My View, Ben Parkinson: How I tried a bit of modelling 1960s style

Ben Parkinson modelling cycling shorts on the Pilgrimbandits black tie dinner in Doncaster
Ben Parkinson modelling cycling shorts on the Pilgrimbandits black tie dinner in Doncaster
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Last weekend was the annual Black Tie Dinner for Pilgrimbandits at Mount Pleasant Hotel.

We had supporters and reps coming from all over the country because this is our biggest party of the year. We had more than 185 guests and a great time was had by all.

I was wearing my number one dress uniform and my long legs, at least for the first part of the evening.

The elected Mayor Ros Jones and her husband Alan were there and also the director of the BBC documentary Wilderness Warrior.

That made up my table along with two friends from the regiment and their wives.

Firstly we made a presentation to Reg Drainer.

He was the 97-year-old veteran of the Royal Navy who was with me at Remembrance Day .

We were very proud to have mounted all his medals for him so that he can wear them next Remembrance Day.

We also made a presentation to a man who has done so much for the charity this year and really pushed himself to help the lads.

Mark Brierley was there to support a team but he found himself climbing Mount Snowdon.

He really has gone a the extra mile.

A few months ago we found some old pictures from the ’60s when male models were wearing brightly coloured shorts and trousers.

We decided that in honour of the Tour de Yorkshire we would have some cycling shorts made to model at the ball.

The very finest specimens from the charity volunteered to be the victims wearing them.

I have nothing to add on this subject but the pictures speak for themselves.

It was a very special night for me. Not only were friends from the charity and my regiment there, but also both of my brothers and my sister with their partners, probably getting us all together and dressed up for the first time in years.

Although it was supposed to end at midnight there were loads of people still there after 2am.

I was very glad that I had decided not to drink when I had to get up early on Sunday morning to take part in the Santa Dash at Sandall Park.

We were very lucky that the rain had stopped and 500 Santas and Elves took part, together with lots of their well dressed doggies.

I was very impressed by one tiny reindeer substitute, a dachshund puppy called Ruby.

I know what my mum would’ve loved for Christmas but unfortunately Ruby’s mum wouldn’t part with her.

Looks like I’ll be fighting my way round the Frenchgate Centre with all the other last-minute shoppers then.

n Journey Down the Yukon – A Soldier’s Challenge, BBC Two, tomorrow 7pm