It's all go for globetrotting beauty queen
A FORMER beauty queen, who has conquered globe-trotting quests Michael Palin would think twice about, is set to embark on her greatest challenge to date.
In the early Eighties, Della Draper became Miss United Kingdom and was a runner-up Miss World. But she has since climbed one of the highest peaks in Asia, gone white-water rafting in Borneo, scuba dived in the Pacific and camped in Alaska's Yukon in temperatures of -35°C beneath the Aurora Borealis.
Her exploits would easily give fellow globetrotter Palin a run for his money and make the trials and tribulations of the contestants on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here look like a village tea party.
Many of her adventures have helped her raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
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Indeed, her life recently featured in a BBC2 documentary, Wonderland – I Was Once A Beauty Queen, produced by Bafta-nominated documentary maker Hannah Berryman.
"I try to do something adventurous each year," she explained.
However, Della, 50, is now embarking on her greatest adventure of all, in her home town of Cleethorpes.
She has partnered her daughter Daniella, 24, in an exciting new silver jewellery business, which they have founded in the resort.
They have set up shop in a unit at Meridian Park, next to the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway station, a firm favourite with holidaymakers. As it happens, the unit they occupy was previously home to a seaside miniature railway museum, the contents of which have now moved across the road to a building at the station.
Daniella graduated in jewellery design from Central Saint Martin's College of Art & Design in London three years ago, and established her own workshop at home.
She specialises in predominantly silver jewellery, although she will make gold items to order.
With prices from £20 to £500, her handmade jewellery aims to make the perfect gift for many special occasions, including birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries and confirmations.
Many items can be viewed and bought off the shelf at the shop in Meridian Park.
Others can be designed to order, for bespoke jewellery is a speciality with Daniella, who will consider any requests.
The shop opened in August, but the business already has several significant outlets, both locally and as far afield as London, where KJ's Laundry, in Kings Road, stocks Daniella Draper jewellery.
Daniella's stack bangles were featured in the Kate And The Gypsy shoot by Iain McKell for V-Magazine, and related articles appeared in several national newspapers.
Natasha Kahn, lead singer of the band Bat For Lashes, was also photographed wearing Daniella's stack rings at the recent Barclaycard Mercury music awards.
So what is now the latest in London jewellery fashion can be viewed and bought right here in Lincolnshire – and at a price much lower than what you might well pay in the capital.
Backing Daniella's bold business drive is her mother, who is the exact opposite of the image of the blonde bimbo beauty contestant as often caricatured by hardcore feminists.
Yes, Della became Miss UK in 1982, and runner-up in Miss World the following year, in the days when the politically correct held no sway over such contests.
However, Della confounded the critics of such events by, as an 18-year-old, wisely investing every penny that she earned from them in a career of her own away from the stage and cameras.
She bought local clothes business Hobo, which was based in Freshney Place, and then moved to Abbeygate, in Grimsby, and ran it for 22 years, before selling it on.
Della is now back with a vengeance to pass on her business skills to her family's latest venture.
During her much-publicised exploits, Della gained great satisfaction in raising many thousands of pounds to help others. With two men from Grimsby, she climbed the 13,435ft-high Mount Kinabalu, in Borneo, regarded as the 20th most prominent mountain in the world and which has UNESCO World Heritage status.
She also took part in a 113-mile bike ride in the Crocker Mountain Range, in Borneo, for the Children Today Charity and raised £5,000. No challenge is too great for sporty Della. After flying to Ladakh, a high-altitude desert in the Himalayas, she trekked through seven mountain passes in eight days – the highest being 17,500ft – with the goal of delivering supplies to a remote upland school.
Her favourite place of all is the Swiss Alps. Ther, she was filmed for the BBC documentary.
She added: "Some of these trips abroad raised money for charity, and I would like to so the same with Daniella's business.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who thinks we might be able to help."
To find out more about Daniella Draper jewellery, visit www.danielladraper.com. The shop can be contacted on 07709 446351 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org