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!

1st Nov | Guy Fawkes – a talk by Barbara Faulkner

It was Barbara Faulkner’s fourth visit to Capel Ladies Club to give us one of her many entertaining talks. This time, appropriately enough, it was all about Guy Fawkes.

We heard all the back story of how Guy Fawkes, a converted Catholic, was disillusioned by the continuing persecution of Catholics by Protestants in England. Having unsuccessfully tried to raise a Catholic rebellion in his own country, he went to Spain to join the Catholic cause in wars against the Dutch Protestants. It was here he became an expert in using gunpowder, and when the plotters back in England formed their plan to blow up Parliament they persuaded Guy to return and join their conspiracy. The rest is history and the story of how the plot was foiled and plotters arrested and later executed is well-known to us all.

For years afterwards Gunpowder Treason Day was decreed a Public Holiday, with church services, the firing of cannons and celebrations. Fireworks were added in the 1650s, and effigies of Guy Fawkes, or sometimes of the current Pope, were burnt on bonfires. Anti-Catholic feeling persisted up until the mid nineteenth century when laws about tolerance and freedom of worship were finally passed in England. However the customs around Guy Fawkes Night have persisted and are still very widely observed in our modern times.

We all reminisced about our childhood Bonfire Nights with soup, sausages and sparklers, and Catherine Wheels that refused to spin properly, and modest boxes of fireworks for family displays, so different from the organised, more sophisticated (and probably safer) gatherings today! At the end of Barbara’s talk we all repeated the old rhyme, “Remember, Remember the fifth of November…….” and let off party poppers en masse! A fun evening!

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

4th Oct | Golden Anniversary Dinner

On 4th October 2018, Capel Ladies Club celebrated its Golden Anniversary, marking 50 years since its formation in September 1968.

Nearly 50 members attended the evening which began with wine and canapés in the Vine Lounge. This was followed by a delicious two-course meal served in the Library which was decorated with gold trimmings and bunting, with gold cloths and centre-pieces of flowers and balloons on the tables!

After the meal everyone retired to the Vine Lounge again and the evening drew to a close with the cutting of a celebration cake, (baked and iced by Audrey and Di respectively), and then the draw for the Golden Raffle took place.

Current Chairlady Di Barker gave a short speech thanking the committee and all the members for their continuing support which she said has been the backbone and reason for the longevity of the Club over the years.

In spite of its vintage Capel Ladies Club still has the same original aims – to provide the opportunity for ladies of all ages in the Capel area to gather socially, listen to invited Speakers and enjoy trips out as well as raising money for charities and supporting the local community.

Here’s to the next 50 years!

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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

6th Sept | History of the Co-op Movement – talk by Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews was our September speaker on The History of the Co-op Movement. He began by saying that he grew up in London where he got his first job at 13, delivering newspapers for his local Co-op.  Now here he is in his thirties still working for them as the Manager of Woodbridge Co-op & a Director of some aspects of the work the Co-op does in this area.

The Co-op movement was started by The Rochdale Pioneers, a group of twenty-eight people (one of whom was a lady), who decided that the rich merchants were taking advantage of them by adding ingredients to products to make them weigh more, to the detriment of the quality of the goods.  They started in 1844 calling themselves the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers. They struggled to amass £28 over four months, but were able to open a warehouse from which to trade at 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, on 21st December 1844.  They traded in flour, butter, sugar, oatmeal and candles, and soon expanded to include tea & tobacco, all goods sold at fair prices.

Chris told us that The East Anglian Co-operative Society follows the same principles as the pioneers in that they do what is right for the people. It was started by John Castle of Essex in 1861, later joined by George Heinz of Ipswich in 1867. Together they opened a little shop at 34 Carr Street, Ipswich, which was registered on 3rd March 1868, and was later to transform into the flagship Co-op Department Store. Eventually Boss Hall Farm was bought to supply dairy products in Ipswich. The first official Co-op Supermarket was the Solar Store (now Morrisons) that was eventually built on the same site.

The East of England Co-op is now made up of 150 stores across Norfolk, Suffolk & Essex, and – as in the old days – customers can still become shareholders by paying a membership fee of £1 which entitles them to an annual dividend payout.

The Co-op is still a great supporter of local communities. They promote local food producers and source many of their goods from our region. In addition they have a number of good causes which they support and they pride themselves on being a business for people and communities not just for profit.

The Co-op was the first company to introduce degradable plastic bags, and they led the way in introducing Fair Trade products such as bananas, tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate.

Chris brought several bars of Fair Trade Chocolate for us to sample, and it was passed around and duly devoured. He was an extremely good ambassador for the Co-op, and we all enjoyed his talk and his chocolate!