Tamara’s Miss England dream

Tamara Gates
Tamara Gates

A BUSINESS student is on a mission to prove that brains and beauty really do go together – and she needs your help.

Tamara Gates, 21, was this year’s Old Town Carnival Queen and Miss Hastings and received rave reviews for her tireless work over the summer. And now Miss Gates, who is a student at the University of Surrey, has made the quarter-finals of the Miss England competition.

The former Grove pupil is locked in an online vote with 24 other young women and she is appealing for Observer readers to get her into the next stage.

She said: “When I went for Carnival Queen I did not know it was also the Miss Hastings title but I absolutely loved it and when I found out about the Miss England title I wanted to give it a go. After I applied I was invited to a photo shoot in Watford - I thought it would be all cat fights but everyone was really lovely and it was great fun. Hopefully people here will get behind me.”

Miss Gates, of Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards, admitted she was surprised by the “year round” nature of her duties as Miss Hastings, and says the work is enjoyably different from her university work.

“It is quite a contrast,” she said. “A lot of people associate these kinds of competitions with a lack of intelligence so I am trying to prove them wrong.”

Cllr Richard Stevens, vice president of the Old Town Carnival Association, said: “Tamara has proved herself to be an excellent ambassador for Hastings and now she will be able to bring all that is good about Hastings to a much wider audience. She is an attractive young woman of course but she is also very articulate and loves to sing the praises of her home town. We all wish her well and hope that Hastings people will vote for her in their thousands.”

To vote for her, text “24tamara” to 84205 or call 0901 6561500 and enter “24” when prompted. Votes cost 60p (plus standard message charge) and the deadline is January 4.