Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Calendar Launch at Salisbury Racecourse

Check out our webiste at What an amazing day! The weather was fantastic, we had a marquee, champagne, canapes from Roger at the Lord Nelson, a fantastic cake from Cupcakes of Salisbury, and 18 beautiful Calendar Girls. Many of our sponsors arrived to support us, as well as the Salisbury Journal, Chris Ewington from Spire FM, Mandy Milford from Hilltop Studios, taking photographs for Salisbury Life, and also a reporter from Sport4salisbury.

Some of us were interviewed by Chris for Spire FM and I even did a live interview for BBC Radio Wiltshire - very nerve wracking but great fun!

John Glen MP was terrific - not only was he interesting to talk to, but he was interested in everything we had to say. He is very keen on charitable causes and was impressed that we had so many business sponsors. He even gave us a couple of paragraphs in his blog last week! "The work that these women have done to raise funds for the Salisbury District Hospital Breast Cancer Unit for the community is outstanding - not to mention their willingness to bare (almost) all in a good cause. I have nothing but admiration for the energy and humour surrounding the project. It has been backed to the hilt by local businesses, and the result is a credit to the participants. I wish them every success in reaching their £11,000 target."

We certainly generated a lot of interest and were thrilled with the response we had from everyone. We sold nearly 200 calendars that afternoon, and came home with about £2,600, and some fabulous memories that will last a lifetime! Thank you to everyone who helped make it such a memorable and successful day.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Christmas in the summertime!

Christmas really does come earlier every year! This year it happened a few weeks ago - well it did for us lot, anyway.

23 of us arrived at Wilton House with our Santa hats, stockings, prezzies, tinsel, and a huge Christmas tree, ready to pose for the December photo. We were met by the charming Nigel Bailey who is the House Manager, and he showed us into the Double Cube Room which is where the photograph was to be shot.

For those of you who are not familiar with this room, it is a magnificent state room, dating from the 16th century, is 60ft long by 30ft wide and with a 30ft high ceiling painted with images of Perseus. It is decorated in gold and red, and on the walls hang Van Dyck paintings of Charles I. Wilton House has been used for many period films such as Mrs Brown, The Madness of King George, Pride and Prejudice and The Young Victoria. I wonder whether it's ever had 23 naked ladies prancing about in it? Perhaps not.

Wait till you see the photo taken by Mandy Milford from Hilltop Studio - it is fabulous. And a special surprise photo, also taken at the same time, will appear on the back cover of the calendar. Can't tell you what it is, but it's something to do with Santa hats!

On the way out, I bumped into the Earl of Pembroke who is the President of the Stars Appeal. I thanked him for the use of his home, and he remarked "Ah, you're those Calendar Girls aren't you?" He told me that what we were doing was a great thing and hoped to get his own copy of the calendar when it is published.

What a memorable morning.

Sara x

Friday, 5 August 2011

Miss May takes a tumble, Miss August gets caught in the rain, and Miss February goes to bed!

Miss May recently had her photo taken at Salisbury Racecourse - with a real racehorse kindly lent by Sarah and Steve Dixon. A beautiful, 17 hands tall bay, very handsome, and very big! Miss May is an accomplished rider herself, so we were all very surprised and alarmed when, the moment she got on him, he got rather agitated, reared up on his hind legs and ended up throwing her off and running off down the course. Thank goodness for two things (a) Miss May was wearing her riding hat; and (b) she wasn't topless at the time. Falling off a horse onto your head is one thing - doing it half naked is quite another! Anyway, although shaken, she was not deterred, and after Steve had taken 20 minutes to get the horse back, she got back on again and everything was fine. Well done Miss March - you showed great courage and fortitude!

The following day Miss August was photographed at Parkwood Leisure Centre - but there was a little adventure the previous day - something to do with having had a spray tan the day before, leaving the salon whilst it was chucking down with rain, and getting rain spots on the not-yet-dry tan! It rained all the way home, by which time it was even worse, so she decided to stay in the car in her drive and wait until the rain stopped! Hubby even came out with a cup of tea and a straw (so as not to spoil the tan on her face!!) The things we Calendar Girls do for a good photo! Miss August you're a heroine!

And the day after that, Miss February had her photo taken in a four poster bed in the Red Lion Hotel with a bottle of champagne and a few red heart shaped cushions. Lovely photo - hope it gets everyone in the mood for Valentine's Day.

Sara x

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tanks a Lot !!

