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Svetlana Korneeva. My Time line. 1945- Morecamble and Heysham Corporation first promote the competition. 1948-This contest had been registered under the business Names Act in the name of “The national bathing Beauty Competition”.

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My Time line

  • 1945- Morecamble and Heysham Corporation first promote the competition.

  • 1948-This contest had been registered under the business Names Act in the name of “The national bathing Beauty Competition”.

  • 1955- Its name was changed to “Miss Great Britain National Bathing Beauty Contest”.

  • »Morecamble and Heysham Corporation was in charge of the above contest for 21 years.

  • Not to be confused with the Mecca’s LTD : “Miss England”-that was started by Eric Morley (founder of the Miss World competition) in 1952. and…

  • Not to be confused with “Miss United Kingdom” which started in 1958 with the support of Blackpool Corporation.

  • Because confusion could take you to court by Morecamble and Heysham Corporation……


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….Court Case

  • Morecamble and Heysham Corporation took Mecca Ltd to court because it was argued that similarities in the names of the contests would cause confusion in titles awarded. Titles so similar as “Miss Great Britain” and “Miss Britain” caused confusion in the press as well. The judge wondered if complications like this might cause the audience to attend the wrong contest or the wrong contestant would be entered for the wrong competitions…


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….in case you are confused, I am talking about…

…Morecamble Contests-(or Miss Great Britain)


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Brief history

  • In the years after World War II beauty contests were being introduced in a number of seaside resorts around Great Britain. Town like Eastbourne, Great Yarmouth staged contests but the main focus was always Lancashire and North Wales: Rhyl, new Brighton, Southport, Blackpool, Fleetwood and Morecamble.

  • The Morecamble Contest (later to become Miss Great Britain) began in the summer of 1945, as the “Bathing Beauty Queen”, organized by a local council in partnership with the Sunday Dispatch newspaper. The first prize was “7 guineas and a basket of fruit”. However the prize money soon increased to £100 in 1946, £500 in 1947 and up to £1000 in the 60th. “The prize of beauty had gone up”

1545.30 | MISS GREAT BRITAIN (1:48:55:00 - 1:49:55:00) 01/09/1958


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The contest was a new kind of entertainment for a holiday-maker, where men could enjoy looking at pretty girls and women could enjoy commentating on other women.

Soon almost all little girls would dream of being bathing beauties when they grew up. The contest had a promise not only of cash prizes but possibility of fame….there is always Hollywood.

Towns like Morecambe were depending on beauty contests to bring tourists in. Some even thought contests were the only attractions there.

Brief History


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How was it….and holiday-maker, where men could enjoy looking at pretty girls and women could enjoy commentating on other women.

  • It started like this “until girls begun to outstrip each other, so to speak”

  • Not everyone thought that those were positive changes

1220.10 | BATHING BEAUTIES (1:14:27:00 - 1:15:28:00) 06/08/1936


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…How is it now holiday-maker, where men could enjoy looking at pretty girls and women could enjoy commentating on other women.

  • They were “only hoping that some day those bathing suites will be used for bathing”…and they are


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1220.10 | BATHING BEAUTIES (issue title is MILES AND SMILES) (1:14:27:00 - 1:15:28:00) 06/08/1936

2738.24 | ( MISS GREAT BRITAIN ) (1:39:33:00 - 1:40:44:00) 1959


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MEN…. contests shapes as well.

  • What clearly did not change is the reaction of men towards the contestants.

1545.30 | MISS GREAT BRITAIN (1:48:55:00 - 1:49:55:00) 01/09/1958

1772.29 | MISS GREAT BRITAIN (1:50:12:00 - 1:51:54:00) 02/09/1963


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The Times contests shapes as well., Wednesday, Sep 25, 1974; pg. 29; Issue 59201; col A

Miss Great Britain was a popular broadcasted event in the 70th. However in 1984 it was decided otherwise

The Times, Saturday, Nov 17, 1984; pg. 3; Issue 61989; col A

Beauty Contests were called “tacky, demeaning, an anachronism” says BBC in 2002. But they are still a very watched event, almost as popular as the World Cup to men!


