Also known as - Patrina Sargent
Although details of Jane McKay are few and far between (apart from the fact that she was a shorthand typist in the City and lived in Kent – or possibly a hairdresser from Bristol who “models for the fun of it” – and was an amateur pop singer), she occupies a unique place in the history of ToCo.
As explained in the history section (work in progress at the moment), the publishers campaigned for readers to submit photos of wives and girlfriends for hopeful models. From that campaign, of course, the seeds of the magazine Beautiful Britons were sown. Beautiful is pushing it a bit (with a few exceptions, pretty would be a more appropriate adjective, though you would lose the alliteration), as is Britons (many of the girls came from foreign climes) – and the amateur status of many of the models is questionable.
But take a look at this reader’s letter, and its response, from Spick 73 in December 1959:
“I am writing to introduce you to my sister Jane, who I think is very sweet and who has the kind of personality to make life gay for everyone who knows her. I am enclosing two photographs of her and do hope you can feature her.
Well, we met Jane, and just as Shelly said, we found her very sweet and very charming. Look out for photographs of her in due course.
So Jane is the first arrival to the ToCo stables as a result of their recruiting campaign.
One of the many frustrations in trying to compile this catalogue is that ToCo made so many absurd mistakes – from putting the wrong publication date on the title page to getting the name of the model wrong. And the month before that letter was published, Jane appeared in BB 49, which makes that her debut magazine – and not the edition of Spick (74) that followed the letter.
Now the interesting speculation arises as to who Pat Lewis, who made her debut in Beautiful Britons 21 in July 1957, is. She is the spitting image of Jane McKay − but Pat was born in 1938 and Jane 5 years later. Oh dear, perhaps stamp collecting would be less bothersome.
Personal Details - Born 1943 35-21-35
Appearances - 35, debut Beautiful Britons No 49 (November 1959)
Spick - 74, 79, 81, 82, 96, 99, 131, 132(bc), X12
Span - 71, 106, 108, 111, 116, X9, X13
Beautiful Britons - 49, 50, 53, 58, 64, 68, 78, 91, 117, X13, X15
Spick & Span Extra - 2, 8, 9, 10, 13
Funfare - 22, 25(bc), 26