Swedish blonde chosen at Torrington from record entry
A 20 year old Swedish mother of two was on Friday elected Torrington Carnival Queen from a record entry of 21 finalists. She is Mrs Birgitta Whittaker, who, in 1959, was runner-up in the Miss Sweden competition.
An attractive blonde, she was the choice of Dolton where, for the past few months, her husband, John, has been the landlord of the Royal Oak. Although they met in Sweden, for some time they lived in Greenland and the far north of Canada.
Mr Whittaker and their two young children, Christina and Mariedda, will be among the crowds in Torrington streets tomorrow when Mrs Whittaker will head what promises to be a bumper procession.
The queen and her four attendants were chosen at a crowded dance at the Drill Hall by a panel comprising Admiral Sir Robert Durnford-Slater, Lady Durnford-Slater and Mr and Mrs E S Lennard.
This is the second successive year that Dolton has provided the queen and it is a coincidence that last year’s queen, Miss Jill Denton, was, at the time of her selection, also living at an inn in the village – the Ram’s Head.
All the attendants are 16 years of age. They are: Miss Nina Rooks (who lives with her parents at Dock Cottage, Weare Giffard); Miss Margaret Wickett (Coombe Farm, Beaford); Miss Pat Goss (Meadow Croft, High Bickington, a farm student at Bicton College); and Miss Sally Saunders (23 Castle Street, Torrington).
On a following float will be the other parish representatives – Miss Margaret Rose (Petrockstowe), Miss Carol Hubbard, (Petersmarland), Mrs Gillian Squire (Little Torrington), Miss Sylvia Davey (Shebbear), Miss Carol Ettard (Frithelstock), Miss Pam Stapleton (Buckland Filleigh), Miss Diane Metters (Sheepwash), Miss June Burrow (Merton), Miss Kathleen Leary (Winkleigh), Miss Pauline Cole (Ashreigney), Miss Christine Hancock (Roborough), Miss Margaret Steer (Yarnscombe), Miss Maria Pennington (Huntshaw), Miss Maureen Luxton (Alverdiscott) and Miss Rosemary Badcock, of St Giles-in-the-Wood.
Gazette article dated 3 May 1963