Bare-all calendar to be a festive hit

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A FUND-RAISING calendar featuring revealing photos of local people has already raised almost £700 since its launch at the weekend.

Inhibitions and clothes have been cast aside for Montrose Unzipped, which has been organised to raise funds for local lad Riley Murray.

It was the idea of Lynn McComskie, proprietor of Next to You lingerie in Murray Street, who came up with the concept while organising a highly successful lingerie show which raised more than £5,000 for the Riley’s First Steps campaign.

The project was put together in a matter of weeks with photographers Chris Simpson and Kath Flannery working under pressure to organise and co-ordinate everyone’s timetables for photoshoots, in some cases three or four in a day, to have the calendar finished in time for the December deadline.

Among those who have bared not quite all in the photos are the crew of the Montrose Lifeboat, Roselea FC players, staff from Bodywork Hair and Beauty, J&E Tyres, RK Tool Hire and George Street Barbers, as well as members of the band Peyton Place, roadworkers and Councillor Mark Salmond.

All are featured in appropriate. if occasionally surprising, locations and Lynn said there was little difficulty in persuading people to take part.

She revealed: “I think people were more than happy to take their clothes off because of the cause - it’s something different and something they wanted to support. There’s also the fun factor.

“There was some cold and raw weather and a lot of the photos were taken in the early morning, but there are some brave Montrose people who were just good sports really.”

The calendars reached local outlets this week and are already selling well. Lynn said there have already been requests from some shops for additional stock. A print run of 1,000 has been commissioned, with the option of further copies if demand warrants.

The project is the final fund-raiser for the Riley’s First Steps appeal, which has now closed after raising more than £80,000 to pay for six-year-old Riley, who has cerebral palsy, to undergo life-changing surgery to help him walk.

Costing £5, it is available from Next to You, Bodywork in Murray Street, The Barber Shop, George Street Barber, 4Kidz and RK Tool Hire. It will also be on sale at this Sunday’s High Street Extravaganza.