The British Beard Club is a social meeting group for bearded men, their partners and families of The British Isles. We discuss, encourage and support the growing, styling and maintenance of a man's beard, and along the way we make new friends, enjoy good food, real ales and good conversation.
Brighton is the birthplace of The British Beard Club, the idea for which was discussed briefly at the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Brighton on September 1st 2007, hosted by The Handlebar (Moustache) Club.
The late Russ Sherwood and a small group of other UK competitors and spectators realised that the UK even as hosting-country of that event, was almost the only participating country in the Championships to be without its own Beard Club, and we agreed to keep in touch.
Several months passed, and then sadly Russ passed away in early 2008. At the Stuttgart European Beard and Moustache Championships in September 2008 now-founder-members Frazer Coppin and Andy Casson got talking with fellow UK competitors from The Handlebar Club, Rod Littlewood and Steve Parsons, who suggested approaching full-bearded Handlebar Club Webmaster David Dade about reviving the idea of a UK Beard Club.
David agreed to help and The British Beard Club was formed on 26th November 2008 with David as Honorary President. 520 members later, the rest is history in the making...
The Handlebar (Moustache) Club is an international club for men with handlebar moustaches. Founded in 1947 and still going strong, the Handlebar Club currently has members from many different countries. The qualification for membership is...
"a hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities"
...and in addition, it's specified that beards are not allowed. But if you do not have a moustache, do not despair! Because the Handlebar Club also have "Friends of the Handlebar Club". These are supporters of the club who do not have the 'necessary qualification' for full membership.
The club was founded in April 1947 in the dressing room of comedian Jimmy Edwards at The Windmill Theatre in London. There were 10 founder members, including Jimmy Edwards, Raymond Glendenning, and Frank Muir. The minutes of that first meeting are in the Club archives and it appears that although there was a goodly number of founder members they were outnumbered by chorus girls!
The object of the Club was, and still is, to bring together moustache wearers (beards being strictly prohibited) socially for sport and general conviviality. The aim of the Club was to assist by all means at its disposal, any worthy charity or cause, particularly those devoted to ex-servicemen. This aim still remains today and we have helped particularly with children's charities.