Tonight we’re off the meet at Sterling’s bar in town, a meet up for The Project cast that I was on the interview panel for! The idea is that The Project will be a Midlands based version of TOWIE, showcasing the best of the Midlands, promoting business owners, hard workers and all the great things being done here. I think the hope is to regain some of our dignity following the likes of Benefit Street having given off a certain impression of Birmingham. I want to see the affluent, hard-working people promoted as examples of our city, not exaggerating a minority to seem the whole city is that way.
Birmingham is the second city for a reason! Tonight we are supposed to discussing filming schedules to my knowledge, but I’m still not clear as to the tone of the show following interview stage. I’d love to be a part of this, something wonderful that promotes Birmingham and the Midlands, but I’m far from a party girl nowadays and have no interest in romantic encounters so I’m unsure, depending on the tone of the show, if smiles, fundraising and networking will be quite what they are looking for to make good viewing! Still, I’ll go along and try to learn more about what next, and remain hopeful promoting all the kind hearted people and charity work that gets done across the midlands will be a huge part of the show! What do you think would make for great viewing, and show our area off in all its glory? Drop me a line to let me know J
After confirmed the event weeks ago, I’m excited now it’s finally here; after years of watching Strongman competitions on the TV as a little girl, I feel slightly nervous to be going and meeting these burly men in the flesh. The competition is World Ultimate Strongest Team so for change the guys will be teamed up in two’s to battle out for the title of the Strongest Team.
I’m here in crown and sash representing Birmingham as the competition is fairly local, only at Stoke-on-Trent in the Britannia football stadium, but we set out early to avoid any traffic so first stop for us is brekkie! Next to the stadium is a Holiday Inn, and a Harvester pub, so we thought the Harvester might be quieter and we headed there. I think they were only just opening, so we had to wait a little while (the que behind us grew out the door!) but finally we got in a seated, where just two tables over team Yankee were tucking into their breakfasts! Dave Ostlund and my favourite, Brian Shaw, were sat two tables over, and suddenly it all became very real and my nerves totally disappeared turning into pure excitement! The Harvester was so busy, it was so refreshing to see these two supersized stars waiting so patiently and politely, not expecting or demanding any special treatment, their manners were impeccable and my love for Brian grew! Haha
Breakfast down, we headed over to the football stadium were the turnout was brilliant, so busy! After a quick wander around the stands of t-shirts and other goods for sale, we got a drink and took our seats down on the front row waiting for the action to kick off. Glen Ross was hosting, with Geoff Capes on hand for a quick word also. The strong men came out onto the field and the atmosphere was buzzing! Being on the front row allowed us an amazing view of all the events as they took place and made the experience so brilliant!
Part way through, there was a break in the competition for a world record attempt at the heaviest atlas stone lift recorded yet. The two competitors vying for this world record were England’s own Terry Hollands, and my lovely American Brian Shaw. There were two lighter training balls for the guys to have a go and get to grips with before they brought out the whopping 250kg stone for the real record attempt. Terry unfortunately didn’t manage to lift either of the training balls, but Big Bri sailed through them with ease, then moved on to the big real deal stone for the record attempt; again lifting the super weight with ease and throwing it onto the 4.5ft barrel! My claim to fame is that Miss Birmingham 2014 was at the record set by Brian Shaw! Haha! The competition then resumed and rounded off with a well-deserved win for Team Yankee (woo!) The Strongmen finished the event with some promotional pictures, and finally some pictures with the fans.
I would definitely recommend a Strongman event for a great fun filled day out, the atmosphere and experience has been fantastic! I’m exhausted from just watching- I think my adrenaline was going for them! Such a wonderful day as Miss B, looking forward to many more!
Take Care All xxx
I have read far too much negativity around the whole topic of Beauty Pageants, Miss England, Miss World and worst of all Carina Tyrrell. Our newly crowned Miss England 2014 has fell heavily under fire from fellow ‘feminists’, writers, reporters and every other person who is only too happy to share their negative comments online which I’ve found quite frankly disgusting.
I presently hold the title of Miss Birmingham, I’m 21 years old and I am an intelligent young lady who is fed up of being enraged by what I read and doing nothing about it, so here I’m sharing how I feel with you. Miss Birmingham was the first ever pageant I have entered in April this year and surprisingly I won. Only since then have I been learning and following the Miss England Beauty Pageant and reading the stories and press from the regional heats, about the other girls in the competition. Regional heats are held all over the country, then ultimately 60 of those girls will make it through to the finals to vie for the title of Miss England; the winning girl will then represent the country into the finals of Miss World. What I have found most concerning even above the ‘sexism/feminism/old-fashioned’ debate is the overwhelming amount of nasty and negative comments I have not only seen, but also personally experienced. I challenge you to find a single article about any of the girls in these pageants that is not then followed by a torrent of offensive, derogatory and personally insulting comments on these girls from the way they look to what they have been quoted to say by the press (which in my experience was never accurate to my own words anyway). Yes, you can argue these girls are asking to be ‘judged’ in entering such competitions, but what gives these Internet ‘trolls’ the right to be so cruel in their comments?
