Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Crochet your own Burton Calendar Girl

It's amazing the ideas that percolate in a dressing room when a bunch of Little Theatre Company ladies are dressed as nuns for The Sound of Music.

Maybe those wimples overheated our heads, but as we watched 'Sister Tilley' crochet backstage to pass the time between bouts of acapella four-part harmony singing in Latin the idea of crocheting our own calendar girls emerged.

Tilley (that woman's talents know NO bounds) is a crochet expert extraordinary as well as a top class animator, designer and photographer at Red Door Studios. She - remember - took ALL the photos for our beautiful calendar and designed the pages and got everything ready for the printers.

Well, she quickly whipped up a sample doll overnight.

... and she soon had a couple of friends.

Last night, at the first read through of our production of Calendar Girls the play - on at The Brewhouse, in Burton-on-Trent, in March 2013 - Tilley distributed wool, a pattern she's created and a crochet hook to all the girls to start crocheting their own calendar girls.

Watch this space for news of our progress. We hope that by March we'll have a full set of Burton Calendar Girls which we would raffle off during show week - along with the signed memorabilia from the professional cast of Calendar Girls - to raise more money to add to our funds being raised for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

If anyone gets a bit obsessed and carried away with this craft project (YOU KNOW WHO I'M THINKING OF, GIRLS!!) then any extra dolls may be for sale in the bar during the show week. Or auctioned to the highest bidder, even!

If anyone out there who loves crafts and crocheting wants to join us, leave us a message here or on our Facebook page and I'm sure we can get you a copy of the pattern so you can join in the fun.

Now here, for the benefit of the crocheting calendar girls, are a series of video tutorials that Tilley has found time to record (I wonder if she ever sleeps?) which will help you. They are also quite useful to anyone else who wants to hone their crocheting skills.

Meanwhile, a quick reminder that our calendars are STILL on sale priced at £8 each - a great idea for a Christmas gift that gives to such an important charity dedicated to beating blood cancers. Find out how to buy one at our How To Buy A Calendar page.

You can alternatively (or as well as) make a small donation of whatever you can afford at our Just Giving Page -

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hot news! Burton Calendar Girls are on Just Giving

I've just set up my first-ever page on Just Giving. What a great system that is for raising funds for charity.

Did you know that the money you donate through Just Giving goes STRAIGHT to your chosen charity - in our case that's Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

We found in the last week or so that a lot of people who visit our stalls at events like to pop some small change in our collecting tin - so we thought that a Just Giving Page would be an easy and 100% secure way for people further afield to contribute to our cause.

So the big question now is - who is going to make the first donation? Go to - if you would like it to be you!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

They're behind you! (...and to the left and right too)

Thanks to our GREAT friends from BASE (Burton Amateur Stage Entertainers) - the longest-running annual pantomime group in Burton - who were keen to lend their support to the Burton Calendar Girls project when the town's Christmas lights were officially switched on last weekend.

Here are some of their stars helping to promote our calendar with Hannah and Tilley.

We'd advise you to book your tickets soon for their February 2013 panto - which this year is Aladdin. It's always a really entertaining night out with all the fun and laughter you'd expect from a truly traditional panto.

The 'rags to riches' tale of Aladdin is packed with adventure and is guaranteed to be a family favourite.

The show runs from Tuesday February 19 to Saturday February 23 - including matinees on Thursday and Saturday - at The Brewhouse.

Tickets are £9 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and £10 on Friday and Saturday. Concessions are available at £1 off the full ticket price. A family ticket for two adults and two concessions costs £30. You can book online at the BASE website here, or contact the Brewhouse box office on 01283-508100.

Monday, 19 November 2012

By George! A new calendar retail outlet

We're very grateful to George Gunby - a familiar face in Burton town centre at this time every year - who runs the Calendar Club stall outside Boots in the middle of the Cooper's Square Shopping Centre.

George has agreed to display our Burton Calendar Girls calendar and sell it alongside the huge range of calendars and diaries he already stocks.

So do pop down and buy a copy from him if you've not bought yours yet.

Our full colour calendar costs £8 and is raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research - 

the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Miss April lights up Burton's switch-on celebrations

Special thanks to Hannah - aka Miss April - who promoted our calendar from the stage at today's switch-on of the Burton Christmas lights.

Thanks to ALL the girls who took a turn on the stall - and thanks to Burton town Centre Management for their support.

Um, Miss November.... I think you have a new fan!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

From nuns to nudes

It's been a hectic week since the PINT craft fayre with many of the Burton Calendar Girls playing nuns in Little Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music.

Carol, Vicky and Chris have been selling our calendars in the bar before and after all the performances - and special mention must go to our good friend, and honorary Calendar Girl, Kate who achieved record sales on Thursday night.

