'It's quite a claim to fame. I vividly remember the day I won it': Glam granny, 75, is Britain's longest serving beauty queen
16:49 GMT, 5 April 2012
Glamorous Gertrude Naysmith is celebrating being Britain’s longest-serving beauty queen – at the age of 75.
The great-grandmother of nine was crowned Miss Peebleshire in 1953 at the age of 15 after beating off competition from 11 other girls, including her 17-year-old sister Sheena.
But 12 months later the pageant was cancelled and never restored, leaving Gertrude as the permanent beauty queen for the village.
'I'm very, very proud to still be Miss Peebles after nearly 60 years,' says Gertrude, pictured today and when she crowned in 1953
Gertrude celebrated her 75th birthday this week with friends and family at her home in Innerleithen, in the Scottish Borders.
Gertrude said: 'I’m very, very proud to still be Miss Peebles after nearly 60 years. It’s quite a claim to fame. I vividly remember the day I won it – especially the feeling of pride when I was given the ribbon and an engraved make-up compact which I still have.'
Gertrude was working in a tweed mill in the village of Peebles when she entered the competition in a local church hall with her older sister for fun. Neither thought they would be picked but as the numbers were gradually whittled down Gertrude remained in the running.
Stunning: Gertrude beat off competition from 11 other girls, including her 17-year-old sister Sheena
The stunning teenager, who had a 23-inch
waist and stood at 5ft 7ins tall, wowed judges with her dancing and
deportment. Dressed in a pretty yellow seersucker dress and black belt,
Gertrude soon found herself in the final three as her family and
boyfriend, Alex, proudly looked on.
She added: 'I will never forget the moment when they read out my letter and said I had won.
parents were so proud of me. My friends were so thrilled. Some of the
other girls were a bit jealous because it was such a big thing. But I
was really excited.'
The Miss Peebleshire competition was withdrawn that year and Gertrude has retained the title ever since.
Gertrude, who went on to have four children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, eventually became a full-time mum and housewife when she married Alex, who died in 2004 .
To this day Gertrude doesn’t leave the house without a touch of make-up. She said: 'The best tip that anyone can ever receive is to put their shoulders back. I swear by it.
'You have to imagine that you have a poker down your back. It makes everyone look better. I also look after my skin, it’s so important. I always wear Nivea cream, a touch of powder and the essential red lipstick because it is so glamorous.'
Gertrude’s daughter Lilias Cummings, 49, said: 'My mum is really proud of her title, she still has the sash. It’s fantastic being able to tell people that my mum is a beauty queen.'
Gertrude still retains her title Miss Peebleshire and proudly shows the ribbon