Saturday, 8 September 2007

But does it tickle when you kiss?

Little did I imagine when I opened this blog with a sideways look at the planners who were responsible for naming the streets of my home city that facts would catch up with my fiction.

Anyone wandering through the streets of this city last weekend would have witnessed some strange hirsute sights. People looked like they had stepped out of another century. Or had recently arrived from the Planet Hairy.

Neither was it only the men who sported whiskers, I noted one or two women with some fine moustaches.

They had all descended on the city because Brighton was playing host to the World Beard and Moustache Championship, the first time this event has been hosted in this country.

It was to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Handlebar Club. Inaugural members included Jimmy Edwards and Frank Muir, which will probably mean nothing to most of you but they respectively achieved fame in their day as a comedian and a radio writer and raconteur. (Jimmy Edward’s figure could best be described as dumpy. I remember once watching him play polo, a sport of which he was particularly fond yet totally unsuited. He was as elegant in the saddle as a sack of potatoes on a seesaw.)

Appropriately enough, the winner, Elmar Weissar, (the gentleman to the left), came from Germany. And in the interest of maintaining the link connecting our two countries, he sported a full set in the shape of Tower Bridge.

I ask you, you couldn't make it up, could you?

(All photographs are by Andy Barker.)