A RESTAURANT owner in Chester organised a charity night to celebrate its 18th anniversary.

Sheila Callaghan, of Moules A Go-Go on Cuppin Street, also wanted to mark the same anniversary of the production of the first 'alternative' Women's Institute calendar in 1999.

She organised a Calendar Girls fundraiser in support of the restaurant's nominated charity, 'Bloodwise' Leukemia Cancer Research, which has raised more than £750.

“When ladies come together to raise funds for charity anything is possible,” said Sheila. “It's all about bringing everyone together.”

The story of the Calendar Girls became well known at the same time Moules A Go-Go opened and it later went on to be a hit movie.

More recently the story has been adapted into a West End theatre production with music by Gary Barlow.

Sheila thought it would be a good idea to call on local businesswomen as well as restaurant regulars to come together in the spirit of the WI for a double celebration lunch.

A three course menu, lashings of prosecco and some sizeable buns ensured the afternoon was a sell-out, she said.

The highlight of the lunch was the home-made cakes produced by long-standing customer Agnes Brennan, and Paula Skeoch, owner of Grosvenor Guest House opposite the restaurant, who also gave a raffle prize of an overnight stay with breakfast.

Ursula Ryalls made the table place mats which featured the original calendar girls.

“She's 84 years young and a wiz on the computer," said Sheila. “There's no stopping her!”

Customers were also entertained by a choreographed Laura Ashley and Burton's fashion show which featured 60s inspired pinafores, tailored jackets and glitzy party wear.

Local businesses including the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, Boodles, Wilde Florist, Chlobo, Laura Ashley, and Panama Hatty's provided the prizes for the raffle including one from Tricia Stewart, one of the original Calendar Girls whose part was played by Helen Mirren.