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Seventies beauty is still blooming

PUBLISHED: 21:15 14 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

SEVENTIES beauty pageant winner Shirley Jennings has been reunited with an image of her former bell-bottomed self.

In March 1977 the blond blue-eyed 23-year-old posed proudly by Felixstowe port after winning the Miss Port of Felixstowe competition.

SEVENTIES beauty pageant winner Shirley Jennings has been reunited with an image of her former bell-bottomed self.

In March 1977 the blond blue-eyed 23-year-old posed proudly by Felixstowe port after winning the Miss Port of Felixstowe competition.

Mrs Jennings (nee Halls) entered the one-off competition at the last minute and beat nine other women to win the accolade.

The Evening Star asked its readers in Felixstowe Past Times who the mystery woman was and the now 49-year-old has come forward and been presented with the photograph which featured in the original article 26 years ago.

"It was brilliant, it was exciting in those days, it was a very girlie thing to do and I have always been that way inclined," said the mum-of-one of her memories of wearing the Miss Port of Felixstowe sash with pride.

"I enjoyed it. I always enjoy dressing up.

"It's just the excitement of it all. I'm not a competitive person so it didn't matter who was winning. It was just the glamour of it all.

"Since then I have had a child and he's 13 now. Basically I'm like a full-time mum, I have got lots of hobbies and whatever, I like doing a lot of painting and dress making and different jobs – often part-time jobs."

When Mrs Jennings, of Stowmarket, became Miss Port of Felixstowe she was living in Hitcham, near Stowmarket. She did not have the glamorous job expected of a beauty pageant winner but instead she was a draughtswoman where she had to draw diagrams and go on site visits for an electricity board in Great Finborough.

Mrs Jennings now keeps herself busy by looking after her son, caring for her elderly relatives and working part-time in an office for an engineering company.

However just after winning Miss Port of Felixstowe she went on to work for the cosmetics company Revlon and then worked in retail management at the female high street clothes shop Dorothy Perkins.

She said: "I have done a variety of things, I'm able to turn my hand to most things."

The then Miss Halls won the first and last Miss Port of Felixstowe competition in 1977 as it had been arranged to raise money for a new club house at the dock. She was presented with a silver cup and a cheque for £50 at the Orwell Hotel, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

At the time the 23-year-old had said that she did not wish to become a full-time model but found the competition very exciting especially the last five minutes when all the tension would build up.

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