Jane Bowman

Jane Bowman

Jane is one of the very earliest models in ToCo’s troupe of girls. She epitomises the house image of those early days not only in the style of the photos (photographer Russell Gaye) – very innocent and cheerful, hardly a stocking top on show (and often retouched) and with female readers − but in her professional background.

Originally she trained as a ballerina and was in the corps de ballet at Covent Garden. But she developed cartilage problems and moved to another, perhaps less rigorous, form of dance – she became a showgirl via the famous Windmill theatre (cradle of many a star, including Kenneth More) and the Pigalle. From there she branched out to modelling, at which she was a natural and enjoyed considerable success, and TV roles.

It is not difficult to see why she made such an impression. She was a typical ‘50s girl, always with a radiant smile (with the war a decade away, most people in the UK were smiling a little more) and a lightness in her step that her dancing skills made visible. Have a good look at her photos from ToCo’s childhood days and compare them with the same mags twenty years later. See what a huge change took place in the UK in two decades – not just in fashion but in style and permissiveness.

What is strange is that Jane was a frequent visitor to the ToCo pages in the early days up to 1957, then made only one single appearance until she was seen in BB 96 in October 1963 ­– and that was just a repeat from the early days. After that she was never seen again. Why on earth did ToCo resurrect her and then abandon her again? What happened to the poor girl? Was she the victim of a photo-editor Brewster liquid lunch?

Personal Details  -  35-22-36

Appearances  -  12, debut Span 12 (August 1955)

Spick  -  27, 44

Span  -  12, 14, 33

Beautiful Britons  -  3, 7, 96, X3, X14

Spick & Span Extra  -  2 56Spring

Spick & Span Annual  -  1(bc)