Laura wows the judges

Laura Hickey from Wooler, who won the first heat of Miss Northumberland held at the MetroCentre.
Laura Hickey from Wooler, who won the first heat of Miss Northumberland held at the MetroCentre.

A WOOLER student has moved one step closer to becoming the face of the county, after wowing the judges in the first heat of the new Miss Northumberland contest.

Twenty-one-year-old Laura Hickey, who is currently studying at Leeds Met University to become an osteopath, stormed through the opening round held at the MetroCentre on Thursday night, earning a place in the grand final.

She not only had to impress the panel by modelling evening wear, but also something to match her personality – a vital characteristic for the lucky Miss who will eventually be crowned at a glittering show to be held at Linden Hall on June 3. Laura chose a classic floral dress – her usual attire when she’s not in her running or horse-riding gear.

“A friend saw details for Miss Northumberland and suggested I should just go for it,” said Laura, who went on a round-the-world adventure during her gap-year, learning to scuba dive and kickbox in Thailand, sky-dive and bungee jump in Australia, as well as teaching in a Thai school.

“I was pretty nervous and didn’t know what to expect, so I was in at the deep end when it came to the first heat. I was the only girl not in black – I chose white and pink, because I’m a colourful person at heart.

“I couldn’t believe when they told me I had won – I couldn’t stop grinning. Modelling has never really crossed my mind, but if I find something I enjoy doing, I’ll give it my best shot. I never thought I would qualify as a model, but here I am!”

There are three rounds left and the winner and four runners-up from each will also go through to the final.

The next takes place at The Wellwood in Amble, at a date to be announced.

And it’s not too late to enter – fill in the nomination form by visiting www.missnorthumberland.co.uk