The title of best moustache is up for grabs as top lip titans clash in Dover for the honour of being crowned owner of the world’s wackiest whiskers.
The Handlebar Club, which is holding the contest as it celebrates its 70th year, first met on 1 April 1947, and according to club secretary Steve Parsons “nothing has changed since then”.
“There aren’t many rules,” he said.
“But you have to have a moustache of graspable extremities.”
The club specifies that beards are not allowed, and on its page of FAQs – which provides advice on issues ranging from moustache curlers to moustache cups – it advises people whose interest lies more in beards to contact The British Beard Club.
About 100 people are expected at this year’s Handlebar annual meeting which takes place at the Dover Marina Hotel.
They have travelled from across Europe and from as far afield as the US, Mr Parsons said.
On a more serious note, Mr Parsons explained the club, which has monthly meetings in London, raises money for charity.
Hirsute conversation lasts for about an hour, and members gather to have a laugh about their “silly moustache”, but the club was set up for social reasons.
Founded by comedians and broadcasters including Jimmy Edwards, Frank Muir and Raymond Glendenning, the club first met in the dressing room of the Windmill Theatre, London, and was about preserving wartime camaraderie, Mr Parsons said.
“It was set up on April Fool’s Day just after the war.
“Most had been in the RAF and wanted to keep the camaraderie,” Mr Parsons explained.
“It’s a tradition and it’s about the Britishness of it all.”
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