Valentine’s shoppers enjoyed a loving welcome to Middlesbrough’s Cleveland Centre when Miss Tees Valley Ailish Shaw and her fellow pageant queens gave out heart-shaped balloons and red roses.
Ailish – pictured above with the centre’s operations director Craig Weatherall – was making her first public engagement since being crowned winner of the popular Centre-sponsored pageant.
After receiving a prize of £500 to spend in Cleveland Centre, rather than going on a shopping frenzy the Normanby 22-year-old instead shared the love with her fellow shoppers.
Ailish and Miss Tees Valley runners-up Beth Higgins and Laura Brookes were joined by local radio personality Chris Sibley to the delight of surprised Valentine’s shoppers.
“To say a big thank you for shopping with us, we decided to show our customers just how much we love them on Valentine’s Day,” said Centre manager Graeme Skillen.
“And who better than Miss Tees Valley and her fellow pageant stars to say it with flowers and hearts?”
Talented singer-songwriter Ty Lewis, the Billingham-born 13-year-old who performed at the Miss Tees Valley final, also surprised Cleveland Centre shoppers with love songs.
The Centre also hosted a Valentine’s Day fundraising event for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice featuring a tombola and mascot Zoe Bear.
Teessider Ian Jolly, who is joining Zoe’s Place patron and comedian Patrick Monahan raising funds for the hospice when they take part in the London Marathon, spent the afternoon on a treadmill as he got in some training for the big event.
Cleveland Centre staff showed their support for the fundraising duo by taking it in turns to run alongside Ian on a second treadmill.
After enjoying a bumper Christmas, the Centre is confident of enjoying a hugely successful 2015, boosted by the recent arrival of Psyche’s new store, Style Lab, and JD Sports’ refurbished shop.