Throughout the 1990's I worked for our local evening newspaper, firstly in the Promotions Department, then later moving on to Advertising.
Each year the Echo would choose a Charity to support.
It wasn't difficult to find local business sponsors.
For four years running, our local British Gas Showrooms were keen to be involved as the venue for the "Great Christmas Mince Pie Marathon."
Local businesses supplied us with pastry and mincemeat, (many thanks A.W. Curtis and Asda!)
Other businesses lent their support in other ways by sending a team of four bakers to compete in "Bake-Offs throughout the day.
Radio Lincolnshire sent a team and also provided extra news coverage.
Our local Gas Showrooms was situated on a corner in Lincoln High Street.
Each year, a couple of weeks before Christmas, the Marathon would take place in the two huge plate glass window areas, two teams at a time.
Members of the public would stand outside, watch and shout,
and other such words of encouragement.
There would be two teams at a time, baking Mince Pies in the window areas throughout the day.
Among others, there were...........
The "Luvvies" from the annual Pantomime..........
and.............(if I REALLY bullied them,) some of my colleagues
As the mince pies were baked, they were bagged up into sixes and sold inside the Showrooms.
To really get the pies moving and to generate publicity, me and other volunteers in Fancy Dress ran up and down Lincoln High Street selling them 50p a bag.
(Which wasn't cheap in those days!)
One year, a national Gas Appliance company also sent me a volunteer.
He was a lovely bloke, and very happy to pitch in.
He even brought his own Fancy Dress costume.
I don't remember his real name, so I'll just call him "Tony"
I was dressed as one of Santa's Elves! (No pic, what a shame!)
I carried a huge basket of pies. All I was wearing was a red hat with a bell on the end, pixie ears, a pair of green leggings, and a long red t-shirt, (with short sleeves!)
The only pocket I had was on the breast of my t-shirt, so I kept the coins in there and gave out change accordingly.
As people gave me £5 or £10 notes, I stuffed them in my bra for safe keeping.
After a while, I was running out of pies, my bra was becoming VERY uncomfortable, and I was
flippin' freezin' (Remember this was December!)
"Tony" and me ran back to the Showrooms. The bell on my hat tinkling furiously!
The Manager told me where to put the cash for safe keeping.
As I went to put my hand down my bra for the fivers and tenners, I realised that I could not accomplish this task on my own.
My fingers wouldn't work and my hands were soooooooooooooo cold.
Tony the Tiger looked at me with a glint in his eye, took off his "paws" and proceeded to rub his hands together.
"Oh no, you don't, Sunshine!" I said, wondering what to do.
My (then) husband worked for British Gas and had been roped in that day to play Santa in the Showrooms.
I looked around for him. I caught sight of him behind a huge display board adjusting his beard.
"Stop there a minute, Ducky," I shouted to him, "I need a bit of help."
I went round the side of the board and asked Hubby to retrieve the money from down the front of my bra.
He duly obliged.
Well, he would do - it was the best offer he'd had all week!
It was at this moment that I spotted a little boy who had followed me.
He was also looking for Santa.
"Mummy, Mummy - come and look at this!" he shrilled.
His Mum followed and stared in disbelief to see Santa, almost up to his elbows down the bra of one of his Elfin Helpers.
"Don't worry," I said, " we ARE married."
But I knew from the look on her face that she just didn't believe me!
Just before I go, I've managed to find a couple of pics of when I chased after the Mayor of Lincoln down the High Street, dressed as a Victorian prostitute.
I mentioned it in a previous post here.
Apologies for the poor picture quality.
I know some of my tales sound far-fetched, but sometimes they REALLY are true!
The camera never lies.............
Me - when I realised the mayor had driven off without me.
Look how fed up I look!
Oh there he is..............."Coooooeeeeeeee!"
I've found loads of other photo's of my other Promotional Escapades, so don't forget to keep popping back!
Bring your "Tena Ladies" with you.