The Diary: From Peaks to Torquay, she’s a stunner

Miss South Yorkshire Ashley Powell
Miss South Yorkshire Ashley Powell
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SHE was spotted at Crystal Peaks. Now she’s going to the bright lights of Torquay.

Meet Ashley Powell, the 18-year-old sports student who has just been named Miss South Yorkshire.

She took the crown after organisers of the annual pageant first spotted the stunner at the Waterthorpe shopping centre. And the victory means she will now represent our region at the Miss England competition in sunny Torquay in June.

“I looked over when I won and my dad was crying on my boyfriend’s shoulder,” says the Leeds Trinity University student of Kemp Close, Killamarsh. “It was lovely.

“Organisers approached me two years ago and I competed then but finished third. I had last year off to concentrate on my A-Levels at Mount St Mary’s College. So to win now is great.”

And it’s perhaps extra special coming three years after the family faced tragedy. Step-brother Jamie Harris passed away aged just 28 in February 2010 after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

“The competition raises so much for charity,” says Ashley. “And that is something I have done a lot of anyway since Jamie passed away.”

Runners-up, as judged by Howard Webb at Consort Hotel, in Thurcroft, Rotherham, were Mary Ann Cunningham and Imogen Mitchell, both from Doncaster.