Bethany books a place in the final

Miss Northumberland heat. Bethany Barker from Alnwick.
Miss Northumberland heat. Bethany Barker from Alnwick.
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AN Alnwick teenager has spoken of her delight after sealing a place in the final of a renowned beauty and personality contest.

Bethany Barker’s dreams of being crowned Miss Northumberland 2012 moved a step closer after she came through the competition’s first heat at The Joiners Arms, at Newton-by-the-Sea, last Wednesday.

The 17-year-old was one of five girls to book a spot in the Friday, June 29, final.

And the Windsor Gardens lass admits she is thrilled.

“I can’t even explain how good it feels to reach the final. I am so happy and I am really looking forward to the final,” said the former Duchess’s Community High School pupil.

Bethany made it through to the final, which takes place at Newton Hall, at Newton-by-the-Sea, after impressing the judging panel, which included current Miss Northumberland Laura Hickey and Mark Chapman, director of the competition’s main sponsor Rhinox.

Ten girls entered The Joiners Arms event and others to make it through on the night were heat winner Jessica Cunningham, 22, from Blyth, and fellow finalists Jodie Weatherstone, 16, and Momay Kanittha, 17, both from Ashington, and Kate Ireland, 22, from Jesmond.

Bethany, who is currently studying a computer technician apprenticeship in Newcastle, said: “I didn’t think I would be able to get through. The girls were really nice people and it was a hard competition.

“It was the first time I have ever done anything like this.

“I was really, really nervous. But it was really fun. I really enjoyed it.”

This year’s winner will follow in the footsteps of Laura Hickey, as well as receiving a modelling contract with the newly-established Glamrus Model Agency, a host of other prizes, and will go on to compete in next year’s Miss England contest.

Bethany admits it would be a privilege to become the next Miss Northumberland.

“I would love it,” she said.

“I would love to represent Northumberland – I have grown up here and it is a really nice place.”

The Miss Northumberland 2012 competition, in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice, comes on the back of last year’s successful inaugural event, and organisers One Voice Productions has once again teamed up with the Gazette, as well as its sister papers the Morpeth Herald, Berwick Advertiser and News Post Leader.

And with the competition’s next heat taking place on Tuesday at Blackmore’s of Alnwick, from 7pm, followed by an event at The Black Swan, in Alnwick, on June 6, girls are being encouraged to come forward.

Those aged 17 to 24 (by April 2013) can sign up.

Women’s online clothing retailer Frock ‘n’ Roll is one of the sponsors for this year’s event.

Amy Slavin, MD, said: “I am so excited to be part of this great local event. I wish all the contestants the best of luck and I’m sure they will look stunning in our garments. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our clothing to our target audience, and to support other local business.”

For more information, visit www.missnorthumberland.co.uk