THE much deserved MBE awarded to Angela Knowles, one of the original Calendar Girls, epitomises the Yorkshire recipients of New Year honours – and how they have all made a such lasting difference to the lives of others.
There is also another common denominator to each and every individual from sporting stars to council chief executives and charity volunteers. They all say that they are accepting Royal recognition on behalf of their respective teams.
Wedding day nerves for Calendar Girl Angela And this is personified by the little known members of Rylstone WI in North Yorkshire who chose to pose naked for a charity calendar more than 20 years ago after Mrs Knowles lost her husband, John Baker, to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
They expected to generate £1,000 for Bloodwise, a charity which funds research into blood cancer. Little did they realise that their story would become an international phenomenon, as well as the inspiration behind a blockbuster film and West End musical, and help save the lives of those who have benefitted from the near £6m that the Calendar Girls have now raised.
Now honorary president of Bloodwise which works tirelessly on behalf of leukaemia sufferers, and their families, Mrs Knowles says she is proud to have played a small part in raising funds for medical research so that patients have a much better chance of surviving this dreadful disease and other equally cruel cancers. But this remarkable story also shines a light on Yorkshire’s remarkable community spirit and how the strength of people like Mrs Knowles, and all those people who go the extra mile on behalf of others, represents Britain at its very best.