May 2021 report

Well – although it’s a glorious sunny day as I write this and all the lovely spring flowers are out, it’s PERISHING cold outside, and there was ice on the bird bath this morning! Anyway, that doesn’t stop Capel Ladies Club members from doing their own thing – and during Lockdowns several of them have been busy re-discovering old hobbies and crafts, while others have taken up something new!

Activities include bird-watching, jigsaws, cooking, gardening, reading and even painting – both the D.I.Y. kind as well as the more artistic sort.

One member, Penny Thompson, has been quite prolific in producing watercolours, and indeed one of her efforts even ended up being framed and sold in a Hadleigh art shop, which came as quite a surprise to her when she spotted it!

Her interest in painting began around five years ago when she joined the “Art for Fun” club, which (in normal times) meets weekly on Monday mornings in St Mary’s Church Hall, and it’s something she has missed very much over this last year. Hopefully it will run again once things are back on an even keel. (Two of Penny’s watercolours are shown here.)

Another Lockdown activity for some members has been walking, especially in and around the village, and on the many local footpaths, some of which combine to make circular walks in the Capel area.

For those of you who haven’t been on any of these recognised walks, three leaflets are available from the Parish Council office or the Drayton Insurance office free of charge. Now that May is here with the warmer weather, these walks are ideal for families to get out and explore the area and enjoy the countryside! (Don’t forget to take a plastic carrier bag with you to bring your litter home – and maybe to pick up any cans, packets or bottles which others have thoughtlessly discarded. This may mean you need some disposable gloves as well, but it’s a good lesson for children to learn too!)

C.L.C. have now got a WhatsApp group going strong, which involved some members being introduced to texting for the first time! It works really well and often does the trick when it comes to cheering someone up with a ‘funny’ or just passing the time of day! We hope it won’t be TOO long before we can hold a proper meeting face-to-face.

Sue Woolgar

April 2021 report

Well, it’s time for Spring Cleaning – and Capel Ladies Club chairlady Mary Butters has certainly been dusting the cobwebs away and freshening things up on the Capel Ladies front! She has been busy recruiting members to join a new WhatsApp group called “CLC Connecting” to bring us all closer together and make it easier to CONNECT with all members instantly! This will be invaluable when it comes to sending out memos, dates, times, etc., to everyone, particularly if there has been a change of plan or cancellation of something at the last minute! Our new club mantra is going to be CONNECT, too, so all very appropriate!

The Club has been successful in its bid for a Parish Grant, and has received £150, which will go towards the purchase of a card-reader for electronic payments at meetings. This will be a great help to the Treasurer and make things more efficient. We are certainly being dragged into the 21st century!

Finally – in last month’s Capers, Sharon asked for reports about new Lockdown activities that people have tried… so here’s the story about…

Mary’s Mighty Mushroom!

(From our Chairlady Mary Butters)

Having received a family Christmas present of a mushroom-growing kit, we set it up following the instructions, (which came in ten languages!), and waited for the suggested period of three weeks for results. As time went by there was little evidence of much happening – except for just ONE tiny mushroom. Gradually this little bump began to develop – and then it literally MUSHROOMED before our very eyes! Fearing it might explode we decided to pick it (carefully!) and prepare something edible… It weighed in at 165grams – the weight of a normal punnetful!  We found a suitable mushroom recipe for a lunchtime delicacy on toast – and it really was DELICIOUS! The growing kit suggests at least three crops are possible, and currently a second one of at least six is coming along nicely, as is our new enthusiasm for Fungiculture! Watch this space for future Lockdown activities!

A poem… ‘One Day’ by Donna Ashworth

I recently came across this poem written by a British poet called Donna Ashworth, who writes uplifting poems, many of which have women in mind. The theme of this poem will resonate with many readers of both sexes, I think!

Today, I dared to let myself dream,
That the world will one day open again.
That the locks will loosen, the walls will fall,
The doors will fly open and reunite us all.