These are strong young women, who want to make a positive difference; why are we so penalised for that? On one hand we’re criticised that it’s purely about looks and vanity, yet on the next hand we’re tore down for not being pretty enough, and every other comment is professing to know several much more attractive girls. None of us profess to be the most beautiful girl, the most intelligent, the most talented, or the fittest, we merely put ourselves out there to be the best we possibly can as well rounded individuals and good role models. So how can we win the battle against the bad publicity? Education, I think, is the only way we can dispel the myths and put right the ignorance around the whole pageant, which leads to misconceptions and ultimately the negativity born out of misunderstanding. The pageants fell out of favour and began being branded dated and anti-feminist during the 70’s and 80’s, but look at where we are now; you can’t possibly argue that the ideologies of feminism then are considerably different to what we would consider appropriate feminism now? Don’t mistake me, I don’t consider myself an active feminist by any stretch, but I simply cannot comprehend current ‘feminists’ slating a young girl for how she looks and her decisions she is choosing to make?
My only experience to date is the Miss England Pageant, which consists of several rounds. All rounds are optional, you aren’t obliged to entering any, it is up to you. The rounds/awards are:
Beach Beauty- the girls submit a photo of themselves in swimwear, a selection of these are then chosen and the girls are invited to a photo shoot on board the luxury triple 7 yacht. The winner is awarded a place in top 15 as Beach Beauty. It’s entirely optional, and the winner only had her picture from the shoot shown on the evening, she at no point walks the cat walk in swimwear.
Halo Hair (hair extension sponsors)
Xtreme Sportswomen- Really hard core military bootcamp, girls were invited to experience their Luxury Xtreme Bootcamp where we were pushed to our limits and exhausted both physically and emotionally. There was then a bootcamp circuits session over the final weekend where the girls battled it out for the Xtreme Sports woman award and place in the final 15. It’s absolutely as much mental strength as physical, and takes sheer determination and 100% effort to do well in this round.
Brainy Beauty- A new general knowledge round included where the girls each sat a brief 10 min 20 question general knowledge test to check how in keeping with current affairs the ladies are.
Eco- The girls are asked to make, customise, borrow or purchase a dress from a charity shop. This round is a chance for the girls to show their creativity and think outside the box whilst also making you very aware of waste, recycling and reusing.
Popularity- Public vote
Social Media- Most likes and shares through social media
Publicity- The girl who has promoted and attracted most media attention and publicity for her charity endeavours and sponsorship.
Talent- The girls are invited to submit a 2 minute talent video, a top selection are then chosen and asked to perform live for an audience, a winner is then selected and fast tracked to the final 15.
Beauty with a Purpose- Awarded to the girl who raises the most money for charity
Fresh Modelesque- Sponsors invite girls to photoshoot at the fresh academy in Watford, they then select a winner for the modelesque award and a place in the final 15
There are then 4 judges choices through to the top 15 (or more if girls win multiple awards to make the final 15). The girls are welcome to partake in as many or as few of the above awards as they wish to, so the swimwear round is totally optional. I find it sad girls are criticised for choosing to partake in this round; should we not be celebrating and promoting body confidence in young girls? It takes a lot for these girls to put their bodies out there and the negative feedback only instils poor body confidence and cements the attitude of anything less than photo shop is not good enough. That is, in my opinion, totally the wrong message to be sending out. These girls are trying to be happy, healthy role models for the next generation of young girls and ought to be celebrated for that surely, not chastised.
Much like every girl that enters a pageant (or at least every girl who wins a pageant), I do want to make a positive impact, firstly even by just dispelling the stigma that clouds modern day pageants.
I want to stand out in solidarity for Carina, and support her in whatever decisions she chooses to make, and wish her every success in all she does. You’re a beautiful, bright and talented young lady who can and will achieve all you set out to. “Just because someone puts you down it doesn’t mean what they say is true, it only proves you are better than them and their negativity” Alfred Gutierrez.
I’ve no doubt this article will spark a host of comments telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m brave enough to face that and speak out about what I believe to be right irrespective. I’d like to end by welcoming any questions you may have and ask you be open minded, and consider the possibility that just maybe, pageants aren’t all that bad afterall…?
