HERNE BAY has a new carnival court.
More than 200 people were at The King’s Hall on Saturday to see the coronation of 18-year-old Alice Upton as this year’s Miss Herne Bay. Her princesses are Kelly Roy, 16, and Emma Hudson, 15.
They were crowned after a selection process involving a panel of four judges – Sheila Mann, of Style Photography; Sheriff of Canterbury Tony Austin; former Herne Bay Times reporter Liz Crudgington; and Paul Fenn, of TS Triumph Herne Bay Sea Cadets.
Sir Roger Gale, who is contesting next month’s General Election, chaired the panel.
Andy Birkett, chairman of Herne Bay Carnival Association, said: “This is the 77th carnival court that we’ve had. Apart from the war years, Herne Bay has had a court since 1933 – we think it would be wrong to break that tradition.
“Some people might think it’s old hat, but girls wouldn’t re-enter the contest if they didn’t have a good time.
“Alice was a princess last year, while last year’s queen, Aurora, had been a princess twice before.”
A busy year lies ahead for the three girls. Following yesterday’s photo-shoot on the seafront, their first engagement will be an interview next weekend with the town’s Radio Cabin before they attend selection dances in other towns and events, fetes and carnivals across Kent.
They will, of course, be leading Herne Bay’s own carnival on Saturday, August 8.
“I’d like to give special thanks to the girls who didn’t get selected as without them there would not be a contest,” said Mr Birkett. “Also, all those people who donated prizes.
“Finally, there should be special mention for Andrea Oliver, who compèred the event, and Donna Tatham, who was our queen in 1998 and helped behind the scenes in stopping the girls from getting too nervous.”