I dared to imagine the warmth of a cuddle,
A group of my friends all locked in a huddle.
I felt all the heartbeats, drumming with mine,
I heard all the laughter, I tasted the wine.

I thought of the feelings I’ve missed for long,
The room full of music, united by song.
The freedom to roam, to plan and to meet
To hold someone’s hand, to meet, to greet.

Just for a moment I dared to dream of,
The flights I would board to the places I love.
The moment those eyes would meet mine at the gate,
The feeling of joy after so long a wait.

Today, I dared to let myself dream,
That the life we once had would happen again.
That we’d no longer fear the danger of air,
That our lives would not depend on such care.

They say that we mustn’t wish time away,
But it’s hard, my friend, when faced with a day,
So long in blank hours and so wiped of laughter,
It’s tempting to drift away to thereafter.

So yes, I dared to dream just a while,
Of life coming back, it brought me a smile.
One day I know, this will be in the past,
And hugs will be free, again, at last.

Donna Ashworth
Author of ‘To The Women’ and ‘History Will Remember’. Available here:

Capel Ladies Club A.G.M. 2021

So, the year is MARCHing on at a rate of knots, and I can’t believe it’s March already! The great thing about March is that it includes the first day of Spring, the clocks going ON and the blooming of daffodils – so things are starting to look up at last!

Well, in spite of Lockdown 3, Capel Ladies Club’s AGM did manage to take place (by email) this year, organised by the Committee and with the co-operation of the members. Rose Chiverton, our present Chairlady, sent out her annual report reviewing the year.

The year began with a talk on Oxygen Therapy, our charity of the year, and then we enjoyed an Indian meal at our local restaurant Zaynab. In March we had an hilarious evening with Iestyn Edwards’ talk “My Tutu Went AWOL” before Lockdown 1 began. Although there was then no chance of meeting as a group, nevertheless our supportive committee kept in contact with members by phone, texts or email to make sure everyone was ok, occasionally giving advice on shopping or just ideas on how to cope with these difficult times. That support was much appreciated, as were the Easter eggs – delivered to our doors, and cupcakes too, later in the year – all gift-wrapped with our names on! In September we managed to squeeze in an outing to the Bluebell Café for a cream tea before another set of restrictions took over. At Christmas time we held a ZOOM Social with Christmas hats, wine and nibbles, and the annual draws for the two prize hampers. These had been created by Wendy Keeble (Christmas Goodies) and Penny Thompson (Pamper Hamper), and were won by Beryl Backler and Cathy Sweeney. Linda Bloomfield’s home-made Christmas cards were sent out to all of us on behalf of the club, and inside each was a Christmas Quiz sheet composed by Rose herself.  At the end of her report, Rose thanked everyone who had been involved with supporting and working for the Club, not least the committee members who were now retiring: Beryl Backler (Secretary), Sue Crane (Treasurer), plus Linda Evans, Wendy Keeble and Sue Maynard for their continued help and support; also Wendy and Linda for agreeing to stay on as part of next year’s committee. It’s a tribute to them all that Capel Ladies Club has survived its most difficult year – THANK YOU EVERYONE! And Thanks to you too, Rose, as our retiring Chairlady!

Next, Sue Crane , our Treasurer, gave her report, (with attached accounts, audited by John Bloomfied), which was agreed on and adopted by members, and the revised format of the Capel Ladies  Constitution was also adopted by members via email as before.

Members also agreed via email to support the nominations of the two members, Mary Butters and Lisa Gaughan to join the General Committee.

Actually, considering what a write-off 2020 was in many ways, it certainly shows that Capel Ladies Club is a LONG way from being written off!

We now look forward in a positive way to meeting up face-to-face, and to taking Capel Ladies Club confidently into the future!

– Sue Woolgar

Capel Ladies Club February 2021 update

Well, here we are in February, and although my report is a little bit on the thin side I found a positive quotation on the internet recently…

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

-Victor Hugo, born 26th February 1802, died 22nd May 1885.

…and I thought it just fitted the way things are at the moment. We must all try and stay optimistic that we will see the end of the virus in the-not-too-distant future!