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Arguments FOR and AGAINST contests shapes as well.

  • In the early years, protests against contests were relatively mild. Traditionalists in 1950 were against contestants wearing bikinis.

  • Than came the Feminists….


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“Women’s body are not for sale!” contests shapes as well.

  • ….In 1970, Women Liberation Protesters stormed the Albert Hall in London, “shouted down the host, and pelted the stage”.

  • But now feminists agree that the contests are too much of a “joke to warrant action”.


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How do people feel? contests shapes as well.

  • “I thought the whole point of feminism was to give women equality and choice? If these women want to show of their bodies - let them. Women shouldn't be quarrelling with each other - no wonder it's a man's world!”Tamara Chase, Dublin, Ireland

  • “As long as women want to parade themselves to be the best, What can we do? They're promoting themselves. The problem doesn't lie with the contestants, but the odd people that watch it.”Di, U.K.

  • “Beauty pageants are not out of date. Beauty contest has been around for ages. Why should we even contemplate of stopping it now? Those who are trying to stop it are hypocrites who are using religion as an excuse. Let us think about the benefits those women give to the society”J Ajilore, USA

  • “Only bigots and the overly medieval attitudes can be blamed for the rioting.The pageant should go ahead as a two fingers to those people who want to force their unwanted, so called "morality" on the rest of us.”Vish, UK

  • “I find it degrading for women to be displayed on stage like sex slaves with millions of people watching. Women are the bearers of families and should be elevated to a high status in the world and society. Respect women, it is already a man's world with their rights already taken away from them in a lot of countries around the world.”

    Khaled Taha, United Arab Emirates


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So what is the overall view? contests shapes as well.

  • It is obvious that Europe and America have much more positive looks on Beauty competitions, than say United Arab Emirates, which is understandable taking into account their Muslim Religion.But it has to be mentioned that maybe countries like Britain do not see beauty pageants as a threat to morality because they simply do not care? “Who cares? It's only a beauty contest.”Roger, UK


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Popularity and attendance of Miss Great Britain. contests shapes as well.

  • The 1950-60th saw the “hey-day” of the sea side-beauty contests, because it was the “hey-day” of the British sea-side holidays.

  • But late 1960 saw sea-side holiday demand in decline. “Increased car ownership meant that many families had a wider choice and some families could afford to go abroad for certain sun, rather than taking pot-luck in Morecambe”.

  • The 80th saw “the end of number of sea-side beauty contests”. The British public were seeking fir “more sophisticated forms of holiday entertainment” and contests were now covered by television anyway.


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First published in Evening News on 01 May 1945 contests shapes as well.

The Times, Friday, Dec 19, 1980; pg. 4; Issue 60806; col D

"Verydifficult this, Sir. It's Miss 1939, insisting on her old job back!"

“Miss Bathing Beauty and Holiday Girl contest winner Returns to Work” (cartoon) First published in Evening News on 24 Aug 1953


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Conclusion: contests shapes as well.

First published in Daily Mail on 10 May 1958

"We should be safe with this one. She's over sixteen, definitely not married, and certainly ISN'T wearing a waspie!"

In my presentation through Pâté and the Times online archive I tried to show you, that Beauty Contests were an important part of entertainment in the middle of 20th century. Holiday making after the war depended on it, and towns like Morecambe, used it as a tourist attraction. But as the century came to an end English people wanted a new way of time spending, tourism had to adjust to those wishes and Morecambe had to get used to this new marketing demand. However, introducing such a thing into the English culture had a big impact on the English. After all it is England that still supports Beauty Contests around the world, not Saudi Arabia. The only thing that changed is that now its all politics not holiday making.

First published in Daily Mirror on 09 Nov 1964


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* contests shapes as well.online archive version of “The Times”

* online cartoon archive

*http://news.bbc.co.uk

*http://www.britishpathe.com

*http://www.mac.ndo.co.uk

“From fairest creatures we desire increase

That thereby beauty’s rose might never die”

W. Shakespeare

Bibliography:


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