Rachel Cornes, Museums Manager at Tameside Culture, talks about the very first Cotton Queen, Frances Lockett, a mill worker from Hyde who won the competition in 1930
Frances Lockett, a girl from Hyde who worked as a weaver in a local cotton mill was the first Cotton Queen in 1930, when the competition was first launched in the North West towns.
In the late 1920s and 1930s the cotton industry was in decline so the mill owners got together with the Daily Dispatch newspaper to try and give the industry a boost. They were looking for something to promote it, bring a bit of glamour to it and try and give it a lift during a global downturn. So they came up with the idea of having a Cotton Queen competition and opened it up to any woman who worked in the cotton industry who was between the age of 16 and 26.