Bella Thomas, one of our photographers, and Miss November and I went up to Salisbury Plain the other day for a photoshoot. We were greeted by some very chivalrous and professional soldiers who directed us to a remote part of Salisbury Plain where we were assured of complete privacy. They even rigged up a make-shift changing area for Miss November (a long piece of black tarpaulin wound around two trees). Excellent. So far so good. However, part way through the shoot, we suddenly heard a distant noise and three, yes three - tanks came trundling down the hill from out of nowhere. Unsurprisingly, they slowed right down while passing us, and I had to use the light reflecting board as a shield for her!

Unperturbed, we carried on, but were then disturbed by a Military Policeman wanting to know what we were up to. He stayed a little too long for our liking. Then, a couple of minutes later, I saw a busload of soldiers which looked like they were making a bee-line for us. They managed to keep their distance to about 200 yards, but there were some interesting comments coming from the bus - so good to know that Anglo-Saxon words are still being used by those who defend us! Needless to say, Miss November recovered her dressing gown at this point!

We did get some lovely shots, though. Thanks Bella.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Vintage Tea Party

Wow what an afternoon we had! More than 100 people came along to our Vintage Tea Party on Saturday afternoon at Karryne's farm in Livery Road. The rain held off (mostly), and our guests were treated to a quintessential English tea - homemade cakes and fancies, and dainty sandwiches, all served on vintage bone china tea sets. Everyone dressed up, and there were some amazing outfits and hats galore! We were very privileged to welcome as our special guests Miss Anna Aertssen who is a consultant breast surgeon, and also Miss Sonnya Dabill, a senior breast care nurse, from the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. We also welcomed Sandra Baxter who represented the Stars Appeal.

Pictured above are me, Miss Anna Aertssen, Miss Sonnya Dabill, and Karryne Hodgkinson, our hostess.

Anna and Sonnya judged the hat competition, which was won by Ingrid Schmekel. Second place went to Debbie Miles who sported a fabulous hat decorated with a real bra, and third place was Ella James.

Everyone had a really lovely time. Guests could have their portrait sketched by local artist Fiona Forbes, or browse the many tables of interest, including works of art by the Winterslow Art Group, contemporary jewellery and many others. Children's entertainment was provided by Sugar 'n' Spice. We raised an amazing £926.76! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.

Sara x

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Miss March and I met some of the Salisbury Rugby Club Ladies' team recently, with Mandy Milford from Hilltop Studios taking the photos. It was a bit windy, and dare I say "exposed" up there, but we got some terrific shots - thanks girls for making yourselves available. Great fun.

Roger Stanwell from the Lord Nelson Arms recently hosted an Italian evening for us where guests could pay what they thought the meal was worth, and the Calendar Girls take the profits. What a fun evening we had - seven of us were waitresses, we had a full house, the place was buzzing, and we made a phenomenol £543! Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

A date for your diary - Saturday 9th July, 2.30 - 5.30pm - a vintage tea party at Spencer's Farm, Winterslow SP5 1RJ (opposite the log stack in Livery Road). Enjoy a quintessential English tea, served by - guess who? - yes, the Calendar Girls! Stalls, raffle (amazing prizes) and entertainment. £5 per ticket. Call Karryne on 01722 712447 for more information.

Fantastic news - John Glen MP has offered to host our launch party at Salisbury Racecourse on 28th September! He has always been very keen to support local businesses, and since all our sponsors are local independent businesses, he is delighted to get involved and help us promote the Calendar and our sponsors at the same time. All sponsors will get a personal invitation to the launch party, and we would love to see you there too - first race is 2.00pm, the calendars will be on sale for the first time, and most of the Calendar Girls will be there too - don't miss out, it will be a great afternoon!

Finally, we did a couple more photoshoots last week - thankfully missing the rain. The first one was at Heale House featuring 3 ladies, a pink wheelbarrow and not much else! The second photo was indoors at LED Synergy who manufacture digital display boards - they rigged up a fab digital display for 3 naked ladies to pose around - don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll just have to wait until you buy your calendar!

Next posting will be in a few weeks' time once we've taken some more photos, and been on a trip to the Bournemouth Pavilion to see ......... "The Calendar Girls" surprise surprise! Watch this space.

Sara x

Friday, 6 May 2011

What an amazing few weeks! Ruth and I were interviewed by Spire FM and they broadcast our interview in the news bulletins all morning last Wednesday. The Salisbury Journal are very interested, and they've also got the story and the beautiful bluebell photo which may very well be published next week - keep your eyes peeled! Also the magazine Salisbury Life are interested in talking to us too - Hollywood next?

I spoke to Salisbury Racecourse this week and they are thrilled to offer their location for one of the shoots, and have even said that we can have their Race Day on 28th September to sell the calendar and go round with collection buckets! Steve and Sarah Dixon have very kindly offered to lend us one of their racehorses for the shoot - thank you! Hope to see you all there with your race cards!

