There was fierce competition for the title of Friends of Furness Hospitals Carnival Queen in the year 1989 in Barrow.

The Imperial Hotel on Cornwallis Street, Barrow, was the venue for that year’s preliminary round of judging.

The age limit was lowered to 17 at the time and judging was to select seven young women to take part in the final at the Cemetery Cottages Club on Schneider Road, Barrow.

While each lady waited their turn, they learnt that some of their fellow contestants were only there because “they fancied” giving it a go.

Two friends who had entered separately surprised each other while waiting.

Most were entering for the first time, but Gail Richardson was entering for the fourth time that year.

Previously she had been a lady-in-waiting.

She said: “I have always taken part in the carnival since the age of five.

“Being on the float on carnival day is so thrilling that I had to enter again.”

The girls went one by one to be interviewed informally.

Each girl was allotted points for speech, personality, understanding and deportment, then the judges retired to make their final decisions on which girls they would pick.

The girls went home and were notified later on if they had been selected to take part in the parade.

Joan Grainger, chairwoman of the Friends, said: “The main thrust of this year’s appeal is to raise money for paramedic equipment and training for the Furness ambulance service.

“But this year we will be making a special effort to buy something extra for the Ulverston and Roose Hospital.”

During the finals, judging would be in two stages.

Seven finalists would be selected to meet for an informal session with the judges, then draw a number from a hat to decide their order of appearance.

Returning one by one to be interviewed once again on the stage by Ron Duxbury of BBC Radio Furness, and to parade on the catwalk. Then the judges would announce the winner.

The winner was named on the following Monday.