MISS ALDERNEY: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN THE CROWN?
Alderney Week just cannot happen without Miss Alderney, the island’s young ambassadress who is elected on Easter Saturday. Miss Alderney is pretty, fun-loving, has a bubbly outgoing personality and enjoys representing her island not just during Alderney Week, but throughout the year and also at the Jersey Battle of Flowers.
The first Miss Alderney after the war, Eileen Sykes, was elected in 1948. Just take a look at our “Miss Alderney Wall of Fame” gallery of this website. The format may have changed over the years and moving with the times, we no longer have Maids of Honour and Miss Alderney is now elected “online”. But the experience is the same, with emphasis on fun and “joie de vivre”. And long may the Miss Alderney tradition continue.
Introducing Miss Alderney 2013: Maria Etheredge
The winner of this year’s Miss Alderney contest is 16-year old student Maria Etheredge and, as a member of the judging panel pointed out, it was a very difficult decision electing just one winner from such a line-up of excellent candidates.
The result was announced late last night (Easter Saturday) during a packed Miss Alderney disco night at the Island Hall. Maria said she was very surprised and thrilled to be Miss Alderney. Currently at Guernsey Grammar where she studies biology, psychology, drama, and maths, Maria would ultimately be looking at something to do with maths, but university first! During her holidays she works as a waitress at Alderney’s popular First & Last restaurant.
Maria’s hobbies: “I love spending time with my friends and family, down the beach or walking Alderney’s beautiful coastline. I love to dance, and have been part of the KFA since I was eight. Drama is also a big part of my life at Grammar, as I love getting involved in new productions.”
Asked why she decided to enter the contest, Maria said “I wanted to be Miss Alderney because there is so much the island has given me, and by being an ambassador I can give something back, and show people what a special place Alderney is.”
Her favourite Alderney events? “I love Cavalcade day, watching the amazing floats and all the effort that’s been put in down the Butes. Also, because I like to party, the quarry parties are always a great way to start and end Alderney Week!”
And with a busy programme of events planned for Alderney Week 2013(Theme “Two of a Kind”), Maria is guaranteed to have a great time.
The Alderney Team was delighted with the judges’ choice, as was outgoing Miss Alderney Charlie Barker who announced and crowned her successor.
With the title of Miss Alderney 2013 came £1,500 worth of prizes, including £750 cash, flights and overnight accommodation for two in a top hotel in Jersey where she will take part in the Battle of Flowers Parade, Elizabeth Arden cosmetics worth £200, and several other substantial prizes.
Want to know what Miss Alderney's gets up to during Alderney Week?
A Week in the Life of Miss Alderney 2012: Eight Days of Glamour and Fun!
And there are hundreds of photographs, day-by-day, of Alderney Week 2012 for you to view and download on Flickr
Day 1: Saturday 4th August - Start of Alderney Week:
Hardly slept last night as too excited!! My first duty was participating in the Alderney’s version of the Olympic Torch Relay. The relay started at the bottom of Victoria Street and ended at the Arsenal. States President Stuart Trought lit the torch ready for the relay to begin. Ray Parkin then started the relay, I then took over from Ray, passed it on to Rosemary James who passed it to our Town Crier Robin Whicker (in a wheelchair) and so on until we all got to the finish. Everyone who held the torch (over 60 people) walked or jogged their 50 meters. At the finish we all had photos holding the torch against an amazing backdrop of the Olympic rings, Alderney style! Straight after the photocall I had to leave straightaway for a quick snack and then get ready for the Opening Parade which would be starting soon!!!
My first public appearance during Alderney Week started with the grand Opening Parade. Our Town Crier Robin Whicker was due to lead the parade but unfortunately Robin had pulled his Achilles tendon and was unable to walk, so instead he sat in the Bentley along with myself and Little Miss and Master Alderney. We were all driven from the Island Hall Gardens to the Butes in a beautiful 1936 open Bentley which now is owned by Leslie Aldis - my official chauffeur!. Directly behind us followed the torch which was re-lit for the parade, this time carried by three Alderney sports personalities: Fred Shaw, Emma Smart and Paul Rose,behind them the Alderney Week Team - Alex and Lee Flewitt, Ilona Soane-Sands, Ronnie Cairnduff and Nigel Vooght, then the Alderney KFA girls and all their helpers, followed by all the volunteers and sponsors that help make Alderney Week happen. There were lots of people lining the streets cheering and clapping as we made our way to the Butes. When we arrived on the Butes our Town Crier officially declared Alderney Week 2012 open. Then everyone was welcomed by The President of The States, Stuart Trought. Then we were all treated to The Alderney KFA Spectacular which wowed the audience. The whole day was amazing!
