CHRISTINE Keeler, who died this week at the age of 75, stayed in Bournemouth shortly before the Profumo scandal brought her sudden national fame.

She lodged in the town with fellow showgirl Mandy Rice-Davies – and the pair hid letters in a Talbot Woods flat which were later passed to the inquiry into the episode.

War secretary John Profumo resigned in June 1963, following months of rumours and the revelation that he had lied to Parliament when he denied having an affair with Keeler.

The Bournemouth Times recalled that Keeler had “stayed for some time in Bournemouth” three years previously and was known at her favourite haunts as “the girl in pink jeans”.

Shortly afterwards, it emerged that Keeler and Rice-Davies had stayed together in Bournemouth in May 1962, and had “made a ‘love nest’ in Talbot Woods with two young men they called their husbands”.

Marjorie Wall, who ran a chemist shop in Wallisdown and was landlady of the 10-guineas-a-week flat, told the paper: “I found out their real names and addresses soon after they rented my flat last May. When they arrived, they said they were Mrs Mandy Webb and Mrs Christine Pringle and introduced two young men in their early 20s as their’ husbands’.”

Rice-Davies had been driving a white Jaguar in which they arrived with possessions including a TV set, tape recorder and their own china. They refused the flat’s linen and sent for their own.

“Later Christine covered her bedroom walls with pictures of herself, many of them in the nude. My husband and I had seen all the photographs which recently appeared in the national press,” Mrs Wall said.

The two paid visits to the Swiss restaurant and the El Cabala coffee bar, and to Raymond's hair salon.

Mrs Wall was initially impressed by the women, until they began keeping irregular hours.

She recalled them staying for nine days, then doing a “moonlight flit”. Afterwards, Mrs Wall found letters hidden under the carpet and in the back of drawers, which she later sent to Lord Denning for his inquiry into the scandal.

Bournemouth man David Medina remembers seeing Rice-Davies when he was in the El Cabala, at 98 Old Christchurch Road, and starting a conversation.

“We were talking and it turned out she was on holiday. I had no idea who she was. She had a lot of eye make-up on, like Dusty Springfield,” he said.

He later saw her again, driving down Old Christchurch Road in the Jaguar, with a companion who might have been Keeler.

The two ‘husbands’ stayed on at East Avenue without paying the rent, often partying all night, until Mrs Wall had them locked out. A pile of clothes left behind by the now-famous women was eventually donated to the WRVS.