Miss Great Britain – Started in Morecambe

miss great britain

The Morecambe Bay Hotel

The Morecambe Bay hotel is a large hotel located right on the coast at Marine Road, Central Promenade in Morecambe. We are within walking distance from the train station and have easy access to the M6. With our hotel facing the coast, you’ll always get a beautiful view of the seaside.

What is Miss Great Britain?

Beauty contests in resort towns were a popular attraction in the 1940s. Seaside beauty contests were introduced all around the country after World War Two. As Morecambe was becoming more popular, the Morecambe Local Council along with the Sunday Dispatch newspaper decided to organise a commercial beauty contest to drive more people to Morecambe, which further began to turn into a national event.

Where in Morecambe was Miss Great Britain Hosted?

Miss Great Britain was hosted in what was the Super Swimming Stadium, said to be the largest outdoor pool in Europe when it opened in 1936. At a total cost of £130,000 and measuring over 36ft by 11ft, it was often full of people in the café, the sunbathing deck, the 3-deck promenade, or watching the swimming. It wasn’t until after the second world war that the giant stadium began hosting the “Bathing Beauty Queen” contest, which would continue and develop to become Miss Great Britain.

The first Miss Great Britain Final

At the end of August in 1945, the first-ever final was hosted. The stadium was crowded full of 4,277 people as Morecambe was pouring with rain. The judge of this event was popular Gainsborough film star at the time, Michael Rennie, and he chose Lydia Reid, a civil typist from Morecambe as the winner. The prize was a swimsuit, a cup and ‘a paltry prize’ of seven guineas, according to the local newspaper. Another local winner was Rose Marie Franklin from Lancaster, who went on to be crowned Miss World in 1961.

Other famous people who judged Miss Great Britain included Richard Tauber, Charlie Kunz, Wilfred Pickles, Doris Waters, and Laurel and Hardy. People would travel from all over Britain to Morecambe to see the contest.

Miss Great Britain Through the Years

As the years went on, the contest became bigger as the prize money increased. The 50s saw crowds of up to 6000 watching Miss Great Britain, with a £1000 prize. Through the 60s, there was a slight decline due to there being less frequent visits to Morecambe, however, during the 70s the popularity began to rise again as Miss Great Britain was introduced to TV.

Miss Great Britain – A Piece of Morecambe’s History

Despite Miss Great Britain being hosted in a different location these days after the closing of the Super Swimming Stadium, the contest will always have its roots in Morecambe. The contests history and old photos serve as a reminder to what British seaside holidays were like throughout the 1900s. The Morecambe Bay hotel looks over the coast, close to where the contest was once held. The old location for the Super Swimming Stadium is set to be turned into a site for the Eden Project in 2023.

The Morecambe Bay Hotel

You can find our hotel on Marine Road, Central Promenade in Morecambe. The Morecambe Bay Hotel is within easy reach of the M6 and within walking distance from the train station. Come and enjoy our free parking, free WI-FI, well-appointed rooms and a big breakfast.

How to Book a Room at The Morecambe Bay Hotel


We are pleased that you would like to book a room with us. You can do this in several ways.


By following this link-




You can call 01524 874747 to speak to us at The Morecambe Bay Hotel or you can email us on info@morecambebayhotel.co.uk


The Morecambe Bay Hotel, 317-318 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire.




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In these unprecedented times, we could not be more grateful for those whose jobs are vital to public health & safety and generally keeping the country running. As a token of our appreciation, we would like to offer reduced-rate accommodation to key workers from all sectors in need of emergency accommodation. 

Contact Clare at The Morecambe Bay Hotel for more information on 01524 874 747