Beauties do battle for the crown

Katherine Stewart.
Katherine Stewart.

THEY are almost neighbours, but two beauties from the Belford area will soon have to do battle if they want to become the first ever Miss Northumberland.

Tanya Thompson, from the village, and Katherine Stewart, from nearby Lowick, both finished as runners-up in Tuesday night’s heat of the competition, held at Linden Hall Hotel.

Tanya Thompson.

Tanya Thompson.

It means that 21-year-old Tanya and Katherine, 17, will now go through to the grand finale at the hotel on June 3, along with the heat winner, Emily Stokoe from Morpeth.

But it’s not all about looks – grace, presentation and personality are what the judges are searching for.

And bank-worker Tanya also has brains to match, with 12 GCSEs and three A-levels under her belt, as well as professional qualifications – not to mention double-jointed arms.

“I’ve got the ability to make people laugh and make light of a situation, as I like to see people smile,” she said. “I’m a people person and love meeting new people and talking for hours and hours.

“I have never entered a competition like Miss Northumberland before, but I’m willing to put the work in.”

Katherine was one of the head peer mentors at Berwick-upon-Tweed High School, which involved training in drugs prevention, disorders, child protection, abuse and alcohol. She was also chairman of Berwick Borough Housing Youth Advisory Panel between 2008 and 2010.

As well as making her own clothes, creating nail art and hula-hooping, she was previously chosen as one of the 10 finalists in her category for the first North East’s Next Top Model – aged just 13 at the time.

But she decided to get through her main schooling first before following her dreams.

Katherine said: “I would like to be able to one day change the way in which models are perceived by becoming one myself. I would also like to one day settle down on a farm in the hills, here in rural Northumberland.”