MOTHERS were lining up to have their babies’ pictures taken at West Swindon Shopping Centre yesterday as the Adver launched its annual Baby of the Year competition.

For more than 40 years, proud parents have been dressing their youngsters in their best clothes in a fight to be crowned the top tot in town.

This year’s run of photographs began at the West Swindon outlet outside Asda, where parents were able to have their child snapped for free and entered into the Baby of the Year supplement, which is published on September 9.

Emma Preston, 38, of Lomond Close in Sparcells, was one of those in line for a picture. She brought along four-month-old Annie, who the family had waited some 10 years for.

“We came into Asda and on the off-chance saw the signs for the competition,” she said. “It’s the first I’ve entered anything like this.

“We have waited 10 years to get this baby and we finally got her.

“We had an early miscarriage and did try fertility treatment, but she was completely natural. It was a stressful time for us after 10 years of trying.

“Everyone says how cute she looks. I love her and when you love your child you want other people to see that. I am always taking pictures of her and putting them on Facebook, so I thought it was time somebody else took a picture of her.”

Rochelle Trebble, 41, of West Swindon, brought 21-month-old Sophie along.

She said: “Every mother thinks their child is beautiful and this gives you a way of proving that to people. We entered last year too, when I had a few friends doing it as well. We just kept voting for each other’s babies.”

Rachael Youd, newspaper sales manager at the Adver, said: “The Swindon Advertiser Baby of the Year competition has been running for over 40 years and is still as popular now as it was then.

“The competition attracts over 500 entrants every year and each and every photograph taken gets featured in our Baby of the Year Supplement.

“We then ask our readers to vote for who is their favourite. Voting can be done by phone, text or by completing the voting form in the supplement.

“The baby with the most votes wins £500 and the two runners up receive £250 each. The competition is sponsored by Persimmon Homes, who are the sponsors for third consecutive year.”

Photographs will be taken at Asda, West Swindon Centre until Saturday, August 2 and at Walmart, Orbital Shopping Park from August 5 to August 9.