A GROUP of bartenders from York will be throwing caution – and their clothes – to the wind when they go naked for a charity calendar to raise awareness of The Press’s river safety campaign.
The idea of the calendar followed the death of 21-year-old bartender Richard Horrocks, who drowned after jumping into the Ouse from a balcony in July at the end of his last shift at a bar. He was the third person to die in York’s rivers this year.
His death prompted The Press to launch its Think, Don’t Swim campaign, which has the full backing of Richard’s family and also of fire chiefs, who are increasingly concerned about river-related incidents which have led to their rescue boat being called into action at least once a week this year.
Chloe Bowman, whose partner Fazer Monaghan works as a bartender at Vudu Lounge and was a friend of Richard – known as “Tosh” came up with the Naked Bartenders Of York calendar as a way to help The Press raise awareness of the dangers of the River Ouse and Foss. Profits from the calendar will go towards helping York’s fire service invest in more river safety equipment.
Bartenders from five bars in York – 1331, Vudu Lounge, Bobo Lobo, The House Of Trembling Madness and Evil Eye – stripped for a shoot at York Studios. The finished product will be available for sale next month.
Chloe, 26, of Malton Road, said: “Tosh was really popular in York, having worked at Bobo Lobo and Revolution, and with bartenders it is like a little community – all the boys hang around together and were one big family, and so his death was a real shock to them.
“Most of the lads are in their late teens to early twenties and to deal with something like this at that age is quite hard.
“I thought with the calendar it would be a great way of raising awareness and reinforcing the message of The Press’s river campaign in the hope it will prevent another tragedy occurring.
“It is also a great way of not only raising funds but also to bring all the boys together and lifting sprits.
“We thought it would be a perfect way of honouring Tosh– it seemed like a fitting thing to do and it would have been something he himself would have really been up for – he was always such a showman.
“Obviously all ‘rude bits’ have been covered in a comedic way – although once the lads stripped off it was very hard to make them put their clothes back on.”
She said one month of the calendar would be dedicated to Richard.
The calendar, which costs £8, will be available from 1331, Vudu Lounge, Bobo Lobo, The House Of Trembling Madness and Evil Eye, following a launch night on November 22.
People can find out more information on the dedicated Facebook page: Naked Bartenders Of York Calendar 2012.