Looking back... Miss Rathcoole makes final of national beauty contest

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An 18-year-old Newtownabbey girl was in the running to become a beauty queen in 1959.

Freda Nixon, from Carnreagh Bend, Rathcoole, won the Ulster heat of Miss Great Britain.

Freda took the title at a students’ dance in Belfast’s Ulster Hall.

Her hobbies were listed as table tennis and dancing.

She was selected from six girls to represent Northern Ireland in the final of the contest in Morecambe.

She received prize money of £20 after being selected as the winner of her heat.

Freda was one of 39 finalists in the contest who stood to win a prize of £1,000.

Commenting on reaching the final, Freda said: “I am very thrilled to have won the heat and I hope I will not let Northern Ireland down at the final.”

According to the Larne Times, Freda was “no stranger to world of beauty contests” as she had been the winner of “Miss Rathcoole” in 1957.

“It has helped me with my deportment to a certain extent but I appreciate that the final is a different kettle of fish,” commented Freda.

One of the three judges at the Northern Ireland heat was singer Ruby Murray.