My recent request for any former bathing beauty contestants to come forward prompted Janet Flynn (nee Black) and Jannette Castle to send in some photographs from the late 1950s/early 1960s.
In the first one we see the finalists for the Miss Bikini competition lined up on the railings of South Parade Pier, Southsea.
Janet tells me that some people thought it was disgusting – and the contest only lasted for a year. But she adds that the mother of the girl second from the right thought her daughter looked smashing in a bikini.
In the picture are Miss Bikini entrants, from left to right, Valerie Anne Stamp (nee Besant), then two unknowns. Next is Tina Vandervyver and Janet Flynn in the white bikini, then another two unknowns. If any of these girls is you, please do get in touch.
In the other two photographs we see competitors in the Miss Southsea competition. The girls were only allowed to wear swimsuits, not two-piece outfits.
Nearly all of them were from Portsmouth.
In the first we see the girls on the landing stage steps of South Parade Pier and from left to right we have Jannette Castle, Sylvia Evans, Edna Shepherd and Mary Hyde.
On the landing stage of the pier, we see some Chelsea pensioners out for the day – and what a day they had!
From left to right the girls are Tina Vandervyver, Jannette Castle, Shirley Binstead and Ann Moseley.
Eventually the PC brigade of the time took over and the competitions stopped, but South Parade Pier still dominated entertainment on the seafront.
If you were one of the girls competing, do drop me a line with any memories. Thank you.