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5th March 2017. Portland fishermen have raised more than £2000 for the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) after stripping down for a tongue in cheek charity calendar.

As previously reported, members and friends of the Portland Angling Club bared all in a series of risqué shots for the aptly named 'Fifty Shades of Fishnets' New Year calendar. The artful calendar saw the anglers swap their fishing nets for fishnets and pose in varying shades of stockings is numerous locations around the island. Maurice Pickford, a builder from Portland and inspiration behind the project, said: "We decided to raise money for Coastwatch because we fish and we are always out on boats so it’s a little bit of security around us. We all know people who have lost their lives around here and maybe we can help put a stop to it. We know there have been cut backs with the helicopter on Portland and things so hopefully we can help make a small difference." After going on sale at various locations across the island, the Angling Club secretary and Polly Jordan surprised watchkeepers with a cheque for £2338 at a presentation evening at Easton Conservative Club.

Station manager of NCI Portland Bill,Geoff Peters, said: "The calendar was the best kept island secret as none of the watchkeepers at Portland Bill had heard anything about the forthcoming production so it came as a wonderful and very welcome surprise. My praise goes to Maurice Pickford, the originator, and everyone who took part in making the 2017 calendar, whether it was by posing or contributing to the cost of production." With nine volunteers required to man the watch station at each day and an annual running cost of £8,000, NCI Portland Bill depend on the generosity of pubic donations.

The photograph courtesy of the Dorset Echo shows the presentation of the cheque with watchkeepers Richard Moass , Ron Brooks and Carole Norrie with Polly Jordan, Maurice Pickford and Station Manager Geoff Peters

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