The battle is hotting up to be Miss Herts

PUBLISHED: 12:27 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 May 2010

Top left: Candice Jones, Top centre: Lisa Johnston, Top right: Shireen Buttrey, Bottom left: Laura Nuttall, Bottom centre: Christina Maylor and Bottom right: Tammy Jean Smith

Top left: Candice Jones, Top centre: Lisa Johnston, Top right: Shireen Buttrey, Bottom left: Laura Nuttall, Bottom centre: Christina Maylor and Bottom right: Tammy Jean Smith

ONE of six girls from Crow Country could be crowned Miss Hertfordshire next month after a record number reached the final. The six girls from Royston, Buntingford, and Barrington joined more than 200 entrants from across the county to take part in the to

ONE of six girls from Crow Country could be crowned Miss Hertfordshire next month after a record number reached the final.

The six girls from Royston, Buntingford, and Barrington joined more than 200 entrants from across the county to take part in the tough competition, and will line up alongside the 34 other contestants in the grand final.

Co-organsier of Miss Hertfordshire Rhona Shafik said: "It's rare to get so many girls from such a small area. We've certainly never had this many from in and around Royston.

"What it shows is just how popular the competition has become.

"The standard of the competition is also rising, and as a result it's getting harder for the girls to reach the final."

Flying the flag for Barrington, 21-year-old Candice Jones said that competitions like this were always fun, but also highly competitive. Last year, the part-time model finished runner-up in the Miss Peterborough competition.

She added: "Hopefully I can go one better. As the only representative from Barrington I'm hoping for a lot of support and I'm just going to be myself and have fun."

Royston will be represented by two former Meridian students Christina Maylor, 19 and Lisa Johnston, 17.

Rock chick Lisa, who studies sociology, English Literature and religious studies, said that the makeovers and pretty dresses were a far cry from her usual rocker costume.

She added: "It has been nice to dress up and be girlie for a change and I wanted to prove that girls like me can get to the final.

"I'm not known for being a typical girlie girl so I think I have surprised a few people.

"I usually spend my time rehearsing in my metal band, so this will be a totally different experience for me."

Christina, who is studying paramedic science at Hatfield University said that she was pleased to be representing her home town and described her involvement "as a chance to do good".

She added: "I know it sounds like a cliché but I just want to help others. It's not just a beauty competition, it also gives us a chance to do good by raising money for charity."

Each year the Miss Hertfordshire competition raises funds for good causes.

This year's chosen charities are the Make-A-Wish foundation and the Isabel Hospice.

Rhona said: "There is also an award for Miss Charity, which I believe is a lovely accolade to be given."

And the chance to raise money, was one of the reasons why one of the Buntingford trio, 20-year-old Shireen Buttrey entered the competition.

The kickboxing expert, who is hoping to join the police, said: "The Make-A-Wish foundation is close to my heart - I've seen how children can suffer.

"I think it's great that we can raise awareness for these charities. I would obviously love to be crowned Miss Hertfordshire, but if I'm honest I would love to win the Miss Charity even more!"

Twenty-year-old Tammy Jean Smith, whose mum entered her as a surprise, said she was also looking forward to raising funds for charity. She also hopes the experience will help her in the future.

Tammy said: "At some point I would really like to work on stage and hopefully this will give me good experience. At the moment I feel a bit apprehensive about the final, but I'm sure it will be fun. It will be interesting to see how far I get."

Laura Nuttall, 17, who is also an aspiring actress, said she was hoping that the experience would help her in a West End career.

She added: "It would be amazing to win, but I'm just happy to be taking part.

"To be honest I'm surprised to have got this far. It's been a really enjoyable experience and it has been an honour and a privilege to represent Buntingford in such a big competition - hopefully I can put the town on the map!"

- The final takes place at Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, on Monday, May 28, at 7pm, when the finalists will compete in front of an expert panel.

The contest is also a heat for the Miss England competition.

For tickets call the box office on 08700 131030.

- There will also be a winner of a text and phone votes poll, so vote for your favourite girl now.

To vote by text message, text the full name of the contestant to 84205.

To vote from a landline dial 0901 656 1506 and enter their personal two digit code when prompted.

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