When Wirral-born Vicky Ellis decided to sort through all of her memorabilia from her time as one of the region’s most successful beauty title holders during the 1980’s, she had no idea that it would lead to her getting ready to take to the catwalk once more, four decades after she won her very first sash and tiara, this time to win the coveted title of Ms. Great Britain Classic.
It was Vicky’s model daughter, Tabitha, who was fascinated by her mum’s collection of beauty queen treasures, and wonderfully warm stories from her time on the beauty circuit. She then persuaded Vicky to start chronicling her youthful journey on Instagram. As @80sbeautyqueen Vicky has been able not just to tell her personal story, but also connect with friends she made as a ‘Miss’ and other noted names, including the former British winner of Miss World, Ann Sydney.
Vicky had such a wonderful time during her beauty queen career that her daughter thought it was a huge shame that all of her mum’s treasured memories were packed away, and since then the two have really bonded over Vicky’s glamorous and high profile career. Vicky won many sought after and legendary titles during the 1980’s including the prestigious Miss Blackpool, and also Miss Liverpool Echo 1984, where one of the prizes was the ultimate high-flying dream: a trip on Concorde! In fact, the Guiness Book of Records team has contacted her about her winning roll call, with the hope that confirming she’s still the lady to beat in the UK. Vicky won every title the North West had to offer, including winning Miss Ellesmere Port at just 16, and Miss Chester soon after.
However, one title did elude Vicky during her winning run and it was the one she wanted most of all; that of Miss Great Britain. Vicky was the runner up in 1983, when she was just 17, and then placed third in 1988. As Miss Great Britain celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Vicky is preparing herself to finally fulfil her ultimate ambition, this time around as Ms. Great Britain Classic, on the 17th September in Coventry.
Vicky told us:
‘I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in Ms. Great Britain Classic. I had such a lovely time during the 1980’s and it really was a fun decade: it was so glamorous and I won some super prizes. In fact, the first car I ever owned was one I won in 1983, a gorgeous, gold Ford Escort Ghia. I was such a lucky girl! I recently attended the Gold Cup at Oulton Park, and was quick enough to spot the same model – so I had to get my photo taken with it! I got to meet so many famous faces, and also travelled to such interesting places: meeting Rod Stewart at Tramp nightclub couldn’t get any more 80’s, could it?
My beautiful daughter, Tab, has really encouraged me to enter. She is also fascinated with my dresses from the era: she constantly updates them to turn them into her own vintage fashion statements.
I’m not someone who went from a modelling career and then maintained it. I have certainly been away from the spotlight for a while, and so getting ready for the event and taking part in my photo shoots has been really uplifting. I’ve also met some lovely new friends at the pre-pageant events, and the support I have received from my beauty queen pals from back in the day has been overwhelming.
I always enjoy life with a positive attitude and that’s exactly how I am approaching taking part in Ms. Great Britain Classic. The organisation behind the title does such amazing work for both Cancer Research UK and Alex’s Wish, and so I will be happy to assist them in any way I can in the future.
Of course, it would be a dream come true to be third time lucky! At 56, I am the most senior competitor in the line-up, and I am very proud of my age. I made sure for the photoshoot for my headshots that no filters were used, as I wanted them to represent who I am. From talking to my contemporaries it is vital to us that women of our age are visible for all of the right reasons. We don’t want to be pressured into something unattainable.
I’m lucky that my wonderful mum is still here to support me, and this will be my daughter’s first time cheering her own mum on. Let’s hope she’s my lucky charm and helps me to bring home a crown I first set my sights on at 17! I am also really proud to be representing the North West once more, and I hope once I’m on the catwalk I can channel all of my experience, and most importantly, enjoy every moment of this prestigious event.’
As Vicky packs her case with her eveningwear and all of the accessories she needs to wow the esteemed judging panel, she will be leaving behind the TJ Hughes swimsuit and Laura Ashley evening dress which she fondly remembers as bargain buys that turned into huge investment purchases, for outfits chosen especially for her by her daughter, Tab.
Here’s hoping that this time around, Vicky Ellis definitely has the Guiness Book of Records on speed dial.
Miss Great Britain 2021 and Ms Great Britain Classic 2021 are being held at the Athena Conference and Banqueting Centre, Coventry, on Friday 17th September 2021.
For updates follow @80sbeautyqueen