The famous chartreuse coloured cotton towelling bikini worn by Dame Barbara Windsor in an iconic scene from the 1969 Carry on Camping comedy has been sold with the proceeds going to the Alzeimer’s Society.

Barbara Windsor Bikini Legacy for Alzeimer’s Sufferer

The strapless underwired brassiere and matching briefs was originally tipped to fetch between £800 and £1,200 but was sold to an American buyer after a bidding war between telephone and online buyers, when it went under the hammer at Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Dame Barbara famously wore the bikini which saw the top fly off during the middle of an exercise class.

Kate Lee, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “Dame Barbara Windsor inspired so many when she spoke out about her dementia diagnosis, and we are so incredibly grateful to have had her and her husband Scott’s unwavering support – what they achieved for people with dementia has been truly awe-inspiring. This bikini is an iconic item from an iconic lady.

“People living with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus and have never needed our help more. Our support services like our Dementia Connect support line have been used more than five million times since March 2020, and people tell us they have been a lifeline.

“It is fantastic that such an iconic item will continue Dame Barbara’s legacy to support people affected by dementia, and we are touched by the generosity of the vendor.”

The bikini was salvaged from a bin by a member of staff during a stock clearance at London costume company Bermans & Nathans in about 1990.

Remnants of the fishing line used to pull the bikini away from Dame Barbara can still be seen stitched to the front of the top.

A spokesperson for Kerry Taylor Auctions said: “We have had so much interest in this bikini, from devoted fans of the Carry On films to people who simply love Barbara Windsor. During her long career, she was renowned for her down-to-earth nature, great sense of humour and superb acting ability.

“She was a true professional. It seems very apt that a bikini that caused her so much embarrassment during the filming will now go to such a good cause, as Barbara herself sadly suffered from this disease.”

Dame Barbara died in December 2020 aged 83 following a battle with Alzheimer’s, which she was diagnosed with in 2014. An image from the famous scene was included in the order of service for her funeral alongside her quote: “That picture will follow me to the end.”

Filming for Carry On Camping took place between October and November 1968, primarily in what were then orchards at the back of the Pinewood Studios estate. Filmed in cold, wet conditions, the muddy ground and bare trees had to be spray-painted green to create a warmer season for the film. At times conditions were so muddy that many scenes were shot only from the waist up, whilst the actors sank into the mud and perched upon duckboards.

Dame Barbara featured in eight other films in the Carry On series, including Carry On Spying, Carry On Matron and Carry On Dick.

Contact Alzheimer’s Society


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