Since I was knee-high to a grass hopper I have always admired those with hirsute upper lips and as such tried to grow a moustache at the ripe age of 8 years old. Sadly, I must report, I wasn’t up to the task, although I do think that it would have made my campaign to be “milk-monitor” more successful had I managed. Anyway, I digress.
Skipping a few years to 2014 and I made a decision to once again step up to the plate and grow myself a “crumb-catcher”. Confident that my whisker growing capabilities have improved since being an 8 year old I set about the task.
Sure as night follows day the hairs started to sprout and it was a matter of weeks before there was no question that the old lip was luxuriously furnished with a carpet of fur, a lip-rug if you like. But this was only the start of the journey, for I didn’t want just any old “lip weasel”, oh no! I has my sights set on a handlebar!
Not one to do things by halves I wanted my handlebar to be authenticated as a bone-fide handlebar moustache in order to certify my achievement. In my mind there was only one institution with the relevant authority and that was The Handlebar Club.
The Handlebar Club was formed in 1947 as a club to bring together moustache wearers socially and is run as a non-profit organisation which raises money for charitable causes. All in all, a rare congregation of moustachioed chaps with good and honourable intensions.
In order to qualify to become a member of the handlebar club you must sport “a hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities” and beards are strictly forbidden. So two months to the day after embarking on my journey to grow my “lady tickler” I was confident that the moustache would cut the mustard, so I made arrangements to present my “facial topiary” to the club at their monthly meet at the Windsor Castle Pub on Crawford Place, just off Edgeware Road in London.
Not knowing quite what to expect I gave the old “lip foliage” an extra bit of attention in the morning applying my best moustache wax to tame the old beast (I use Bounder Wax from Wax-Industries), donned a suitable tweed ensemble and set off for the big smoke.
The Windsor Castle is a wonderful traditional old pub with paneled walls covered in beer pump labels and more unusually pictures of mustachioed chaps. On entering the pub it was clear that I was in for no normal night as the place was heaving with dozens of chaps sporting tweed jackets and the most fantastic array of extraordinary and extravagant moustaches. It was like nothing I had ever seen and a fantastic sight.
I was introduced to the club secretary, Steve Parsons, a Champion of the World Beard & Moustache Championship (English-style category) and after some pleasantries my handlebar was given the old “graspable extremities” test by Steve and a couple of other committee members. On satisfaction that the old “mouth brow” qualified I was presented with a club tie and welcomed as the clubs newest member.
To say that is was a proud moment would be an understatement. I had fulfilled a lifelong ambition and grinned stupidly like that 8 year old me would have done should I have managed to grow a moustache all those years ago at school.
A very pleasant evening was spent in the company of the other gentlemen members supping foaming pints of ale and swapping tales. You could not want for a more hospitable bunch of chaps.
Thanks for the membership chaps! It’s an honour to be amongst the ranks.