Full Monty meets Calendar Girls: Mirfield women strip off to fight cancer

Members of the Half-Monty team pose with champagne after one of the events.
Members of the Half-Monty team pose with champagne after one of the events.

A group of Mirfield women bared all this weekend as part of an emotional charity push that moved sections of its audience to tears.

In a pair of shows that some are calling ‘The Full Monty meets Calendar Girls’, a group of untrained dancers performed to sell-out crowds of hundreds, raising £7,000 for breast cancer charities in the process.

All smiles after raising 7,000.

All smiles after raising 7,000.

The events were put together in part by Tania Asquith, who said the money raised is the product a huge effort by people from across the Mirfield community.

She said: “We were all absolutely blown away by the level of support we received.

“We had so many sponsors and people offering to help, whether that be doing the DJing on the night, or the choreography, sponsoring the costumes. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

The two shows took place at Old Bank Working Men’s Club and Millbridge Working Men’s Club respectively, with both evenings drawing huge crowds.

Dubbed ‘The Half Monty’, the shows crescendo included the women removing their tops, with two baring the scars of battles won against cancer previously.

“The audiences were so supportive - we had people in tears,” Tania said, “I’ve never seen so many grown men cry, but they were just so much swept up in the emotion of it! It was incredible.

“Not all of us have had breast cancer, but the bravery shown by two of the girls who have was just amazing. It was so inspirational.”

The idea sprouted from a light-hearted text conversation in May. An appeal was put out on Facebook and within hours, the organisers had a full team of volunteers willing to knuckle down and strip off.

The girls have a plan to release a calendar towards the end of the year to raise more funds.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff attended one of the shows and said: “I have to say that I have never been as moved as I was during their performance.

“The courage and bravery of those ladies was absolutely phenomenal and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. A huge well done to all involved and I have a feeling that we haven’t heard the last of them yet!”