Mechanical promenading, MacDonald Hobley and blatant blondes!
Back in the day, when sexism wasn't a word in such common usage, this article about a televised beauty contest at the Ocean Hotel in Saltdean
appeared in the October 1959 issue of local magazine, 'The Downland Post'.
Entitled, 'TV AT SALTDEAN', the amusing write up about the beauty contest is as follows...
An outside Broadcast unit from Southern Television, was at the Ocean Hotel, Saltdean on Monday 31st of August. For thirty minutes in the evening, viewers were entertained by the mechanical promenading of the sixteen finalists in the TV Sponsored ’Southern Belle' Beauty Contest. Fortunately, this fare of only sectarian appeal was interspersed with some light variety. The programme from the Palm Court Lounge was introduced by MacDonald Hobley.
The Unit used three television cameras, and the mobile control room, together with the two other technical wagons, was situated in the forecourt of the hotel. The sound and vision signals were taken from Saltdean via suitable G.P.O. Cables.
It is regrettably noted that a Bexhill contestant was the only Sussex girl in the winning three. However, a pleasant trend was noted in the selection of the winner. Miss Shanklin, who was the most petite of the sixteen girls competing and did not fall into the category of blatant blondes.
Some of the girls 'Standing in' for the winners at rehearsals.
The girl on the right actually became the winner ''on transmission.''
The Downland Post described itself as, 'A monthly news-letter concerning the affairs of Saltdean, Telscombe Cliffs, Peacehaven & Rottingdean.
If you wanted a copy back then it would have cost you the princely sum of 6d, in 1960 that would be the same spending worth now as approximately 38p!
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