Miss Great Britain finalist to represent Hartlepool at prestigious competition
Hartlepool will be represented at Miss Great Britain after a contestant with links to the town made it to the final.
Lydia Rowlands, 21, who lives in Milton Keynes, has strong links to Hartlepool and has said the town feels like home.
Her parents were born in raised in Hartlepool before moving to London for work and Lydia would visit the town every year since she was a baby.
She is now preparing for the Miss Great Britain final after finding out at the beginning of July that she had made it to the last stages of the competition.
Lydia, who has never taken part in pageants before, said: “Quite honestly, I didn’t think I would get through to the Miss Great Britain final so the fact that I have has made me feel so grateful.
"I’m really looking forward to the final. It’ll be such a a nice way to get to know different girls from around the nation.”
The winner will be crowned on September 17 during a ceremony in Leicester when Lydia will face more than 30 other contestants from around the country.
"I think I started preparing for the final when I was three years old,” laughed Lydia.
She added: “My birthday’s on the 18th, so if I was to win, it would be the day before my birthday, which would just be the best birthday present ever.”
Lydia, who has played netball for 14 years and wants to pursue a career in finance after recently graduating in business, continued: "Miss Great Britain’s allowing me to tell my story and express who I am.
"It’s so much more than the stigma around it, which is just what you look like and your appearance.
"If I was to win Miss Great Britain, I would love to set up an organisation for under-privileged children to offer them sporting facilities and set up sporting events.“
Lydia, whose parents, Mark and Christine Rowlands, are originally from West View, is currently back in town for a week.
She said: "Whenever I come back to Hartlepool, it feels like home, because I get to see my grandparents, my dad, my siblings, my auntie, my uncle, so it really does have a sense of home for me.
"Everyone is so lovely, the people are great. “