Someone who was feeling particularly positive just before New Year was Cathy Sweeney, the Capel Ladies Club member who won the virtual draw for the Pamper Hamper during our virtual Christmas Social! Here she is being presented with her prize by our Chairlady Mary Butters! Our second winner, who won the Food Hamper in the same draw, was Beryl Backler. Thank you to Penny Thompson and Wendy Keeble who were responsible for filling the hampers with goodies!

We are now keeping our fingers crossed that we will actually be able to meet as a proper club by Easter… watch this space! Meanwhile stay safe and Keeeee-eeeep Smiling!

Capel Ladies Club’s Christmas Fun!


Even though we were still unable to meet up face-to-face as a club because of THAT VIRUS, the Capel Ladies Club Committee had some festive plans up their sleeves to cheer us all up and to keep the ball rolling, as it were!

Our planned annual Christmas Social, due to be held on 17th December in the Vine Lounge at Capel Community Centre, was switched to a Virtual Social via ZOOM. Members were invited to dress up in their Christmas party finery and have drinks and nibbles to hand in their own sitting rooms and share some of the glitz and sparkle of the festive season with each other. During this “Virtual” party we were still going to hold the usual Members’ Draw for the Christmas Hamper. This year there were to be TWO hampers – one with traditional edible contents, and one – a “Pamper Hamper” with luxury items such as soaps, creams and lotions with which we could indulge ourselves in between the festivities!

There had been plans for a Christmas Quiz, which could still go ahead, not live – but with a fun sheet of questions which was to be delivered to all members inside their Christmas cards from the Club. Well done, Committee, it’s great to know that in spite of everything THE SHOW GOES ON!

Speaking of which at the next meeting of the Committee in January the main topic on the table will be how to take the Club forward into 2021.

Meanwhile, wishing all our members, prospective members and everyone reading this a Happy and Healthy New Year! Come and join us in 2021!

– Sue Woolgar

A Capel Lady’s Christmas List

As Christmas approaches, in case I am missed,
I thought I would jot down my own Christmas List.
I don’t want a jumper, some gloves or a hat,
But what I WOULD love’s more important than that.

I’d like no pollution, no plastic or fumes,
No wars and no hatred, no more dooms and glooms.
No famine or discord, no cancer or pain,
And no global warming with protests in vain.

Why can’t we be happy with life and new birth,
On our beautiful planet, our green Mother Earth?
So, as Christmas approaches, think seriously
And pray for a world full of peace, Covid-free!

– Sue Woolgar

November Quiz-Word Grid!

Pens and Paper at the ready! Answer each question in the grid below to find the hidden message in this Suffolk quiz!

When you’ve finished, click the arrow on the grid to reveal the answers!

  1. Traditional local breed of heavy horse. (7,5)
  2. Site of 1st UK Radar Station. (7)
  3. Good place to go crabbing! (11)
  4. Site of famous concert hall. (5)
  5. SpringWatch 2016 came from here! (8)
  6. Martyred King of the East Angles. (6)
  7. Coastal town with remains under the sea since the 13th Century. (7)
  8. Tudor Archbishop, Thomas …. whose surname was given to our local theatre. (6)
  9. The UK’s busiest container port. (10)
  10. An annual sailing barge race starts here! (3,4)
  11. The artist John Constable was born here. (4,8)

MYSTERY WORD (down) – What we all need to try and do!

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!)

Stop Press: CLC meetings restart dates!


As I write, some late CLC news has come to my attention!

At a recent committee meeting, it was agreed to co-opt some new members onto the existing committee, and an EXTRA meeting is being held on 9th September to do this, and to discuss the way forward for the club.

Meanwhile, obvious restrictions still prevent us from holding our first CLC autumn meeting in the Library. To compensate for this, an afternoon tea is being planned (hopefully!) for Thursday 3rd September at the Bluebell Café in the By-Pass Nurseries!

Why not join us for tea and scones? All members and prospective members welcome!

– Sue Woolgar