Otley Hall is a Tudor-built moated Manor House, and family home, set in 10 acres of beautiful gardens in peaceful Suffolk countryside 8 miles north of Ipswich. Although the house is open at certain times to the public, it was the gardens that Capel Ladies came to visit in mid-May. Otley’s gardener Simon took us on a tour of the extensive gardens pointing out features and telling anecdotes about their origins and history.
The gardens include a large area of water which was once part of the moat, looking very tranquil with yellow flag iris, cow parsley and ox-eye daisies along the banks, and plenty of shade-giving trees. There was a grass labyrinth, a herbarium and a knot-garden, all of historical significance but each added comparatively recently by Tudor garden design experts. Also a long, green, arbour-like tunnel covered in honeysuckle and climbing roses amongst other greenery. The only sounds were birdsong and the occasional screech of peacocks (both white and blue) which live in the gardens. After our pleasant walk around we visited the tea room for cake and refreshments. What a nice way to spend a May afternoon!
On a beautiful sunny afternoon a group of our Capel Ladies visited this quaint museum in Monks Eleigh. A vintage enthusiast, Paul Goodchild fulfilled his dream when he found a home for his collection of over 500 radios, gramophones and televisions in this former United Reform Church.
His obsession began with a purchase at a car boot sale and built up gradually over the years to what it is now. He originally kept them all in his home, then in sheds in his garden where he restored many of them to working order, but eventually wanted to find a venue where he could display this grand collection. The museum is open to the public on the first Sunday of the month when his friend Bryan entertains on a Hammond organ. He is not allowed to charge, but welcomes donations to Prostate Cancer and Macmillan Nurses.
Exhibits included a Pye TV on which Mr Goodchild remembers watching the Queen’s coronation as a child. Many of us were reminiscing about some of the items which WE could remember, which was a bit worrying!
The name “Teddy” might conjure up something cosy and cuddly – but don’t be fooled! This show at the Wolsey was anything but! Set in the deprived area of bomb-blasted streets of south London in the early ‘50s this was a raw and gritty tale of two teenagers, Josie and Teddy, heading out all dolled up and looking for a good time and the excuse to leave their dull, humdrum lives behind for the evening.
They meet by chance and having heard that their favourite rock star Johnny Valentine is in town they decide to go and see him and his band. The problem is – they are flat broke. Having got hold of a gun they rob a pawnbroker’s shop, but things get out of hand and they flee the scene with the cash. Arriving at the club they buy drinks and dance to their favourite music – but it all turns sour when Teddy spills his drink on a guy who doesn’t think it’s too funny. In the fracas that ensues, Josie – who still has the gun – shoots the guy and the show ends with our two protagonists under arrest.
With plenty of colourful language this was a vibrant and lively show. The two stars were on the stage the whole time, speaking their own parts as well as cleverly voicing those of other characters involved, and the action and drama were non-stop. All this with some stunning dance moves and a brilliant script, plus moments of high tension, made this a great show. Mention must also be made of the four-piece band – “Johnny Valentine & Friends” who played live throughout, giving us original numbers written for the show plus “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Rock Around the Clock” which they performed at the end as an encore. The party of Capel Ladies who saw it couldn’t fail to be caught up in it! Not what we thought it would be, but very memorable!
Another heart-warming meal in the cosy surroundings of The Queen’s Head, Little Wenham on a chilly February night! A large group of Capel Ladies enjoyed good food and company on our first outing of the season. Chicken Curry, Beef stew and dumplings, Chicken Tagine and Chicken Tikka Marsala were all on the menu along with a good selection of fresh vegetables, salad and chips, followed by cheese-cakes, chocolate fudge cake and fresh fruit salad; in other words, plenty of choice, and seconds if you had room! Thanks to Mark, Patsy and Linda for their warm welcome!
There was a jolly atmosphere at The Chequers, Great Blakenham, where a large party of Capel Ladies Club members gathered for their annual Christmas meal. The service was good, the decor was bright and modern, the tables were festive and the meal was delicious! The food was served piping hot and with generous portions, and everyone enjoyed the dishes they had chosen. It was definitely a good start to Christmas 2017!
A coachful of Capel Ladies Club members and friends left Capel at 9.30am on a Wednesday in mid-November for a spot of Shopping – whether it be Window or Christmas – and a look round for bargains. Our destination was Bury St Edmunds, where it was market day, and the town was bustling but not too overcrowded.
Some of us had a list but most were just browsing or looking to pick up a bargain from one of the many sales that seemed to be on. I think we all started with a coffee somewhere, and there were lots of options for lunch or afternoon tea as well!
One of the smaller models of the Cathedral available to buy as a Lego Kit from the Cathedral gift shop.
One group ventured as far as the Cathedral, where after a look round they took part in a charity fund-raising scheme, first launched in May 2016, by buying a Lego brick for £1.00. The brick will be added to a scale model of the Cathedral which is being built to raise funds for a youth outreach project to provide a lasting legacy which can be used by all the community. Their target is to raise £200,000 (200,000 pieces of Lego) to create the model, and it’s reckoned this could take several years! To date 32,000 bricks have been installed! Only four Cathedrals in the UK have been interpreted in this way, and Bury’s is the only build in the East of England. If you visit Bury over the next few months, why not add a brick or two yourself?
At 4.30pm we all returned to the coach, some carrying bags of goodies and others with heads full of good ideas for gifts. Everyone agreed it had been a successful trip, and it was a nice change to go somewhere different.
A small group of Capel Ladies went to the Assembly Rooms in Dedham to see a production of “One Man, Two Guvnors” performed by the Dedham Players.
This is a quirky, crazy farce, set in 1960’s Brighton, and involves Francis Henshall, an out-of-work musician, who ends up working for two different bosses – one, a supposed gangster and the other, an upper class fool – whilst trying to stop them from meeting each other and discovering his ploy. Further complications occur involving a heavy trunk, mixed-up letters, an elderly waiter and several unlucky audience volunteers! By the end of the play Francis has managed to hold down both jobs, whilst getting paid and fed, and finally finds love. It’s a happy ending, too, for the other characters, who have also gone through an equally confusing time! A real romp with some energetic performances! A very entertaining evening!