Shropshire Star

'Just ironing my skirt' - call for protest ‘drag mob’ in Ludlow Bed Push nurses row

Hospital supporters in Ludlow are looking for someone to organise a fancy dress ‘flash mob’ to protest the refusal of £2,500 charity cash raised by men in drag.

Fundraisers have taken part in the event for years and now want a ‘drag mob’ to take place to highlight Ludlow as a ‘fun town’

The irreverent suggestion has been made by Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North, and has already attracted interest from those outraged that the trust which runs Ludlow Hospital turned down the money raised by a team of men in nurse-themed drag in July.

Among those who have backed the idea of some kind of fancy dress “drag mob” event to show the strength of feeling over the issue are members of the original team of fundraisers who carried out the annual bed push run around Ludlow, which has been a tradition in the town for nearly three decades.

However this year money was turned down by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust as bosses said they were uncomfortable with what they called the ‘over-sexualised’ and ‘demeaning’ outfits of the men.

How the story has developed:

Councillor Boddington posted the idea to the Facebook group of a separate campaign involving Ludlow Hospital, Save Ludlow Maternity Unit, saying: “This has been an amazing story. It’s everywhere on social and printed media. Is there no way to build on this?

“Perhaps a flash mob of citizens and health professionals dressed as all and sundry?

“It could raise more cash and could be a way of driving home that we are a laugh-a-minute town that lives with gender as gender is.

“Humour is just the way we are. Gender is just the way we are, and laughter is the best medicine.”

Councillor Boddington and Mark Hiles, one of the Ludlow Bed Push fundraisers, said they were both happy to volunteer, while supporter Victoria Martin said she would drag-up the other way around.

“I look great as a bloke – male doctor, white coat and some cleavage and a beard,” she said.

Councillor Boddington said there had been lots of positive responses to the idea, but to get off the ground the event would really need someone who knew what they were doing in organising such things.

However, he said: “I’m happy to take part – just ironing my skirt.”