Exciting news! On Saturday 14 November we will be holding Capital Beards’ first Beard and Moustache Competition in The Hope, 48 West Street Carshalton SM5 2PR. This event will also include the local launch of Decembeard – more of which later.

The Hope is kindly sponsoring the trophies for the event and due to the constraints of the venue, we are limiting eligibility to members who have attended a previous Capital Beards event and to new and existing members who intend to attend a Capital Beards event in the future. The Devon and Cornwall Thatch recently held a similar event and as theirs was successful we have decided to loosely base our categories on theirs as follows:

  • Moustache Natural

    Natural shaping allowed but without aids. Facial hair is grown on the upper lip only and hairs may grow out up to 1.5 cm from the end of the upper lip

  • Partial Beard Natural

    This covers goatee, business class, mutton chops and 'Whaler/Amish’ but with no aids

  • Full Beard Natural

    As grown with moustache integrated without any natural or shaved gap and no aids.

  • Partial Beard Styled

    Includes sculptured beards.

  • Moustache Styled

    Facial hair is grown on the upper lip only.

  • Full Beard Styled

    This takes in styled beard as well as styled moustache (with beard).

  • Musketeer

    Moustache long and slender, lip hairs may grow out up to 1.5cm from end of upper lip. Beard narrow and pointed. Aids allowed.

  • Freestyle

    Covers both moustaches and beards – including Whiskerinas. Anything goes!

Contestants are welcome to enter more than one category if they feel they meet the criteria.

If there is anyone reading this that are not familiar with the Hope, its current incarnation dates back to 2010 when there was an imminent danger of the pub closing and becoming a licensed Indian Restaurant, however after some quick negotiation by a group of customers, they were given the option of buying the lease and operating the pub.

A company "48 West Limited" was formed to pursue this possibility  and on Monday 8th Feb 2010 the company signed forms to become the tenant of The Hope on a 20 year free of all tie lease from Punch Taverns. They then bought the fixtures and fittings, stock etc from the holding company that operated the pub. They have made, and are continuing to make, substantial investments in the building, the stock, the staff and generally the future. The pub has now gained many new friends as customers and has won the odd prize or two. In other words, it is a pub run by beer enthusiasts for beer enthusiasts, and anyone else who enjoys a friendly atmosphere. The pub is five minutes’ walk from Carshalton station and a significant number of busses run close by. If you fancy a bus, check out the Hope’s very helpful web site.

Following our Beard and Moustache Competition, there will be the official regional launch party for Decembeard. This is an awareness-and fund-raising campaign by the Beating Bowel Cancer Charity. Beating Bowel Cancer is the support and campaigning charity for everyone affected by bowel cancer, they provide vital practical and emotional help – on the phone, digitally and face to face. They’re proud to run the UK’s only nurse-led specialist helpline for bowel cancer which patients call a ‘lifeline’. They bring patients together to share invaluable experience and support, through their website, social media and major events.

The campaign aims to encourage non-bearded and wannabe bearded chaps to grow a beard for (at least) the month of December, and importantly to attract local financial sponsorship for a Decembeard donation while they are doing it.

Unlike Movember's after-party, there is (hopefully) no shave-down at the end of it. On the contrary, it's hoped that the beard growers will be so attached to their new beards by the end of Decembeard that they will want to keep them, and/or their previously disapproving partners and employers will be used to their beards, and agree that they can keep them afterwards.

If you know any non-bearded people who are not sure whether they should grow a beard please invite them along to the Hope, so we can pass on the good word about beard-growing, grooming and the wonderful friendship and camaraderie that we've all experienced since joining Beard Clubs. Customers of the pub will also be fair game!

The Capital Beards are organising this event in aid of Beating Bowel Cancer, Sherrill Hawker, Community Fundraiser for the South East has said

We are thrilled to have the support of Capital Beards for our Decembeard campaign. It means a lot to us to have the backing of the local community all helping us to spread the word, helping to raise awareness of the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. We need 5,000 men to grow beards and raise £500,000 to fund Beating Bowel Cancer’s vital services Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer which is why we are asking local communities to get on board and sprout your cheek fuzz.

We are hoping for some special guests to come along including local press to the event. For further information regarding the guests, the itinerary and special events that are being organised as I type, watch this space!

With these two events in one, it will be Capital Beards biggest event in our history so I hope to see you all there.