Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane reminisces with the original Calendar Girls...
One advantage of being a newspaper scribbler is that you meet some very interesting folks.
True, some of them are mega famous. The odd one known internationally.
But last week I met an ordinary yet fascinating lady who lives in the magnificent village of Burns in Yorkshire.
And the her claim to fame is that 19 years ago, she was given the task of buying “considerably bigger buns”during a photo shoot.
By now you might have guessed I’m writing about one of the famous Calendar Girls.
You’ll recall the sad and yet amazing story of the WI women who posed tastefully semi-nude to raise money for a bench after one of their number had lost her husband.
They wanted to raise £500 and ended up with £5,000,000.
We know that the little story of the calendar girls made it big, spawning a film and a play – now a musical called The Girls.
It’s coming to the Lowry from October 30 to November 10.
Last week creators Gary Barlow and Tim Firth were on hand to talk about the show, and actresses Ruth Madoc and Denise Welsh and Fern Briton were there – fully clothed of course.
The original calendar girls were greeted with great warmth, specially Angela Baker who lost husband John.
She said: “We could never have known that our story would achieve fame all over the world. And we are still going strong.
“Who knows, in the future our story might be turned into an opera or ballet?”
Also on hand was the photographer who took the tasteful images of the WI ladies.
Terry Logan, and his wife Linda, told how the photos were done in their home – and it was Linda who was sent out to buy “bigger buns” to preserve modesty.
“It was all a lot of fun, but we never lost sight of the fact that one amongst us had been widowed.”
Alas the clock became master, and the waiting transport for the press prevented a chat with Gary Barlow about his days performing in Wigan before the creation of Take That.
Read more of Geoffrey Shryhane's My World column in the Wigan Observer and Leigh Observer, out every Tuesday.