Swaffham businesses strip off for charity calendar

Fund raisers inspired by Calendar Girls

Daring Swaffham fund-raisers have launched a new nude calendar for the parish church restoration fund.

The Calendar Girls-style offering features staff from local businesses in a variety of tasteful poses and it's already proving a hit in the town.

More than 300 copies costing �10 each have been sold since the calendar was officially launched by Norfolk funny man Keith Skipper on Friday.

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Organiser Gill Creed hopes to raise �10,000 for St Peter and St Paul Church and has been working on the project since the �250,000 Window and Restoration Development Appeal was launched in November.

'I haven't had any trouble,' Mrs Creed, 56, said. 'Everybody wanted to help. The people here are marvellous.'

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Guests didn't know what to expect when the calendar was unveiled for the first time at the George Hotel and there were some surprised faces in the audience.

'It all came as a big surprise to me too,' Mr Skipper said. 'I was no more party to what was going on - or coming off! - than anyone else. I had a sneaky preview minutes before guests arrived, but it was a very well kept secret. It was certainly the most unusual launch I've been to.

'I think I might have been invited to do the launching honours as a sort of consolation prize for not being asked to appear on the calendar as a guest artist. In any event, I would have been available only during the warmest months!'

The businesses taking part, including Market Cross restaurant, Narford Scaffolding, Starlings Florist and Pedlars Gold, paid for an advertisement on their month to help meet the �3,000 printing costs.

A successful coffee morning, held at the Assembly Rooms in June, raised a further �1,560 and covered the rest of the production costs involved.

'Although it's not a new idea, I think it will really make people sit up and take notice,' Mr Skipper, a patron of the appeal added. 'It's great fun and it says a lot about Swaffham's sense of humour and sense of community.

'I knew Swaffham had an adventurous streak but this bold venture takes the town's reputation to a new level. One can only wonder what will take off next in the name of the church restoration appeal.'

Mrs Creed, owner of Just Hair, in Station Street, thanked everyone for baring all and appearing in the calendar.

Call Mrs Creed on 01760 721237/724559 or email keithcreed@aol.com to buy a copy of the calendar.

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