda Evans.

Thanks to Sue Maynard for the photos below.

17th Oct | Afternoon Tea at Oranges & Lemons

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Capel Ladies Club had an Afternoon Tea date in mid-October at the Oranges & Lemons Craft Centre and Tea Rooms in East Bergholt. A group of sixteen ladies sampled the delicious spread of home-made sandwiches, cakes and desserts prepared by the very bubbly Idoia Garcia and her staff. There was a happy atmosphere and everyone enjoyed the great variety of food set out on cake stands along the tables. Afterwards there was the chance to browse the gifts and crafts, and several ladies bought something before they left. A very naughty but nice way to spend an autumn afternoon!

Thanks to Sue Crane, Barbara Randall & Chris McCausland for the photos.

1st August | BBQ at The King’s Head, Stutton

IMG-20190802-WA0008We held our Summer BBQ at The King’s Head, Stutton, where we couldn’t have been made more welcome! There were only a few of us, but just the right number to fit into one of the summerhouses in the pub’s garden. It was a delightful setting, with coloured lights decorating the garden, and the barbecue foods and multiple side dishes were a feast to behold! Service was excellent, we simply stayed put and the food was brought out to us. The only downside was that there were such generous servings we couldn’t finish everything! We’ll definitely be back on another occasion! Thank you to all the staff for their warm welcome and delicious food!

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4th July | ‘An American in Suffolk’ – Orchard Players’ show

Our first meeting in July was a visit to the latest show by The Orchard Players in Capel Community Centre. As usual the show didn’t disappoint!

Set in a small Suffolk village during World War II, wartime romance blossoms when local girls Charlotte and Jane fall for two American pilots from the newly-built airbase nearby. Charlotte marries her sweetheart and moves to New York, but Jane is left pregnant and in limbo as her pilot is reported missing in action.

Ten years on and Jane, now widowed and with a son, decides to visit Charlotte in NYC, and while she is there a chance meeting in the bar run by Charlotte’s husband puts her life on track again, and everything is resolved.

The original story, conceived by Orchard Players’ members, and scripted by Bex Nicholls, flowed effortlessly along, accompanied by Big Band style music, songs and dances, all seamlessly merging with the action.

With a cast of over 40 performers, including around 15 children, it must have been a huge undertaking to organise – and every single performer earnt their place on the stage! The singing was brilliant, (to a pre-recorded sound-track) as was the dancing – by ALL ages and abilities, and the costumes were amazing! How that large cast managed to bring it all together so well without a single hitch was just incredible – the team of backstage helpers did a stunning job!

All I can say is – if you didn’t get to see it, you missed a fantastic show! Well done again Orchard Players! Please reserve me a ticket for next summer’s show too!

20th June | Visit to Little Hall, Lavenham

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Little Hall is a beautiful half-timbered building in the centre of Lavenham, which is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in England, founded on the wealth of the wool industry in the middle ages. Built in the late 14th century for a rich merchant clothier as a personal status symbol, the Hall gradually deteriorated over the years along with the popularity of Lavenham cloth, and by the 19th century was sub-divided into six tenements occupied by 27 local labourers.

In 1924 the Hall was bought by two brothers, whose military careers had seen them travel far and wide and who were both interested collectors of art and artefacts. They restored the building back to its former glory, and filled it with their collections of art and antiquities, and it eventually passed into the hands of the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust in 1974.

It is now open to the public as well as for guided tours, and this is where fourteen Capel Ladies spent a very interesting afternoon in mid-June.  Their guide John showed them round all seven of the rooms and their contents, and told them that the whole history of Lavenham was mirrored in this very place, from its rise at the peak of the cloth trade to its decline as the Lavenham cloth industry diminished.

After their guided tour the ladies looked around the pretty back garden of the hall, and then went across to the Guildhall Café where they had a delicious cream tea, arranged for them by committee member Linda Evans. What a charming end to an enthralling afternoon!