Calendar Girls - the true story
Calendar Girls aka ‘Baker’s Half Dozen’ – L to R: Lynda Logan, Beryl Bamforth, Tricia Stewart, Chris Clancy, Angela Baker & Roz Fawcett
Everyone knows the story: a group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women's Institute (WI) group, persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference.
The Calendar Girls, as they became to be known, dedicated the calendar to John Baker who had died the previous year in 1998. John's wife, Angela (Miss February) and friends were members of the local WI. At one meeting Angela's friend Tricia Stewart (Miss October) suggested that they do an alternative WI calendar, in the nude. The idea provided much mirth and entertainment for John throughout his difficult treatment. After his death, the women were determined to continue.
John grew sunflowers from the onset of his illness and gave them to friends and family in the hope that he would have recovered by the time they flowered. Sadly, this was not the case, but the sunflower lives on as a reminder of John's life and has become a symbol for the Girls’ fundraising.
The Girls initially aimed to generate funds to buy a new sofa for the hospital where John was being treated. To date, they have raised more than £1.5 million for Leukaemia Research, have been the subject of a smash hit Hollywood film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and filled more column inches than they can count and now their story is re-enacted in a hit stage show.
In 2005 the Calendar Girls were thanked personally by the Prince of Wales for their amazing achievements at a reception at Clarence House.
Their fabulous fundraising work continues with personal appearances, endorsements, speaking engagements, photo shoots and much more. To find out more, visit www.thecalendargirls.org.uk. Products featuring their famous photographs and the sunflower (including stage show souvenir merchandise and the latest calendar) are available at www.leukaemiashop.com.
Leukaemia Research: Registered charity 216032 (England & Wales) SC037529 (Scotland).