Just as the Mini Olympics and all the other fun and games were about to start the weather took a turn for the worst and rained!! Everyone went to find shelter to escape the dreaded rain, including me!! After the rain passed all the fun and games finally began, which meant lots of medals to be handed out to all the winners of the many different competitions, but thankfully I had the helping hand of Little Miss and Master Alderney.
The evening started off with a BBQ party and live music on the Butes. Despite the cold weather everyone turned out in force weather it was in fancy dress or not, to watch the live music from artists such as The Fling and Peter ‘Mav’ Clay and especially from the UK were the amazing Dolce Vitas. Afterwards The Mister Alderney Competition started. This year it was Jake Woodnutt who grabbed the title, the trophy and prizes, he looked very, very pleased with himself. After Jake claimed his rightful prizes, the live music started again until midnight, then everyone and including me, started to make their way to Corporation Quarry for the first Quarry Party of Alderney Week 2012. It was such a good night and it couldn’t of ended the first day of Alderney week any better.
Tomorrow I am attending the Alderney Week Church Service, so I better not be too late partying tonight/morning!!!
Day 2: Sunday 5th August:
After getting home not to late this morning, I managed to get myself to The Alderney Week Church Service on time and not too tired! Were the Alderney Blowers as usual started off with some of their lovely music then followed by the church service itself. I did enjoy the service and many residents turned out to watch the service too.,After the service I spent the afternoon at the Street Market which was a good turn out as it attracted lots of people of many ages, during the street market the Island Band and The Mad Scatters entertained everyone in Victoria Street with their live music.
Meanwhile in the Memorial Gardens all the young boys and girls ,and not forgetting their parents, were gathering for The Little Holiday Prince and Princess Contest. The judges had their work cut out deciding who would grab the titles, but thankfully they had Ellis Downes’ cute dog Roxy to help them with their choices, who yet again choose wisely. This year Joseph Dereham won Holiday Prince and Lily Hamon won Holiday Princess. They will be leading the Cavalcade Parade tomorrow along with the Town Crier as Little Miss and Master Alderney will be on my float during the procession.
Tomorrow is my big day and we are still doing final touches to my float, which is hidden in a top secret location ready for its grand revealing tomorrow. It looks stunning and amazing, so much hard work has been put into making it, along with loads of crepe paper flowers and long late days and nights, but it will all be worth it tomorrow if the rain stays away fingers crossed!!! More Images of Today's Events
Day 3: Cavalcade Day - Monday 6th August:
Today is the big day, Cavalcade Day! As I was putting the final touches to my float in the early hours of this morning, the Alderney Week Team were busy getting everything ready for the fun filled day. The weather wasn’t looking good, as it was raining and the sky looked very grey!! But thankfully just as my float had to come out of its secrete location to put the final touches to it, the rain cleared and stayed away for the rest of the day. I went to the airport to welcome the lovely Miss Jersey Battle of Flowers on her arrival to Alderney, but unfortunately could not stay long as I needed to go and get ready for the big parade!!
Finally I can start getting my hair and make-up done, ready for the parade, then I slipped into my dress and I was done!. The parade was fantastic and lots of people came out to watch everyone parade down Victoria Street! There were lots of floats to compete with and everyone did very well. My guest of honour was Miss Jersey Battle of Flowers Rebecca Houze. She seemed to enjoy herself and I don’t think she had ever been to Alderney before. Rebecca and myself presented all the medals and trophies to all the winners of the Cavalcade floats. My float won the ‘Best Creative’ award!
