Staff drop everything to help Garden charity

The Duchess of Northumberland with models Sandra Dunn, Sue Broster, Trevor Jones, Sarah Darling and Samantha Charlton at the launch of the Official 2012 Alnwick Garden Charity Calendar.

The Duchess of Northumberland with models Sandra Dunn, Sue Broster, Trevor Jones, Sarah Darling and Samantha Charlton at the launch of the Official 2012 Alnwick Garden Charity Calendar.

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THE Duchess of Northumberland saw a little more than usual of the staff at the Alnwick Garden last week.

Thursday was the launch day of The Official 2012 Alnwick Garden Charity Calendar and it was the first time the Duchess saw the photos of the staff in the buff.

The Duchess said: “It’s a wonderful example of the staff working together for the benefit of the charity in a fun and light-hearted way.

“I’m impressed how good they all look naked!”

Samantha Charlton, who is the co-ordinator for the Friends of the Alnwick Garden, was one of those who stripped off to raise funds for The Alnwick Garden Trust.

“It was interesting, we did it early in the morning and it was a case of deciding how much or how little to take off and in the end I had nothing on,” she said.

“My worry was someone would come round the back and see everything.

“It was quite an amusing build-up (to the launch) because nobody knew what month they were or where you had been in the garden. Doing it was something to remember definitely.”

The photographer who took all the images, Margaret Whittaker, said it had been a great experience doing the calendar.

“It was great fun but there were a lot of early starts,” she said.

“The security came round a couple of times and we put them in the picture, but not literally.”

And were the models confident in baring all, even for a good cause?

“Some of them were little bit reticent but obviously it was quite cold a lot of the time. Once we got going it was fine.

“There was one instance in front of the Treehouse when we had to ask the model to duck because the men came in to collect the bins.”

Margaret added that she was pleased with the final product.

“It showcases the garden with a little twist,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun and the staff have been really fantastic.”