We’ve all had one of these – for me Friday 14th August 1908 was one of them. The information sources I found told me that this day was the days of ‘The first International Beauty Contest in Britain – it was held at the Pier Hippodrome at Folkestone in Kent.’ That was all that was said! I dug deeper and found another source that said that ‘Felixstowe held the first international beauty contest on 14 August 1908. Entries were said to include six English girls, three French, one Irish, one Austrian and ‘a number of fisher girls from Boulogne’ – and nothing more! I dug further and finally found ‘The West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser’ and that told me that:
‘Folkestone Beauty Show: A crowded audience assembled at the Pier Pavilion on Friday evening in connection with the final of the International Ladies’ Beauty Show. Three visitors and three residents had been selected by the votes of the audience to compete against a selection of foreign beauties – representatives from Paris, Boulogne, Vienna and America. The English visitors all came from London. They were Miss Nellie Jarman from East Molesey; Miss Lever from Maida-vale and Miss Winnie Pickworth of Chelsea – who were adjudged first, second and third respectively at the preliminary adjudication. The former lady is an accomplished long-distance swimmer. The prizes were a grand cottage piano, a lady’s cycle and a gold watch. The Mayors of Folkstone, Hythe and Maidstone superintended the voting on Friday in which the audience took part. Whilst the counting process went on the ladies sat in full view of the audience. Amidst a scene of great enthusiasm the Mayor announced the winners as follows:
At 3rd place with 209 votes – Miss Winnie Osborn, Folkestone
At 2nd place with 346 votes – Miss Asta Fleming of Vienna with 346 votes
At 1st place with 470 vote we have Miss Nellie Jarman, East Molesey
Each of the losers was presented with a souvenir medal.
I must admit that I would have loved to watched this.