So after weeks of preparing for the big finals, the time has finally come! I’m all packed and ready to head down the Torquay in Devon. We set off at 8.30am and I was suddenly so excited it had finally come and also so nervous and worried I’d have forgotten something important (shoes, evening gown, eco dress, sportswear…). Hours and a few traffic jams later I finally arrived in sunny Torquay and pulled up outside The Imperial Hotel. Grabbing all my luggage out the boot, I wandered through the buzz of the hotel reception following the signage marked up pointing Miss England contestants through to our own suite. I found the organisers and the action started right away and didn’t stop through till early Tuesday am!
I handed in my sponsorship money, received an official certificate for having raised a fantastic £800 in a matter of weeks for Beauty with a purpose, fished out a pair of crystal earrings donated as a charity auction gift, took all my luggage through to be labelled up with my room number. From there I was rushed upstairs for arrival photos and to film my introduction video for the finals, where I stated my name, title, age, profession and a fun fact about myself. Then I was rushed downstairs to partake in a ten minute general knowledge quiz which would establish the ‘brainy beauty’ award winner. A quick lunch later we all squeezed out on the balcony, with a beautiful view of Torbay Harbour for a backdrop, and had some pictures taken in our Mauritian sponsors Miss England Rocks Tshirts. We then all piled onto the coached to head down the Riviera International Conference Centre with our sports kits in our bags too.
First up, we get the pleasure of rehearsing with the World’s Most Desirable Men, the Mr World finalist contestants from all over the World. After a few catwalk run throughs, we leave the gentleman to their rehearsals for the following day, and head out to the sports hall at the RICC for the toughest challenge of the weekend; Xtreme Bootcamp! After a tough warm up, we went into groups for circuit training, we did press ups, sit ups, leg raises, medicine ball squats, tricep dips, kettle bell raises, burpees, high jumps and more! There were 3 stations set up varying in difficulty and we had to work out and every station in the hall. Once we had pushed ourselves to our limits there, we then had the final challenge to battle out for the titles of Xtreme Sportswoman and a place in the final 15! We had a burpee beep test, then the final ten girls had to plank for the title! They planked for an amazing amount of time and Zara was a truly deserved winner of her place in the final 15! We then headed back to the hotel, less the girls performing on the night, to go and get ready for the evenings talent and halo hair show.
We piled back onto the coach, arrived at the RICC, had a quick evening meal then took our seats in the audience to watch the show. The halo hair girls partook in a catwalk show and then we had a demonstration of how simple the extensions are to fit and remove- in a matter of seconds you could have thick voluminous hair with no clips, bonds or damage that removes in literally seconds! The product was amazing, and one lucky girl was picked to be the face of the brand and won herself a place in the final 15! We also had the talent show of the final girls selected to perform live for us to win the Title of Miss Talent. The performances were so amazing and the judges really did have the toughest challenge of having to select a favourite to win the title. So many amazing acts, they couldn’t pick a winner on the night and shortlisted down to three girls, leaving the final decision to be announced on Monday night at the final show.
After the show we all made our way home and after such a long action packed day I fell straight to sleep!
The following morning I woke early, got ready and headed down to breakfast in the hotel restaurant overlooking the amazing views of the harbour; such a beautiful start to the day. Heading down to the RICC we squeezed in a few last rehearsals for the Mr World show then went to get ourselves ready for the show. We were so fortunate to get to watch the first 4 parts of the show before partaking in act 5 and accompanying the gentleman out on stage in their evening wear. We then got to come back and watch the final act of the show where the winner was announced. Our Mr England did so amazingly well in placing 4th out of all the men from over the world, we couldn’t have been prouder for him! The show was amazing and Mr Denmark was the lucky and well deserved winner! After all the fun and excitement and the show finished, we then got straight into rehearsals for our final show the following day! We got a fairly early finish and headed back for an early night to rest up for the following big day!
Monday has finally flown around and the big day is here! It was madness to think one of the 59 girls I was sharing this magical weekend with was going to become the new Miss England! Kirsty Heslewood has made the most amazing Miss England that her successor has some very big heels to fill, she’s has been there supporting us and encouraging all the finalist girls every step of the way. The day has flown by in a blur of excitement and rehearsals and finally it’s time to go and get ready for the big night!
First up we get into our eco dresses and walk a mini red carpet walk for press pictures before the show begins, this is my first insight to how many people are here and my nerves start to set in, but are quickly overpowered by unbelievable excitement for the evening ahead! At last, show time is here and we first walk the catwalk in our self-made eco dresses. We then get a brief intro on stage and to quickly explain our dresses, before rushing off to get into our evening gowns for the next part of the show. After our evening dress catwalk we finally form back on the stage for what we have all been waiting for; the final 15 and ultimately the announcing of the winner!
