Dawn Grayson 

Dawn Grayson (Kay Kirkham)

Real name  -  Kay Kirkham  - Also known as  Dawn Gayson, Carla Higgins, Kay Stevens, Kay Stern, Dorothy Gregson, Marnie Hughes. 

Dawn was an auburn-haired enchantress from the Luton area who won the title of Miss Luton 1965. She was described as a housewife, cashier and model. She worked under a bewildering plethora of names – but she was born as Catherine Sheddock in Ireland and married a Royston Kirkham in Luton in 1962. 

She came to fame in the early ‘60s when she appeared on Health and Safety at Work posters. One of these was used as part of a safety campaign for factory workers. As her husband was a toolmaker (and, as they lived in Luton, probably worked at Vauxhall) who had several times been rushed to hospital to have splinters of metal removed from his eyes, she was very keen to use her sex appeal to help persuade workers to use safety goggles. She also appeared in a series of advertisements for the Milk Marketing Board − but she was already a firm favourite of the Spick and Span cognoscenti of that era.

Dawn’s appearances from the late 1950s to late 1960s were not limited to ToCo publications and some of her earlier work was with photographer Harrison Marks. Although a more professional model than those normally depicted in Spick, Span and Beautiful Britons, she still had the ability to portray the "girl-next-door" look that made the ToCo genre such international money-earners at that time. ToCo itself described her as “the find of the year”, “one of the very best models we’ve discovered” and “the epitome of symphonic sex appeal”. She was certainly one of the company’s most popular models of directoire knickers but is another of the Top Ten who was rarely seen in fully fashioned stockings.

She and her daughter apparently followed her electronics whiz kid of a husband to Maryland in the US in 1970, and it has been said that she continued her modelling career while out there. At some stage, though, she got her first film part after an audition at Pinewood. It is said that she loved gardening and landscape painting. 

Personal Details  -  Born 1942       37-24-36          5ft 4in (162cm)

Appearances  -  81, debut Beautiful Britons 116 (July 1965)

Spick  -  140, 145, 146, 147, 148, 152, 153, 166, 168, 174, 179(bc), 196, 217, 225, 232, 234, 257, 263, 264(bc), 272

Span  -   131, 132, 137(bc), 142, 143, 147(bc), 148, 150(bc), 158, 163, 169, 180(bc), 193(bc), 229, 239(bc), 250(bc), 253, 258, 264

Beautiful Britons  -   116, 120, 122, 126, 127, 128, 129, 131, 136, 137, 140, 141, 149, 151, 160, 167, 170, 177, 178, 182, 218, 230, 233, 243

Spick & Span Extra  -  18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 36, 38, 39, 43, 44, 51, 52, 58, 59, 61