ROSEMARY CARROLL was a shy teenager when she was crowned Miss Gourock more than 40 years ago - but the thrill of winning the title in 1957 and then becoming Miss Swimsuit Gourock three years later, determined her on a show business career as a singer, actress and model.

Using the stage name of Romey Carr, the Gourock girl toured the world and met many of top names in showbiz, including Woody Allen, Tony Bennett and Sacha Distel.

Rosemary used her winnings from the two local competitions to move to London. A former pupil of the Franciscan Convent in Union Street, her sheltered upbringing hadn't prepared her for the perilous profession she had chosen.

She laughed: "I started off living in a girls' hostel in Bayswater and was washing dishes and working in bars to pay the rent in between going to auditions. I would have agents chasing me around the room. I was so naive then. They used to call me the 'hick from the sticks'." The glamourous singer's cv reads like a Who's Who in the entertainment world. There are few of the greats of that era she hasn't worked with. Among her most cherished moments was meeting Tony Bennett while auditioning for a show at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas in the 1970s with the Andy Williams trio.

Rosemary said: "He was very nice and supportive. I was nervous but he was sweet and calmed me down." She was in the show to support an up-and-coming stand-up comedian - Woody Allen.

Rosemary got a contract, but by the time she arrived back in London a new Mafia management team had moved in, making it null and void.

She said: "It would have meant going over there to audition again. By that time Woody Allen had chosen Judy Carron." Rosemary's television performances included appearances on Morecambe and Wise, with Dick Emery, Dave Allen and Les Dawson.

She said: "Eric Morecombe was the dearest, loveliest guy to work with - he was genuinely funny all the time and would ad-lib during rehearsals." Later, she tried to get her own show on the BBC, but was pipped at the post by singer Kathy Kirby.

Undeterred, she went on tour all over Europe with her one-woman show and eventually took it to Australia and Africa.

She was also a successful recording artist with Columbia(EMI), as well as being a popular model. In 1971 she was named "sexiest singer in Europe" and was presented with the award by Sacha Distel in Brussels.

Despite a hectic career, Rosemary found time to get married, have two sons and to become a step-mum to four daughters.

She married boxing promoter Mike Barrett in 1972 and they have have two children, trainee film maker Michael (28) and Oxford graduate Guy (26).

ROSEMARY has been back in Gourock for 10 years and lives in the flat in Albert Road, where she was brought up. Her time is divided between here, Cyprus, where her husband is based because of poor health, and Kensington where she has a flat.

Her husband's work, and her own involvement with several charities - including the Variety Club of Great Britain - has brought her into contact with the rich and famous, including the Royal Family. She was very impressed with Princess Diana. She said: "Princess Diana had done her homework and had found out about my husband's work. She was simply gorgeous. She had beautiful skin and a lovely manner." Rosemary has also met several boxers, including Frank Bruno, whom she describes as "a big softy," and Joe Louis.

She regards a concert in France as one of the highlights of her career. She said: "I was booked in to do a show at Palm Beach Casino in Cannes. It was a grand occasion. At the end of my performance everyone stood up and threw flowers onto the stage. It was a wonderful experience." But with the highs have also come the lows. Rosemary suffered severe post natal depression after the birth of both sons, resulting in deep depression and panic attacks. She was eventually treated by well-known specialist Dr Katherine Dalton.

She also lost her parents Tommy and Mary in tragic circumstances in 1984, after they were involved in a car crash in Kempock Street. Her father died of his injuries and her mother died six months' later from cancer.

"My parents always talked about leaving this flat to me. I thought I don't want to live here, but now I'm so glad I'm home in Gourock. There's nothing like it."