The nuns have been having a great time backstage. Some of them follow very suitable nun-like pursuits - like our bible-reading 'Sister' Dawn, a Miss March.

Others sit in quiet contemplation and do a spot of crocheting. Like Sister Cait (a Miss December) and Sister Tilley (a Miss October).

Pausing to occasionally burst into song.

But soon we'll be saying 'goodbye' to Nonnberg Abbey and 'hello' to Calendar Girls rehearsals.

The cast has been announced - and we'll bring you the news about that in the coming weeks. Rehearsals for our March 2013 production of Calendar Girls start on Tuesday November 27.

Tomorrow, after helping take down the set and pack away the costumes, we'll be selling our calendars at the official switch-on of Burton-on-Trent's Christmas lights. Come and find us in the market place.

Then, on Wednesday three of us are guest speakers at Egginton WI.

Meanwhile, please support our efforts to raise as much money as possible for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Donations are always welcome if (for any reason) you don't want a calendar.

Find out the latest places to buy a calendar by clicking the link at the top of this page called "How To Buy A Calendar".

As you know, our calendar reflects a theatrical theme, and as we've not given away any secrets from the calendar so far - here's the December shot of us all looking over programmes from past Little Theatre Company shows. From nuns to nudes...... it's all in a day's work for the Burton Calendar Girls.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

New Burton market is christened in style

What an amazing event the PINT Arts Festival Craft and Artisan Market was in Burton-on-Trent yesterday.

Organiser Alistair Kennedy deserves a medal as he powered through the day having had just 40 minutes sleep because on Friday night he was among those taking part in Burton YMCA's Sleep Out. And let's not forget Burton Town Centre Management and The Making House who also helped make yesterday such a great success.

There was a great range of quality stalls selling unusual and beautiful gifts and cards, cakes, chocolate, chutneys and jams, clothes and jewellery - the list went on and on. The event was superbly well organised and promoted and I hope it bodes well for the future success of Burton's traditional market stall holders when they take over those new pitches on Station Street which we christened yesterday.

The Burton Calendar Girls had a great day. We met some lovely people and had lots of support. Here are Carol and Dawn during their shifts.

Dawn and me, Heather, Karen and Katie, Tilley and Bethan were splitting our time between the stall and The Brewhouse where the set crew had a busy day building mountains, a convent and the residence of the Von Trapp family ready for tomorrow's opening night of Little Theatre Company's The Sound of Music.

Carol will be the one organising our big calendar selling operation at every performance of the show - so there's plenty of time to come down to The Brewhouse any night this week and buy a calendar and chat with Carol about our calendar girl experience. Now, it's back to the Brewhouse again for a Sound of Music double dress rehearsal. See you again soon!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Extreme calendar selling

We have eight days of 'extreme calendar selling' on the horizon and are hoping for lots of support from the people of Burton and district.

We start on Saturday (November 10) when a number of the girls are taking turns to sell calendars at the Burton Craft Fair and Artisan Market being held in Station Street, in Burton town centre. HUGE thanks to Burton Creative Network who have generously let us have some space on their stall for free.

The market runs from 10am until about 4pm and will host lots of  quality stalls. Here's a picture of the stalls being put in place which Burton Creative Network shared on its Facebook Page this week.

It's going to be a busy day as most of the girls are also appearing in The Sound of Music next week for our Little Theatre Company. On Saturday they are fitting calendar selling shifts in around trying on costumes and some technical rehearsals.

Then, throughout the run of The Sound of Music (Monday November 12 - Saturday November 17) calendars will be on sale before, during and after every 7.30pm performance and the Saturday matinee at 2.30pm at The Brewhouse, Union Street.

Tickets for the show are in very short supply. The popularity of this Rodgers and Hammerstein favourite clearly never fades and the Friday night and Saturday afternoon shows are already sold out. A few tickets remain for other performances - so call the box office on 01283-508100 for latest availability.

BUT, remember, even if you've NOT got a ticket we'd love to see you in the bar of the Brewhouse where Carol, Vicky and Chris - who all appear in the calendar - will be leading the sales drive. You would be welcome to drop in for a calendar, a drink from the bar and you can also enjoy the handiwork of artist David Booth who is currently working on the world's largest sculpture (we think) made from beermats as part of the PINT Arts Festival.

Many other girls from the calendar appear as nuns in The Sound of Music - no typecasting there, then!

There's no peace when the show ends on Saturday November 17 - as after the 'take down' on Sunday morning (when we dismantle the set, gather up the props and pack up the costumes) some of the girls will be selling calendars at the official Burton Christmas Lights Switch-on from 12 noon in the town centre. Thanks again to Burton Town Centre Management for the support.

The only expense we have had is the calendar printing - thanks to the generosity of our support team and our Burton supporters. EVERY other penny raised will go to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Our full colour calendars cost just £8 each.