After the awards the fun began! The Butes was packed full of people either taking part in all the events or just chilling in the sun. The KFA performed there amazing routines, then there was the famous pig racing which was great fun to watch, then the crowds picked up for the ’It’s a Knock Out’ and the tug of war which attracted a lot of people even the Alderney Police had to have a go as well as the visiting 30 Signals! During the tug of war the heavens opened and the cold weather came back so we had to take shelter and wait out the rain, it was a good laugh as the grass was wet and soggy, so lots were slipping!!
After a busy fun packed day I went home and relaxed and put my feet up, but others who were still full of energy went along to the Bunker Party. More Images of Today's Events
Day 4: Tuesday 7th August:
Today was a little more relaxed and less manic then yesterday! The Great Aurigny Duck Race was a success, after I released all 300 ducks into the inner harbour aboard the harbour launch boat, it was all down to the ducks now, to swim to the other side. The fastest duck was owned by Jayne Capazario, who won four return flights with Aurigny to Southampton. Then it was time for the man-powered flight, there were a lot of entries and some of the contraptions were amazing.The event was very entertaining as all the budding new pilots tried very hard to fly, but sadly ended up swimming or floating!
I had to then quickly get down to Braye Common to start the Alderney Week Fun Run which was a big turn out, lots of locals gave it a go and so did a lot of holiday makers. Afterwards I presented all the prizes and medals to all the winners.
Finally, to end my duties for the day, I had to get ready for the Fashion Show in which I was modelling! I was actually quite nervous about it, however it was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again!The audience were great and were enjoying themselves too. More Images of Today's Events
Day 5: Wednesday 8th August:
Today was lovely weather for the young pavement artist competition, children aged 7 and under turned out in force to try and become the next young artist. It was very hard for the judges to choose the winners as all the entries were fantastic. I had to then rush down to Braye Beach were the Sandcastle competition was about to start, people turned out in force to get their spot for their creation. The competition was tough as usual and the judges were finding it extremely hard to pick the winners as all the creation were to a high standard. I was there at the end to give out all the different category winners their medals and the Overall Best.
Tonight was the Gala Spectacular on the Butes which yet again without fail attracted hundreds of people to come and watch. The Alderney Blowers got everyone in the mood and set the scene for ‘The Games’ as usual, all in fancy dress while the cast members were frantically getting ready and going over their lines. For once I had no duties so I managed to find a seat and just sat back and enjoyed the show. It was entertaining and hilarious and many would agree with me!! This year had brand new commercials which made everyone laugh and we were all in stitches! Wine & Song yet again sung their hearts out with some amazing new songs. More Images of Today's Events
Day 6: Thursday 9th August:
Today I was free off duties as I was due to fly out to Jersey for The Battle of Flowers 2012. My parents and sister were joining me on this trip. It was an early start as I had to make sure I had everything for the Parade later that day. When I reached Jersey the weather was gorgeous and the temperature was very hot!! When I reached my hotel I had a couple of hours to chill and go and explore the area before I had to start getting ready. It was a mad rush to get myself ready and get down to the pier.
When I got there I was met by Miss Battle herself and Miss Spaulding was also there along with Miss Le Havre. We sat down and had a lovely 3- course meal lunch with Jersey Lobster ‘Jubilee’ or Quiche, then dessert was Champagne Trifle ‘Lillibet’! I got to meet the lovely Mr Battle of Flowers 2012 - Matthew Wolfenden! Then we were chaperoned to our floats that we would be parading on. I was on a float with Miss Spaulding and Miss La Havre and her maid of honour,
The parade was amazing and so many people had come to watch everyone. All the different floats were stunning and a lot of time and effort had gone into them. During the Parade the weather got hotter and we were all boiling in our long dresses!! After the Day Parade I went back to my hotel with my family and relaxed as my feet were aching and I was hot in my dress. We had a lovely meal at the Radisson hotel where I was staying, after our meal we went to the travelling fun fair just down the road, which was amazing and a good end to the day! Unfortunately I had to fly back to Alderney Friday morning as I was needed to present more prizes and medals, so that meant that I was unable to participate in the Moonlight Parade that night, but I was told that it was amazing and the floats looked stunning with all their lights and fairy lights. More Images of Today's Events in Alderney
Day 7: Friday 10th August:
Today I was very tired as I had just got back from Jersey at lunch, then I had to be at Braye Beach to watch and present prizes for the Daft Raft Race. The weather was beautiful and the turn-out was amazing. The Alderney Lifeboat was there again spaying people with water as they went round the buoys. Some of the rafts were well made and were very well themed with ’The Games’ in mind. The though and imagination that had gone in to the rafts were incredible. I presented the prizes at the end to all the winners. I then had to rush to the Butes were the Pet show was being held, it was a shame that more animals didn’t turn up but it was amazing to watch these talented animals.
