A GLAMOROUS Sandbanks resident who ran a modelling school and mingled with the likes of Paul McCartney has died aged 83.

Fashion model Pamela Portman-Aitken had already run the Portman School in the West End of London before she relocated to Poole.

Her son, Marc Aitken, said: “Mum was a regular at Trader Vic’s at the Hilton Park Lane and would hang out with everyone from Paul McCartney (who used to slip in unnoticed on occasion) to Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ then-manager, or Brian Epstein and even Herman’s Hermits.

“She would get made up, dressed up to the nines and jump in a taxi to her model school, teach and arrange and attend shoots, then in the evening return home to see me and Dad and put me to bed and then get re-made up and re-dressed and head out on the town, as being seen on the scene was how you made contacts and new friends.”

After splitting up with her husband Roy Aitken in 1970, she moved with Marc to Sandbanks and set up another school – first at Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, and then in a studio converted from a five-car garage at her home.

“Literally hundreds of models went through those doors and Pamela became a well-known character in the area – not least because the house we lived in, called Showboat, was already famous as supposedly once being owned by the entertainer Gracie Fields,” said Marc.

“Over the next two decades, Pamela got to know all the local entertainment venues and proprietors. She once famously had the entire cast of Aladdin back to Showboat for an impromptu party one Sunday afternoon, following a celebrity charity football match, which ended up with Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy of George and Mildred fame attending and culminated with a suitably merry Yootha jumping into our neighbours’ pool fully clothed.”

Marc also remembers the Radio One DJ Emperor Rosco roaring into the driveway in a dune buggy, ready to DJ at a fashion show she was producing.

Mark became a sound engineer and spent decades working in West End theatre before working with rock bands. After becoming involved with Peter Gabriel’s Realworld organisation, he rediscovered a passion for taking photos and became a fashion photographer.

He would often travel from the West End to help his mother put on fashion shows.

“In the late 1980s, whenever I would go out to clubs when visiting Bournemouth, I would regularly be approached by girls who would tell me that they had done Pamela’s course at some point in the last 5-10 years and even if they had not gone onto pursue a career in modelling, that it was the best thing they’d done and that it had helped them grow their confidence enormously,” he said.

Pamela moved to Brighton after what Marc calls an “ill-fated attempt to join the property revolution of 1980s Sandbanks”. With her Dior suits and huge collection of shoes and coats, she became well-known there and “literally never left the house without full make-up and always a hat”, he said.

Her funeral will be held at Nottingham Road Cemetery in Derby, the town where she was born, on Tuesday, March 19, with flowers welcome and donations invited to Dementia UK.