IN 1967, Jayne Mansfield’s Hollywood star was fading and the original blonde bombshell was reduced to playing the clubs of the Tees Valley and stayed in the Scotch Corner Hotel.

She was only 33, and her curious fortnight in the North East came just two months before her tragic death in a motoring accident.

The Northern Echo: Jayne Mansfield

With her remarkable physique – she never missed an opportunity to pose with her prominent breasts to the fore, and the newspapers of the day never missed an opportunity to shoehorn her vital statistics (44-26-38) into the story – she had wowed Hollywood with films like Too Hot Handle, and the former Playboy playmate had become the first person to appear completely naked in a film.

But by 1967, times were moving on – stick thin Twiggy was all the rage – and on March 26, 1967, Jayne arrived at Newcastle station at the start of a £24,000 six-week tour of nightclubs.

The Northern Echo:

Jayne Mansfield arriving at Newcastle station in March 1967

However, her first week on Tyneside received a cool reception. She performed a 20-minute set of songs and chat but developed little rapport with the Geordie audience.

The Northern Echo’s reporter Luke Casey, who later found fame as a TV correspondent, kindly compared her to the other popular entertainment of the day. “I, and many others, would rather look at a bosomy blonde in a mini-skirt than Mick Jagger any day,” he wrote.

For her second week playing the clubs of Teesside she based herself in a £20-a-day suite in the Scotch Corner Hotel.

She brought Darlington to a standstill with her “gleaming Rolls-Royce…stopped in the centre of a no-waiting zone on High Row and was quickly spotted by a traffic warden”, said the Echo.

She was “cautioned about parking in the zone and politely told to move on. The car then glided into Priestgate”. The thrice married mother-of-five was in town so that her lawyer, Sam Brody, could buy her a gold chain – they were, it was said, an item.

But her shows at Tito’s and Club Fiesta in Stockton, and Club Marimba in Middlesbrough did not go down well and on Saturday, April 7, she held a press conference – with her hair hurriedly coiffured by Darlington hairdresser John Hunter – at the Scotch Corner Hotel to express her amazement at being sacked from the rest of the tour.

The Northern Echo:

The Scotch Corner Hotel in 1949 - Jayne Mansfield held her press conference here in 1967

However, there were still plenty of clubs wanting her, and so that night she made a surprise appearance at the press ball at Tiffany’s in York. Unfortunately, on the way back to Scotch Corner, her taxi caught fire and she had to hitch-hike to the hotel. Then she was off to Batley, Bolton and Blackpool for more impromptu appearances.

Quite remarkably, while staying at the Scotch Corner, she was struck up an unlikely relationship with the Richmond MP, Sir Timothy Kitson, and on April 13, she took his arm as they entered the House of Commons to watch Prime Ministers’ Questions.

The Northern Echo:

Sir Timothy Kitson with the fanciable Conservative leader, Edward Heath, campaigning to get Britain into the EU

“Jayne, squeezing her 44-26-38 superstructure into a plunging blue and white mini-dress, caused quite a stir,” reported the Daily Express. “Miss Mansfield, half in and half out of her dress, fluttered her long black eyelashes and adjusted her flowing blonde hair. It was all too much for the Speaker, Dr Horace King, who solemnly called the house to order.”

Jayne, who specialised in gaining favourable press coverage through wardrobe malfunctions, defended her choice of attire, saying the dress was “the most conservative I’ve got”.

She flaunted her way into the Speaker’s Gallery where Sir Timothy showed her to a seat usually occupied by Mary Wilson, the Prime Minister’s wife. It was all very off-putting for Defence Secretary Denis Healey down below who was quite put off his stride during Defence Questions.

Jayne then had lunch with Sir Timothy, and at the end of her three hour visit, she gushed to the Express how she really fancied the Conservative leader Edward Heath. “I just love that great big smile of his,” she purred. “Is it really true that he’s a bachelor? Mmm, I really go big for him.”

The Northern Echo:  PA File Photo of Jayne Mansfield at a premiere in 1957

Jayne Mansfield at a film premiere in 1957

In actuality, she probably went big for anyone who might get her a sentence in a paper, for she said of the Conservative MP Gerald Nabarro, who was famed for his extravagant facial hair: “That moustache is the nicest thing I ever saw. He kept looking up at me and swirling his moustache.”

And, waving goodbye to Rishi Sunak’s predecessor as Richmond MP, she was off.

She returned to the United States where, sadly, six weeks later she and Brody were killed in a car crash caused by a fog of insecticide.

“Jayne Mansfield, 33, the Hollywood sex symbol who recently had a tempestuous tour of the North-East, was killed yesterday when her chauffeur-driven car smashed into a giant articulated ruck on the Old Spanish Trail – a winding stretch of highway outside New Orleans,” said the Echo’s front page of June 30, 1967.