REDDITCH beauty Rachael Baker was crowned the new Miss Worcestershire on Sunday after a tense night of competition at Bromsgrove’s Holiday Inn.
The glitzy final featured 12 contestants from across the county who took part in a number of rounds, including Eco Dress, Sportswear, Fashion, Pandora’s Prom Dress and the ‘final question’.
Runner-up was Sophie Blundell and Bromsgrove’s Amy Jones finished third.
As well as winning the main Miss Worcestershire title, Rachael also took the Miss Social Media, Miss Intellect and Miss Pandora’s Prom titles and will compete in the Miss England final next summer.
Sophie will go through to the semi-finals.
Other winners included Chloe Gwinn, 19, from Worcester, who won Miss Charity after raising almost £380 for good causes, Miss Congeniality (voted for by the contestants) went to Shannon Palmer and Miss Eco-Worcestershire and Miss Sportswoman which both went to Isobel Lines.
Amy Jones, featured previously in the Bromsgrove Standard, won Miss Publicity, Jasmine Gordon took Miss Popularity and Millie Kempton from Evesham won Miss Modelesque.
The age limit for Miss Worcestershire is 26 and this would have been Rachael’s last chance to win.
She said: “I knew because it was my final one I had to win so I gave it my all.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the judges who have made my dreams come true.”
On the judging panel was Miss United Kingdom 1996 Rachel Butler, last year’s Miss Worcestershire Laura Beth Morgan, Pandora’s Prom owner Rebecca Baddeley, Mr Charity England 2016 Joshua Williams, the owner of the Outline Clinic in Droitwich Mary White and Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard editor Tristan Harris.
The evening was hosted by Rachel Barker, 28, the regional director of Miss England West Midlands and former Mr Leicestershire Linford Martin.
Rachel said it was a wonderful evening.
“I’m so proud of how hard Rachael Baker has worked from the offset, and it showed in the three awards she achieved on the finals evening.”
She added it was the first time, since she took up her role in 2014, that any contestant had won three awards in Worcestershire and the West Midlands competitions.
“Each one of the ladies has excelled themselves and each and every one of them should be so proud of how incredible they were on the evening.
“I am looking forward to seeing all the hard work Rachael Baker will achieve across the county and I wish her every success in the next coming year.”
It was an emotional night for Bromsgrove’s Laura Beth Morgan who had been Miss Worcestershire for the past 22 months and raised an amazing £10,000 for good causes, including the Miss England charity Beauty With a Purpose, the Primrose Hospice and Bromsgrove’s Basement Project.
She gave a farewell speech on the evening.
“Miss Worcestershire is about making a difference to your community.
“It been an amazing time where I have opened buildings, including a special needs school in London with Miss World, and raised thousands for charity.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to Rachel Barker who has been at my side the whole time.
“The next Miss Worcestershire will be lucky to have her help.
“I will leave you with one last tip – follow your dreams and live every moment as if it is your last.
“Confidence is beautiful no matter what your size or weight.
“If you are confident, you will be beautiful.”