Then later that evening was the “Alderney’s Got Talent” shows. All of Alderney’s most talented came out and showed the audience and the judges their talent. First was the under 16’s which was amazing and their parents must be so proud of them as they performed in front of a big crowd. Later on it was the over 16’s turn to take the spotlight and show us how good they were! There were some hard acts to choose from and there were even some acts that we had seen from last year that have come back bigger and better. The night as a hole was a right laugh and a giggle, I presented the winners from both groups with their medals and trophies. More Images of Today's Events
Day 8: Last Day of Alderney Week: Saturday 11th August:
Today started with the Race against the Train. All the budding athletes came to the train station to wait for the race to start, they all came out in force and were ready to go. I started them all off and cheered them all on as they started there run to the finish line which was at Mannez Quarry. The prizes would be presented in the inner harbour later on. Later on the events in the inner harbour were in full swing! We had the waiters and waitresses'wheelbarrow race which was a good laugh for use but some rather wet looking people doing the race all had smiles on their faces! Then I presented the prizes for the Race the Train event that happened earlier that day. Then the real games began, the Man of Iron and the Iron Lady contest . A big crowd turned out to cheer on the contestants. The brave contestants which included two Frenchmen and two ladies had a number of challenges to complete until the final challenge began, it was towing the famous jeep up the hill. Then I revealed the Grand Prize Draw winners and gave them their prizes.
The final event of Alderney Week began at 9.00pm with the Torchlight Procession which goes from the Connaught Square to the Butes. While everyone was getting into position for the procession Wine & Song treated us to a couple of songs to get us in the mood. The torches were soon lit and the procession started which was led by the Guernsey Bagpiper , then followed by myself and the stand in tour crier Billy Bohan, followed by our Olympic styled torch then the Alderney week team and many hundreds of torchlight bearers. When we reached the Butes we came to the bonfire. I was the first person to light the bonfire followed by the stand- in town crier and then the Alderney Week team and then everyone else.
This was emotional for me as it was my last duty for Alderney Week. The fireworks were superb! Afterwards live music and then everyone started to make their way to the quarry fir the quarry party along with me! Everyone was dancing till the early hours of the morning, it was the ending of Alderney Week and it was brilliant. I had such an amazing and fun- filled week and I really enjoyed myself and especially the Jersey Battle of Flowers. More Images of Today's Events
I am sad that’s its all over now, but it was utterly worth it, all the late nights and fun packed days. It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I entered the contest!
I would just like to say a big thank you to all my sponsors and everyone who donated my lovely prizes. I would also like to say thank you to Mike Cox for lending his tailor for my float, Alan for the use of his tractor, Bones for letting us use his shed for the building and storage of my float, Trevor Saunders for all your technical help, Jane and Peter from the Alderney Center (Thank you very much), all the flower makers that helped make my float happen, Andy and Steve from Jack's for giving me the time off, thank you to everyone who has helped us, Les Aldis for driving me in the beautiful Bentley, my hosts at the Jersey Battle of Flowers for there kindness and hospitality and all the visitors and local people that supported Alderney Week. I hoped we did you proud and I am looking forward to next year.
I would finally like to say a massive thank you to my Mum, Dad, Sister and family who have supported me in every way possible during Alderney Week and who have put in a lot of time and effort into helping me throughout and given up long and sleepless nights and long days to help me with my float and to make my childhood dream come true, as without them I wouldn't have been able to do any of it, Thank you again. I hope that I did you all proud.