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    Those vital statistics that mean so much to every woman have come under the eagle eye of the boffins.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Those vital statistics that mean so much to every woman have come under the eagle eye of the boffins.

    The result is a remarkable document published by the Stationary Office at 30 shillings called, "Women's Measurements and Sizes". Profuse with charts and tables, its 134 pages tell the whole story of the REAL shape of the British woman.

    It's the first comprehensive study of the figure, not only in Britain, but in the world.

    It was planned seven years ago to help manufacturers to get clothes to fit better, for the experts estimate that, in Great Britain, only one woman in five can buy off-the-peg clothes.

    The surveyors measured 5,000 women, between 18 and 70, in their attack on the inches. Each team - a supervisor, measurer and recorder - carried a portable weighing machine, a measuring instrument called a anthropometer, two wooden knitting needles to use as guide rods in locating body "landmarks", three skin pencils and a card of fine elastic cord to locate the waistline.

    In shops, offices and factories all over the country, volunteers submitted to 37 body measurements. In some cases directors' rooms were taken over.

    And the result? Well, the average British woman is 5'3" tall, has a 37-26-38 trio, and weighs 9 stone 10 pounds.

    They also found that : - married women with children are slightly shorter and heavier than single women, women who earn more are taller, Londoners are taller than provincials; British women under 35 are 3 pounds heavier than American women; but American matrons are 3 to 5 pounds heavier than their British counterparts.

    The report was presented at a special Press Conference by British woman M.P., Mrs. Bessie Braddock (50.40.50) who said "I hope that the manufacturers will take some notice of this report. I can never get anything to fit me".

    To find out the reactions of other British women to the report, a camera team/made a series of interviews with a number of women, including the "Big Three" of the report, Miss Tall, Miss Medium and Miss Small.

    Miss Medium? No, she is not British. Marcelle Gergius is French and was chosen to represent 1,605,000 British women who are 5'3" tall and are 35-24-37.

    And nobody asked the British women what they thought of that!

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