Barrellers dare to bare all!
- Credit: Archant
TEN tar barrellers stripped off to bare all this week as part of a Calendar Girls inspired photo shoot with an Ottery twist.
The finished set of snaps are set to be printed in a calendar which will go on sale later this month, with the money raised going towards funding the town’s most famous tradition.
Leanne Rowland, who helped organise the photo shoot, said that the 2003 film had provided the inspiration for the idea.
“I thought it was something we could try so I invited all the girls involved with the tar barrels to take part,” she said.
“We’re a close group and some of us are family so it was a bit weird to undress in front of each other, but everyone soon relaxed.
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“If this goes well the male barellers are talking about doing one for next year.”
Leanne’s mum, Lesley, described the shoot as an ‘Ottery adaption of the Calendar Girls
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She said: “Instead of using tea pots and knit work to cover up, we’re using barrels and gloves!
“Obviously I’m hoping we sell a few but I won’t be worried if we don’t – it was good fun.” Emma Snow said the fact the group were good friends made things a bit awkward to begin with, but the initial nerves were replaced with laughter as the night went on.
“It was just a case of everyone doing what they felt comfortable with, and we all had a good laugh,” she added.
The money raised from the calendars will go towards the cost of running the tar barrels, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors to the town each year.
Carnival committee chairman Graham Rowland said that although this year’s insurance quote of £16,000 is much less than last year, it is still an expensive night to organise.
“The first year we had to get insurance it was horrendous,” he said. “But we’re working every year to improve safety, and it’s been reflected in this year’s quote.”
“If it makes £10 or £100 it doesn’t matter - it all helps and it’s great to see the girls being proactive.”
The finished calendar will be available from businesses around Ottery, including the Tourist Information Centre and Baytree Café.