Janine Sykes 

Also known as - Maxine Millar             

Janine was one of the Yorkshire bevy of beauties featured in the ToCo Magazines. She was born in Leeds in 1936 and made her first appearance in BB8 in June 1956 as Janine and was voted The IT Girl of the year by a national newspaper. For our younger readers, that doesn’t mean she was a computer wizard but the girl who had more of “it” than any other girl in the country – it being that indefinable quality that turns your head. “What’s so special about her, then?” “Dunno. But whatever it is, she’s got lots of it!”

Shortly afterwards, however, she was seen in Span 31 in March 1957 as the blonde Maxine Millar, only to appear in nine months later as the brunette Janine again. Or maybe it was all the other way round and wigs were used. If that is so, they were very high quality wigs. My feeling is that the blonde photos are her natural hair and the brunette is the bewigged variant. Either way, this creates considerable confusion for me – I believed they were two different models and therefore gave them each their own entry. One of our readers, though, has persuaded me that they are one and the same girl. So Janine Sykes is what she is registered as here.

We are given little information about her. But ToCo tells us she was very sporty and was a former Northern Counties Cross Country champion.  The same reader points out that, in 1958, soon after she started gracing the Spick and Span pages, she married James Mewson, a diver in the Royal Marines – so maybe the pictures editor in Croydon wasn’t telling porkies all the time. As always, we are delighted to receive any information from our readers. Many thanks, David.

Janine did not exactly display the sense of fun that Nicola Taylor and Anne Scott at flashing her knickers for us, nor the occasional apparent grumpiness of, for example, Jane Paul – who often looked as if she were thinking of photographer Fullarton, “what’s the dirty old bugger going to ask me to do next?”; more of a bewildered gaze of “what the hell am I doing here?”. 

Personal details  -  Born Leeds     38-23-36    5ft 6" (168cm)

Appearances  -  8, debut Beautiful Britons 8 (June 1956)

Spick  -  50

Span  -  31, 39, X1 58Spring

Beautiful Britons  -  8, 18, 26(bc), 35(bc)