It all started as a laugh 36 years ago – and the laughter hasn’t stopped since...
Buxton’s Billerettes began as a dare when three blokes reckoned they could do a better job than the carnival majorettes and took to the streets on carnival day to prove it.
The Billerettes, named after Bill Weston, were born, and 408 Billerettes, one meeting with The Queen and an MBE later, Bill has produced the definitive history of the wonderful charity fund-raisers in a glossy book, Men in Skirts.
They continue to perform at as many as 50 events a year appearing in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, as well as via television in 111 countries, making them truly international.
The appeal of the Billerettes creates a constant demand for their particular form of entertainment and they have, to date, performed in excess of 1,000 events, and of course hope to go on for many years.
They have performed on Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground, on Stockport County’s football ground, at Heaton Park, even on ice at the Manchester Evening News Arena, as well as in France and a whole multiplicity of venues.
Everything they do, they do for charity, and although it is difficult to quantify the money they have helped to raise, it is in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Bill earned the MBE for his fund-raising efforts. “Unusual” was the way Her Majesty described how the cash was collected!
Men in Skirts, The Story of the Billerettes contains over 75,000 words and over 500 photographs. It tells the story of the Billerettes from their conception, their development into television, sport, theatre and shows, carnivals, weddings, celebrations, parties and presentations to charity organisations.
Demand has grown for a book about the Billerettes, - an ideal anytime gift, not only for yourself but the perfect present for friends and family.
The Billerettes have had over the years 408 members, performed for 102 different charity organisations, all mentioned in the book, at over 250 carnivals in 43 carnival venues.
l The book is now on sale at just £12.50, the details of where it can be purchased is constantly being updated on their website.
Outlets currently stocking the book include: Titles Book Store, Cavendish Arcade, Buxton; Higher Buxton Post Office, Titles Book Store, Bakewell; High Street Books, New Mills; Expressions Card and Gifts, Chapel-en-le-Frith; Footsteps Books, Whaley Bridge; Hayfield News, Hayfield; Parmar’s News Agent, Chinley; Tideswell Stores, Tideswell; Church Street Stores, Eyam; Bradwell Post Office and Newsagent, Bradwell.
Or you can contact Bill Weston MBE on 01298 79305 or e-mail email@example.com
The Billerettes’ website is www.billerettes.org.uk.