THERE were excited shrieks to startle the neighbours in four homes this week as this year's Miss Crawley finalists were announced. Our readers have chosen their top four beautiful belles who stand a chance of being named the town's fairest maiden.
We met our finalists in Tilgate Park for a photoshoot and they all shone as brightly as the sun has been of late.
Voting reopens today for our readers to choose the overall winner by either picking up a copy of the paper or heading to our website.
Rebecca Mitchell said the contest has given her a boost and picked her up after she spent six months in hospital. The 36-year-old, of Cuttinglye Road, Crawley Down, suffered a punctured bowel when she was undergoing IVF treatment and has only just recovered.
She said: "This has really helped pick me up after a horrible year. I was handed a leaflet about the contest outside Sainsbury's and I thought I would do it for a bit of fun.
"It's nice that my luck has now changed a little bit."
Nicole Aitken-Smith, from Blackheath in Pound Hill, didn't realise she had even been entered at first.
The 17-year-old said: "My mum suggested it and I said I was interested but then the competition closed and I thought 'oh well, there's always next year'.
"The next thing I know she says I'm in the competition. I entered a Miss Teen Queen competition but didn't get far at all in that.
"I've done some small shoots in the past but it would be so amazing if I won. It is my dream to be a model."
A modest Hollie Roach said she only entered as a bit of fun. The 21-year-old, from Cuckmere Crescent, Gossops Green, said: "A few extremely close family members and my other half said that I should enter Miss Crawley.
"So I thought I would send in a photo for fun. I never expected even to be contacted again."
And Rachelle Doyle, 28, said the contest has helped make her feel accepted in Crawley after moving here from Liverpool 18 months ago.
Rachelle, who now lives in Tennyson Close, Pound Hill, said: "When I first moved down here I wasn't very happy because my family are all still in Liverpool. But Crawley is a much nicer place to live and I've got so many friends.
"I was over the moon when I found out (about being among the finalists) and my mum was made up."
The contest is sponsored by Personal Perfection beauty suite and prizes are provided by The Felbridge Hotel.
The winner gets a night for two in one of the hotel's luxury rooms as well as a facial, massage, manicure or pedicure in its Chakra Spa.
On top of that they and a friend will have free use of the gym facilities and will get breakfast and dinner for two at the award-winning AA rosette Anise restaurant.
The prize also includes a free photoshoot by one of our top photographers. The winner will be able to keep a selection of pictures from the shoot for use in a portfolio if she has ambitions to embark on a modelling career or to have as keepsakes. To vote you can buy a copy of today's Crawley News, where you will find a coupon. Or you can vote by text. Simply text SU Crawley, followed by the four digit voting code for the woman you are voting for plus your name and postcode to 65100 (i.e. SU CRAWLEY 1099 Joe Bloggs RH10 7TY). Texts cost 50p plus one network rate message - and don't forget to include the spaces. The closing date for votes is midnight on Sunday, August 11.