Finalists revealed in the search for Miss Durham 2014 at Sedgefield Racecourse

The finalists of Miss Durham together for a photo call at Sedgefield Racecourse

The finalists of Miss Durham together for a photo call at Sedgefield Racecourse

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AN ASPIRING police officer and a member of the Territorial Army are among the finalists in a prestigious beauty pageant.

More than 90 young women applied to take part in this year’s Miss Durham contest and today (Friday, April 4) the 20 finalists gathered at Sedgefield Racecourse for their first photo shoot.

Eighteen-year-old Hayley McNulty, from Middleton-St-George, near Darlington, said: “I am thrilled to have reached the finals.

“I decided to enter as I thought it would give me a bit more confidence. I am studying public services and hope to join the police one day.”

Now in its tenth year, Miss Durham is sponsored by Cooper Durham Mini celebrates charismatic young women who take pride in their appearance.

The final takes place at Sedgefield Racecourse on Saturday, April 26, and the lucky winner will go on to represent County Durham in Miss England.

Since its launch, the pageant has raised more than £9,000 for ABF The Soldiers Charity and, this year, the contestants are taking on everything from skydives to sponsored swims to raise funds for the charity.

It is a cause especially close to the heart of one finalist, Ellie Ramage, from Spennymoor.

“I want to join the armed forces myself one day,” said the 18-year-old. “I am in the TA and know a lot of people in the Army.

“It is more than raising money for charity; it feels like I am helping my friends.”

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