Went to have a look at the bridal suite at the Red Lion yesterday - complete with four poster bed - but I'll say no more!

A huge thank you to all the members of the Lions Head Art Group who hosted a fund raising morning for us today. Coffee and beautiful home-made cakes, a raffle, paint-along with George, portrait sketches done by Fiona (I had mine done too - it's very well done), and home-made cards. The special touches were very much appreciated - pink roses on the tables, pink serviettes and even pink ribbons for us all to wear - thank you for your thoughtfulness. Haven't counted all the money yet, but we think it's in the region of £180! Thank you to everyone who came and supported us.

And finally, another date for your diary - Saturday 11th June - Italian meal at the Lord Nelson. Mine host Roger Stanwell has generously offered to donate all the profits from the evening's meal. And you'll even be waited on by some of the calendar girls! More details later, and definitely in the Parish Magazine. Thank you Roger.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Photoshoots commence!

We've been a bit quiet lately, but lots has been going on behind the scenes!

We now have 11 locations and are waiting to hear from just one more. Sponsorship money is coming in steadily and I'm in the process of setting up a Just Giving page - watch this space.

The first photoshoot is next week! Can't tell you who, or where, but it's something to do with bluebells!

The next one is in the middle of May and is one that features me and another Calendar Girl - some last minute crash dieting and exercising is definitely on the agenda now - so if you see me jogging around the village, you'll know why! The venue is in a very famous place in Wilton and features a fountain - that's all I'm saying!

A date for your diaries - Friday 6th May, 10am - 11.45am - fundraiser at the Pavilion at Barry's Fields by kind invitation of the Lions' Head Art Group - they are holding a coffee morning, raffle, a "Paint-Along with George" and also on-the-spot portrait sketches by Fiona for just £5 - all proceeds to go to the Breast Care Clinic at Salisbury Hospital. Also I and one or two of the other Calendar Girls will be making a personal appearance to give you all an update on how we are doing! Please do come along and support us - we'd love to see you.

Sara x

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Wild Women of Winterslow

Well, here we are in all our glory! What a giggle we had this afternoon! At very short notice, four of us (Sophie, me, Ruth and Karen) and Bella one of our photographers, braved the rain showers and threw our tops off by the Winterslow sign in Livery Road as a practice run and to have something to show potential sponsors. Luckily the normally busy road was clear and there was no traffic at all, so no accidents, thank goodness!

There has been so much going on behind the scenes in the last few weeks. We have so far secured over £1,000 of sponsorship from local businesses, and that's without even having sent out any letters yet!
Thank you to our sponsors so far - Winterslow Central Stores, Complex Services, Just Jayne, NJ Rowe Insurance, Hilltop Diner, Junipers B&B, LED Synergy, Mr & Mrs Gates, Stannah Stairlifts, Ray Hunt 4x4, and Fjordling Smokehouses.

Sara has met with Dave Cates the Director of the Stars Appeal at Salisbury Hospital and talked with some of the breast care nurses, who are all thrilled and so very grateful for what we are doing. Our selected printers, Salisbury Printing, have very generously quoted an exceptionally low price for producing the calendars, which will mean that our overheads will be kept to an absolute minimum, particularly as our photographers, Mandy Milford from Hilltop Studios and Kate Inman-Meron have offered their services free of charge.

We have plenty of ideas for well known venues in Salisbury, but will keep you guessing as to where we will be .... But every so often we'll give you a clue for each month. So, for February, think hearts, Valentine's Day, romance, four poster bed and ruffled sheets .......
If any of our readers have any ideas of their own for particular shots, or could recommend a potential sponsor or a certain venue in the Salisbury area, please do let us know, either via this blog or by contacting me direct on

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

First Meeting

WOW ! What started off as a vague idea 3 months ago is now beginning to really take shape, and we are now several steps closer to our very own calendar!

I have been completely bowled over by the amazing response from everyone. Tonight, 18 ladies met to brainstorm ideas. (There was also a lot of laughing going on too!) We had the advantage of two photographers, Kate, and Mandy Milford from Hilltop Studios, and also Caroline a marketeer, all of whose experience and ideas were invaluable. Although we are all ages, shapes and sizes, some of us quite daring, some a little shy, we all shared one common interest - to raise money for the Breast Cancer Clinic at Salisbury Hospital through their Stars Appeal, whilst at the same time having great fun putting this calendar together. We came up with some fantastic ideas for themes, venues and poses, but we will not be revealing anything until the calendar is published!

A big thank you to everyone who came this evening. Keep those ideas coming in! Over the next few weeks we'll be gathering your ideas, writing letters, contacting potential sponsors and businesses and generally getting things moving, and we will keep you and all our followers updated with our progress.

Sara x