20th Mar | “Kiss Me Quickstep” – New Wolsey Theatre

Kiss-Me-Quickstep-square.pngOur March theatre trip was to a show with a ballroom dancing background, and the stage area in the auditorium had been transformed into the Empress Ballroom at the Blackpool Winter Gardens!  The polished wooden floor was surrounded by seating on all sides and there were glitterballs hanging from the ceiling.  The play’s setting was a throwback to the original “Come Dancing” competitions, shown on TV from the ’50s onwards, and we followed the stories of three different couples who were competing.

This involved watching the couples actually taking part on the dance floor, and then seeing them interact behind the scenes in their dressing rooms which were cleverly created by seamlessly wheeling several dressing rails onto the dance floor to surround a private space.

The couples, each from different backgrounds, arrived separately, and we were soon aware of their various hopes and dreams as well as the problems and worries they had left behind at home. For each couple the dance competition was their chance to find a path to fame and fortune, and to forget their humdrum lives for a while.

As it turns out the contest is a pivotal time for each of them and by the end their destinations are decided for better or worse. For some it has turned out well, while others have to come to terms with reality rather than dreams, but there is still hope for better things if they can move on.

Throughout the show the announcements over the tannoy preserved the atmosphere and tension of the dance contest and kept us in the loop along with the contestants waiting in the dressing rooms to come out and take part. There were some good performances and some dazzling ballroom and Latin dancing as well – a very entertaining and thought-provoking show.


7th Mar | Lighthouse Women’s Aid Project

downloadDomestic abuse would not have been my first choice of subject for an evening’s Speaker to the members of Capel Ladies Club. However, Katherine Ahluwalia, the Training Co-ordinator for the Lighthouse Women’s Aid Project, made it a very interesting, informative talk, chilling though it was at times, but with a definite positive outlook on the work of this essential organisation.

We began with a Quiz highlighting different types of abuse which amazed us with statistics showing how common and widespread abuse can be. Over two million women aged between 16 and 69, and seven hundred thousand men have experienced abuse at some time in their lives, and locally one thousand women a year call in at Lighthouse’s Berners Street Centre.

“Lighthouse Women’s Aid is a charitable organisation based in Suffolk, providing support and advice to women and children experiencing domestic abuse in their personal or family relationships.” So says the leaflet, and indeed this organisation has been providing safe and supportive refuge in Ipswich since 1976! They offer advice and support from trained staff on any issue in complete confidence and without judgement, and they run a Women and Children’s Wellbeing Centre in central Ipswich. The incredible thing is they are a charity and as such are completely reliant on donations and fund-raising!

Capel Ladies Club gave Katherine a donation at the end of the evening, plus an extra £20.00, being the proceeds of a scarf and jewellery swap-shop organised by Mary Butters on the night.

For more information on Lighthouse visit: www.lighthousewa.org.uk or ring 01473 228270.

Coming up we have visits planned to Little Hall Lavenham, the Theatre and a Garden Tour, plus a talk on The History of Film and a Sausage Evening! Come and join us!

21st Feb | Meal at The Queen’s Head, Little Wenham

For our February outing we made a third visit to the Queen’s Head at Great Wenham where once again we were made very welcome by Mark, Patsy and Linda. A hot buffet meal was laid on with the choice of chicken curry, beef tagine and lasagne, with a variety of side dishes including chips, jacket potatoes, rice, salad and seasonal vegetables. A range of desserts available to choose from included pecan pie, chocolate fudge cake, white chocolate cheesecake and fruit salad.

There was a good atmosphere as people enjoyed their meals, and at the end Sue Crane thanked the staff for all their hard work in the preparation. A very pleasant winter’s evening out for Capel Ladies members.

7th Feb | Talk: The Role of a Parish Nurse

Until our first “In” Meeting of the year I had no accurate idea of exactly what a Parish Nurse did in our community, in fact I had assumed that it was a wholly medical role which involved a first aid professional who visited patients recently discharged from hospital, or new mums or elderly people who had had falls. I also assumed that they were a part of the NHS, like an add-on to the local doctors’ surgery.

In fact I was half right in some of these assumptions……. but my main mis-conception that they were connected to the local surgery was entirely inaccurate. In fact they are fully qualified volunteers working under the charity “Parish Nursing Ministries UK”, and in Capel they work with the support and backing of the local Methodist Church. Having said that, neither Caroline Ursell nor Margaret Sankey will ever try to “ram religion down your throats”!  In their own words they support all the people of Capel St Mary regardless of their age, background or beliefs, providing “whole person health care”.

Caroline herself is a registered nurse, with a MSc degree and a diploma in Child Psychology who works part-time in an Ipswich GP practice, while Margaret has a diploma in Occupational Therapy and a special interest in Care of the Elderly. Between them they can offer support for the “physical, mental, social and spiritual health” of individuals, and this can include help with understanding medical information, diseases and conditions, help and support for carers and dementia patients, post-natal well-being, mental health and increasing and maintaining safety and independence in the home. They will also offer help through prayer if the person so requests.

Although they have no official connection to the local GP’s surgery they do have an informal liaison with the practice manager and the medical staff there, which can be useful when advising or referring people who have gone to the Parish Nurses initially for help.

Caroline and Margaret organise regular drop-in sessions such as The Hope Hub at Capel Methodist Church on the first Saturday of the month for anyone wanting to meet new friends, have a coffee and a chat, play board games, do arts and crafts and discover local support and social activities. There is also DAF’s Café (Dementia And Friends) for those living with dementia and their friends and families on the 2nd and 4th Friday mornings of each month which is held in Capel Library. They also hold regular sessions at Dove Close. For more information see their website: www.CapelParishNurses.org.uk or check them out on Facebook.

Caroline’s talk at Capel Ladies was both interesting and informative, and I’m sure there are many people in the village who either benefit from the help of Parish Nurses at the present time, or who will certainly benefit from it in the future. To quote Caroline: “Parish Nursing is all about bringing hope to people.”

17th Jan | A.G.M.

Our AGM in January was quite well-attended, and after welcoming everyone our chairlady Di Barker led us through the business of the evening and gave her report of the club’s many activities for 2018. The highlight of course had been the special Dinner in October celebrating the Club’s 50th Anniversary with its Golden Theme, and also the Golden Christmas Social in December. Di remarked that once again outings had not been well supported, which was a shame.

After all the formalities had ended it was time to elect a new committee as five people were due to resign. These were Audrey Broadbent, Pat Bradford, Shirley Ward, Irene Carder and of course Di Barker. A vote of thanks was given to the retiring committee, but unfortunately no-one could be persuaded to step into their shoes!

It was therefore suggested that we leave this section of the AGM to be discussed and settled at our next “In” Meeting in February.

After this, refreshments were served, which included cakes made by the retiring committee. This was followed by another “Backwards Raffle” with a variety of prizes and much laughter as they were claimed by lots of different people, some changing hands in this way several times until the tickets ran out! We now look forward to 2019’s new Programme as arranged by last year’s committee, and hope that we’ll be able to form a new committee to run the club for this year!

20th Dec | Christmas Social in the Vine Lounge

Our Christmas Social in December was great fun as usual. A delicious buffet provided by members, a huge Christmas Raffle, Members’ Hamper Draw (won by Linda Morrison) plus quizzes and Secret Santa gifts! We are now looking forward to our new programme of  activities for 2019, and to welcoming our new committee and chairlady after our forthcoming AGM in mid-January.

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!