Poynton teenager Arabella Durkin takes the Miss Manchester title

Arabella Durkin, centre, with Chloe Bell and Klaudia Kwiatkowska. Picture by Paul Rittaler

Arabella Durkin, centre, with Chloe Bell and Klaudia Kwiatkowska. Picture by Paul Rittaler - Credit: Archant

A Poynton teenager has been crowned this year’s Miss Manchester at MUFC’s Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford.

Arabella Durkin, aged 18, beat 32 contestants to take the crown and gain automatic entry to the Miss England 2013 final in Torquay on June 16th.

It was a night of glitz and glamour sponsored by Stopfordian, Hughes Safety Showers, Digital Next and ANS Group. This year’s event was the ninth of its kind. Ten judges including TV personality Calum Best (son of football legend George Best), Miss England 2012 Charlotte Holmes and celebrity dress designer Nadine Merabi, picked the winner over three rounds which consisted of daywear, swimwear and eveningwear. The top twelve contestants were asked questions by the Miss England judge, with a focus on charity work.

The Miss Manchester event has raised thousands of pounds for UK charities and this year is assisting the work of Beauty with a Purpose, Miss World’s official global charity, which concentrates on children’s causes.

Prior to 2005, the Miss Manchester winner was chosen by photographic submission, but the organiser Angela de Fouw saw that the sharp, smart and beautiful girls of the area deserved a bigger platform. She created an occasion which soon became a highlight of the city’s social calendar.

Previous Miss Manchester winners have been chosen from entrants studying science, medicine and commerce: nurses, teachers and estate agents. The judges consider not just beauty but intelligence, ambition, talent and even physical fitness.

Arabella has never entered any beauty contests before. She has been too busy in the air training corps. Her main hobby is long distance running. Adjusting to her new-found fame, Arabella said: ‘I’m in shock. I never expected this but I’m so thrilled to be Miss Manchester and represent such a fantastic city.’

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The runners-up for the crown were Klaudia Kwiatkowska and Chloe Bell from Stretford.

Guests enjoyed a three course meal, champagne and entertainment from Scott Wright, Carly Hopkinson, Doremi Fly and Alexis who wowed the crowd between comedy banter from compere Jonathan Mayor.

Scott Hannah hosted an auction which saw a White Star Charter yacht, a trip to the Fortina Spa Resort in Malta and a bespoke gown by designer Nadine Merabi won by excited guests and also raise funds for charity.

Once crowned, Arabella, sponsors and guests celebrated to the tunes of popular DJ and co-owner of Top Drawer Events NW, John Locke.

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