THE search for Miss York & District 2014 will start later this month, with organiser Diane Yalezo urging girls of 'all shapes and sizes' to enter.

Diane, who is planning to hold auditions on March 30 at the Hilton Hotel near Clifford's Tower, said: "The days when such contests only wanted stick-insect models are long over.

"The only restrictions are that they must be aged 17 to 24, be unmarried and have no children, and live, work or study within 60 miles of York. They have to be beautiful, inside and out, and be a good role model and representative for York at the Miss England final."

She said the Miss York final would take place at the Hilton on Saturday May 3, with the winner automatically going through to the Miss England final, to be held between June 14 and 16 in Torbay.

But the runner-up would also get a title, Miss Ryedale, which would get her through to the Miss England semi finals, to be held in Leicester on May 19.

Last year's York contest, held at the racecourse, resulted in 17-year-old Maryann Cunningham, a fashion design student from Thorne, near Doncaster, being crowned the winner.

Maryann said yesterday she had really enjoyed the year, during which she had raised hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research and Martin House Hospice.

"I took part in the Race for Life in York, and the York 10k, was a judge of Ladies Day fashion at the Ebor race meeting and took part in a body confidence day at the Coppergate Centre, and of course I took part in Miss England, which was a brilliant experience," she said.

* To enter Miss York 2014, people must apply in advance by emailing, by next Friday, March 21, sending a head and shoulders photo, their age and height, where they are from and saying why they think they should be the next Miss York.