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Prom season is in full swing in south Cumbria

It was the turn of Year 11 pupils at Chetwynde School, Barrow, to celebrate last week at Abbey House Hotel.

Over the past decade school proms seem to have become more and more Americanised, with transport escalating from mum and dad's car to limousines, Hummers and horse-drawn carriages.

The word prom was originally shortened from promenade, the formal, introductory parading of guests at a party.

The prom can be traced back to the simple mixed male and female banquets that 19th century American universities held for their graduating classes.

For teenagers in 2016 however, prom means weeks of obsessing over the perfect dress, booking countless procedures in the beauty salon and hair dressers and finding a date to accompany them.

Chloe Wagstaff, a 17-year-old student at Barrow Sixth Form College and model with a Manchester agency, celebrated her year 11 prom in 2015, she said: "Most the girls in my year got the full works, fake tan, hair up do's at the hairdressers, fake nails and make-up done by makeup artists.

"I actually ended up doing my own hair and my cousin did my make-up for me. I did go to get my nails done in town though, I had them painted red, to match my dress.

"I personally didn't get a fake tan either because I had never had one before and I didn't know whether it would suit me. I know it is one of the most popular treatments to have though.

"We went to Clarence House for our prom. We were all in different groups with our dates in nice cars, we had rented ours from a shop in Barrow.

"We had a roast dinner for our meal and then afterwards the whole year came back to my house for cocktails (non-alcoholic obviously) and I had a marquee that I had decorated for an after-party.

"We didn't have prom kings and queens but I wish we had. However perhaps that would have created a more fierce feeling with the dresses as there was already a lot of competition.

"Overall I enjoyed the night but the hype is overrated and the best part of the night was getting ready with my friends and perhaps the drinks afterwards!"

Chloe wore a stunning red satin fishtail dress by Sherri Hill, who is one of the most popular designers for prom dresses.

There are many ingenious ways to get to your prom nowadays, some of the more unusual methods of transport seen in recent years have been on horseback, in a tank and by helicopter, although many groups opt for a classic Rolls-Royce or Bentley.

Whatever you choose, there is one thing for certain, the Year 11 prom has become more like preparing for a wedding than for an end of school party. Look out for more prom pictures in the Evening Mail next week.

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