Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Cumbrian hopefuls signed up for Miss England contest

Talent scouts from Miss England have been signing up contestants in Carlisle.

Miss Cumbria photo
Organisers of the Miss Cumbria competition, including former winners, scout for girls in The Lanes, Carlisle

They approached potential entrants in the Lanes Shopping Centre, urging them to go in for Miss Cumbria. The final is at Carlisle Racecourse on November 23.

The winner qualifies for the final of Miss England and the chance to go forward to Miss World where the main prize is £64,000.

Mark Jones, regional organiser for Miss England, was in charge of the scouting operation on Saturday.

He said: “We would love to find the next Miss England in Cumbria.

“A lot of people think the competition is all about looks, which it isn’t.

“We are looking for an ambassador for Cumbria who is proud of where they come from and who is a good role model for young girls.”

The reigning Miss Cumbria, Deborah Ingram from Long Marton near Appleby, was there to advise would-be contestants.

She said: “I tell them to be confident and give it a try. It’s not as scary as you think. Since I won I’ve done a lot of charity fundraising and been to functions and the finals of Miss England. I’ve made the most amazing friends out of it.”

Those signing up included Natasha Parry, 23, of Beck Green, Egremont. She said: “I’ve never thought about being a model but thought this would be fun so I’ve entered.”

University of Cumbria student Jess Weatherly-Gibbs, 21, hopes it will be second-time lucky.

She said: “I went in for it last year but got a throat infection and lost my voice. It got worse and worse so I had to withdraw.”

There is also a Junior Miss Cumbria, allowing girls aged 13 to 16 to take part in a fashion show and awards ceremony.

Jade Cole, 14, of Stanwix, Carlisle, is one of the hopefuls. She said: “I’m quite a confident person and I’m doing a modelling photoshoot later this month.

“My aunty, Natasha Ellis, is a model in Manchester so you never know where it might lead.”

The scouts were in Penrith on Friday and had been due to visit Cockermouth, Workington and Whitehaven but bad weather forced the cancellation of the west Cumbrian leg.

Participants for Miss Cumbria must be aged between 17 and 24 and never have been married or have children. Enter online at


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