Carina Tyrell did so brilliantly in collecting several awards which opened up more judges’ choices for the final 15. All the girls at the finals should be so proud to have made the top 60 out of over 20,000 girls who applied to partake in the Miss England pageant. The final 15 did especially well and I’d like to again congratulate all the final girls. We then went down the top 5 who did incredibly and then down to top 3. Finally, our new heir to the Miss England thrown was announced and Carina was crowned and congratulated!
We then all piled back to the Imperial Hotel for the Miss England Rocks after party! It was such a special and amazing night and despite being such hard work I had more fun and more than I could ever imagine. It’s a life changing experience and I’m so proud to have made it there and to have experience what I have. I’ve made friends and memories for life and the weekend has inspired me so much to pursue my dreams and realize my potential. My confidence has grown massively and I feel so much more comfortable speaking in public now which I know will greatly help me in my remaining year as Miss Birmingham 2014/15. My journey is just beginning and I have such an amazing year ahead of me where I hope to do and achieve so many great things!
As I mentioned previously, I changed my fundraising to a bake sale and raffle at NES in Wolverhampton, so I just wanted to spend a little more time explaining the great time I had there!
I had already collected some wonderful prizes kindly donated through local people and businesses in order to raffle off for Beauty with a Purpose so I decided to host this raffle here also. We sold so many tickets we actually ran out of stubs and had to print our own extra tickets off! Firstly I walked all around the shop floor introducing myself, answering questions and selling tickets and letting people know of the bake sale upstairs later, where I had a great time meeting everyone and talking to people about Miss England finals and what it means to be a Beauty Queen. I was flattered to have the suggestion made a dinner date with me ought to be a raffle prize! Haha
NES is a huge place so it was just after lunch by the time I’d made my way around the shop floor so I came back up to the break out area where we’d set out the cakes for the sale. The sale went brilliantly with lots of customer, and Di even started suggesting ‘selfies with Miss Birmingham’ for a donation and people were taking her up on the offer! I had so much fun and felt like a local celeb for the day! After a little break and cup of tea, I then grabbed my bucket (which was getting rather heavy by now!) and we resumed to make the rounds, this time around the office buildings. Once we’d been everywhere and totally sold out all our tickets, we came back up to the staff area, and headed down the very end to the board room where all the directors were in a meeting. We had a cheeky interrupt and whip around in there for donations, (where everyone was so amazingly generous again) and I gave a short speech about Beauty with a Purpose, what they do and why it’s such a worthy charity. Then we headed back to count up our takings and fold all the raffle tickets read for the big draw.
Some time and lots of counting later, we had totalled up all our coins and notes and I was so astonished and overwhelmed by how well we had done together; an outstanding £401.24 all for Beauty with a Purpose. We took this and the raffle back into the board meeting and gave the Managing Director draw of the raffle, where he selected out the winners. I then gave a brief speech thanking everyone so much for all their help support and generosity, when the MD then left me speechless in telling me he’d like to round the money up to £500 out of the company’s petty cash.
All in all I’ve had a wonderful day, raising unbelievable amounts of money and meeting brilliant people. This is my first sizeable event and I’m absolutely thrilled with the outcome, I really couldn’t have hoped for better. My target was £200 for the day, so to walk away with £500 was so much more than I had ever imagined.
Thank you again to all the kind hearted souls at NES with special thanks to Di Bailey-Moore, without whom I couldn’t made the day happen, Steve Hall for introducing me the firm and showing me around the factories and lastly Mike Hawe, the wonderfully generous and welcoming Managing Director of the firm.
I hope to see each of you again soon and will send word of any future events I’m doing over to you!
Lots of love & best wishes!
Miss B xxx
For my Miss England fund raising, I'd planned a lavish ball at Villa Park, luxury four course meal, live bands booked, a Mauritian guest speaker; it all came together brilliantly in such a small space of time.. except for one crucial thing; ticket sales. Due to the short notice it was just too hard to properly advertise my ball so regretabley I had to make the decision to cancel- or postpone I rather hope, to later in the year so I could ensure enough profit to make it viable for the charity.
So that left me rather stumped for my fundraising as I had high hopes for thousands from my ball! Luckily, I managed to arrange a super last minute bakesale at a local company, NES in wolverhampton. Everyone there was so amazingly charitable and helpful, I managed to raise a last minute £500 from the event! I'm so grateful to everyone there and you can see full details of the event on its dedicated page under events.
I have wound up with a grand total of £800 to donate to Beauty with a Purpose at Miss England. I'm very proud to have achieved that in a short frame of time and having had the disappointment and set back of one event falling through.
Welcome to Birmingham!
Life and times of Mr and Miss Birmingham;