March 28, 2000 09:31am
Pin-Up Matrons Come Clean for Washing Powder
(LONDON) -- The genteel ladies of Britain's Women's Institute who stripped off for a nude calendar have come clean again -- and this time it is a washing powder advert.
Their naked images are being splashed across British billboards to advertise Surf detergent and give a boost to their favorite charity.
Next stop is the United States for a whistle-stop tour of the talk shows before their story is turned into a feature film.
The Women's Institute was always dubbed ``The Jam and Jerusalem Brigade'' for the ladies' flower-arranging skills, scone baking and Christian good works.
The middle-aged ladies of the Rylstone and District WI changed that image at a stroke with a risque calendar for the year 2000. Their modesty was barely preserved by kitchen pots and bouquets.
The women, aged 45 to 60, stripped off in memory of one of their husbands. Before John Baker died, the women had joked that they would make a nude calendar to cheer him up.
They fulfilled that promise and raised more than 300,000 pounds ($479,200) for leukemia research with 90,000 calendars.
It even matched that stylish symbol of female nudity -- the Pirelli calendar. Requests poured in from Alaska, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.
Baker's widow Angela, 54, who featured in the 2000 calendar playing the hymn ``Jerusalem'' on the piano, said: ``John would have been absolutely amazed at all this, but very proud.''