Gallery: St Albans girls hoping to be crowned Miss Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 19:18 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

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NINE beauties from the area have made it through to the final of this year’s Miss Hertfordshire competition. Four from St Albans, three from Harpenden, one from London Colney and one from Shenley are among the 40 finalists who will battle it out for the title

NINE beauties from the area have made it through to the final of this year’s Miss Hertfordshire competition.

Four from St Albans, three from Harpenden, one from London Colney and one from Shenley are among the 40 finalists who will battle it out for the title in May.

The new Miss Hertfordshire will then have the honour of representing the county at the national Miss England finals in July.

The local girls are Claire Mckenna, aged 22, Natalie Mitham and Sheila Lynch, both aged 21, Sarah Torrens and Suzi Cumming, both aged 19, Emma Louise Cargill, Francesca Kettle and Zoe-Leigh Burrows, all aged 18 along with April Louise West, aged 17.

They will be raising money for the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People during the competition.

Suzi Cumming from St Albans is currently working in a betting store but is waiting to start her training to become a firefighter.

She entered the competition on a whim while helping her mum with a collection for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People at the Galleria in Hatfield, where the first round took place.

Suzi described the experience so far as “surreal” and said: “I've never entered anything like this before so it’s all new for me!”

Sheila Lynch, from Harpenden High Street, is a student at the University of Herts and works part time in a local pub and a shop.

She said: “I’m feeling very excited and nervous about the competition ahead. I have never been involved in any modelling or any competitions like this so I really don’t know what to expect and I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed and do my best.”

She added: “So far the experience has been great, everyone seems very friendly but I’m under no illusion that this has been the easy bit. With charity events to organise, all the rounds to prepare for and evening dresses to buy I’m sure I’ll be very busy up until the finals in the beginning of May.”

Emma Louise Cargill, from Cedarwood Drive, St Albans, is a student and has entered two similar competitions before.

She said: “The experience of the competition so far has been amazing. All the girls have been really friendly, talking to each other and getting to know one another. The whole event sounds really exciting and the preparation is all good fun – looking for a dress and the fundraising for charity. I'm really excited to meet everyone and for the actual day –rehearsing and putting on a show for friends and family.”

April Louise West, from St Albans, said she entered the competition because she used to be self-conscious.

The 17-year-old said she has already got a great boost. She added: “I would love to show people how life can be great after getting bullied at school. I got called piggy and was told I was ugly and fat. Now I am in the finals of Miss Hertfordshire – I’m on top of the world!”

Francesca Kettle, from Meadow Walk in Harpenden, is currently on a gap year and working at a supermarket and a local pub.

She said: “So far it's only been the photo and interview stage which was fun and I topped off the day with some shopping.”

Natallie Mitham, from Lyndon Mead in Sandridge, works part time in a pub and at an elderly care home in the village. She entered the competition a couple of years back and got as far as the semi-final stage.

She said: “I think the whole experience so far as been a little bit of a shock that I could be the next Miss Hertfordshire and could possibly be going to Miss England. But it’s starting to sink in and I’m now working hard to raise the sponsorship money for the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.”

Zoe-Leigh Burrows is a student from Newcome Road, Shenley.

Of the experience so far she said: “It has been very good, all the girls have been talking over Facebook and they seem really nice.”

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