We’ve all heard of the fundraising phenomenon of the Calendar Girls and the media sensation they created after producing a calendar with a difference!
The calendar was produced by members of the Rylstone Women’s Institute and inspired by the death of John Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales. John Baker sadly died in 1998 of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, his wife Angela Baker and her friends convinced one another to pose naked for a charity calendar to raise money for a sofa in the visitors lounge in the hospital where John was treated.
This group of extraordinary women have since produced a number of other calendars and have raised far more than they had ever hoped. They exceeded their expectations to buy a sofa and to date they have raised over £3 million pounds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
In 2003 this wonderful story of friendship and hope was turned into a film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters and won Best British Comedy Film and nominated for the Golden Globe and Satellite Awards.
Although the women were part of the Rylstone Women’s Institute, much of the film was pictured in Kettlewell in Wharfedale. For those that know the Yorkshire Dales well, you shall also notice a number of other familiar locations throughout the film such as; Buckden, Settle, Malham and Skipton.