If you visited Brighton in the 1950s you would probably see glamorous girls in uniform who were eager to help you finding a place to visit and hotel to stay. They were called Promettes. Now they are back.
The new volunteers will welcome visitors, offering help and advice on where to stay and what to see. They will also provide maps and information on the latest events and attractions.
However, the new volunteers will be slightly less elegant than their predecessors - wearing branded polo-shirts and cagoules instead of air hostess style suits and specially designed handbags.
The entry standards will also be less stringent thanks to modern equality and employment laws. In the Fifties when sexism was rife, only attractive women could apply and had to be a minimum height of 5ft 7in.
The launch of the new scheme has been welcomed by former Promettes, who operated out of a caravan at weekends and carried cigarette lighters - but were not allowed to smoke themselves.
Audrey Page, from Brighton, was a Promette for the 1956 tourism season having heard about the role while at Vogue Mannequin School.
She said: 'I think it’s a very good idea to bring them back, although things are a lot different now from how they were then.
'We used to help people with their chairs, posting their cards or if somebody got sunburnt or was not feeling well, telling them where they needed to go.
'Anyone doing it now will have to be quite knowledgeable. I think it will be a more difficult job than it was before.
'They are going to have to be ready for just about anything and carry quite a bit of information with them.'
Lorna Whitlock, who Brighton’s chief Promette in 1959, said: 'Every girl wanted to be a Promette. It was like being a mini celebrity.
'We were always being asked out. Guys used to dare each other to ask us out.'
Mrs Whitlock said she was paid two guineas for a weekend’s work and combined that with working at the Royal Albion hotel.
As well as giving out train times to tourists, the Promettes were also used as hostesses and guides for foreign guests.
One of the highlights of her summer was meeting pop star Frankie Vaughan at the Hippodrome.
Hazel Legg, 85, from Southwick, West Sussex, was chief Promette in 1956 and 1957.
She said: 'It wasn’t hard work, it was pleasurable. We used to get a lot of queries, it was really quite something.
'People would ask us all sorts of things, like what's on at the cinema and we would be up to date with everything that was going on.
We would also get silly sorts of things like how many pebbles on the beach or what we were doing that night. It is a brilliant idea and just a pity it has not been brought back sooner.'
The new volunteer scheme is part of a major shake-up of tourist information in Brighton.
The new recruits will be stationed at key locations throughout the city including the Royal Pavilion, the train station, and along the seafront.
VisitBrighton said it is looking to 'harness some of London 2012’s sporting spirit' by introducing its own band of on-street volunteers.
Recruits will need to commit to a minimum of six months, cover a variety of shifts including weekends, and be able to work for four hours at a time.
In return, they will develop new skills with ongoing training, and at the end of their six-month stint will be given a certificate of recognition for their work.
Other benefits include free admission to some of the city’s main tourism attractions and invitations to tourism-related openings and events.
Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said:
'This is a great opportunity for people to get involved and share their passion for the city with visitors.
'The scheme runs successfully in other cities around the world and worked brilliantly in London during the 2012 Olympics.
'The role of the London Gamesmakers during the London Olympics shows how valuable volunteers can be. The volunteers will have the important role of welcoming visitors and responding to their enquiries.'
However unions raised concerns about the use of unpaid volunteers to step in where previously skilled members at the now defunct Visitor Information Centre, next to the Royal Pavilion, that was closed in September to save money.
Alex Knutsen, of Brighton and Hove Unison, said: 'We do have concerns about people doing this on a voluntary basis with no real recompense.
'We wouldn’t want to run down volunteering but it’s better to have skilled paid people with good knowledge of what’s available in the city for all the millions of visitors we have each year.
'With most of that information centre team going, it is a case of cutting off our noses to spite our face.
'We would have preferred to see if the people who benefit from the service, such as hotels, could be asked whether they would contribute to the costs of the centre.'
Successful applicants were trained at the Vogue Mannequin School in Hove, East Sussex.