ONE of the original Calendar Girls made the trip from Yorkshire to see Stourbridge Theatre Company bring to life the story of a group of WI friends who stripped off to pose for a nude fundraising calendar.

Beryl Bamforth, who was the original calendar's Miss January back in 1999, turned up to see the show at Stourbridge Town Hall last Saturday (November 24).

The 78-year-old stalwart actress and director, herself an amateur dramatics star, sent her best wishes to cast and crew ahead of the production - which ran last Thursday to Saturday - and signed autographs after the performance which was one of the first amateur outings of Calendar Girls in the region.

Theatre company spokeswoman Barbara French said: "She was absolutely wonderful - she did autographs and all sorts. It all went very well, absolutely great. On Thursday and Friday it was packed. On Saturday we had a dip but there were still good audience numbers."

The popular company is one of the only drama groups in the country to have pledged to donate its entire profits from the production to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research - the charity that has become synonymous with the real-life Calendar Girls - who raised millions for the charity through the success of their nude calendar and inspired the 2003 blockbuster film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

Members of the Stourbridge group, who bravely bared all on stage, are hoping the show has raised thousands for research into blood cancers.