Nostalgia: Queens of the beauty age

May Handley is crowned winner of the Miss Dunbar Beauty Contest by Andy Stewart
May Handley is crowned winner of the Miss Dunbar Beauty Contest by Andy Stewart
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IT was a “spur of the moment” idea which prompted mum-of-two May Handley to put herself forward for the gruelling beauty contest back in 1965.

And when she was crowned and sashed that year’s Miss Dunbar by entertainer Andy Stewart – pictured above – she knew she had made the right decision, heading home not only with the title but with a hefty cheque for £100.

Livingston teacher Laura Brown will be hoping such luck heads her way as she bids to win the title of Miss Scotland 2013 in next month’s final. The popular employee at St Nicholas School in Broxburn has already competed in the Miss West Lothian pageant and is now bidding to impress judges in the national competition.

As we wait to learn her fate, we can look back on other women who have been successful in their pageant dreams, including city girl Gloria Donaldson who was crowned Miss Hearts 1974, pictured here with footballers Donald Ford and Tommy Murray at the club’s centenary rally that September in the Usher Hall.

In August 1969, it was 24-year-old Vera Callaghan who stole the show in Portobello as she won the second heat of the Capital Queen contest at the local pool, impressing judges with a “stunning, lace-trimmed one-piece swim suit”.

“My swimsuit took so long to make, it just had to be lucky,” she said.

Among the judges that night was Hibs captain Pat Stanton and Hearts captain Eddie Thomson, joined by hundreds of people who turned out for a night of entertainment.