BBMC 2018 +1

OMFG! A full year has passed since we hosted the universally lauded British Beard & Moustache Championships 2018!

12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525600 minutes. 31536000 seconds. Mind you, it took us a whole lot longer than that to put it together. But it was worth every moment, every drop of blood, every bead of sweat, and every tear brought on by frustration or elation.

For a handful of blokes in a barber’s shop in Blackpool to pull off such a grand feat, even now we brim with pride at our achievement when we think back and reminisce.

Planning and execution made good with the assistance and participation of many of our friends within the community, with few exceptions.

The name of the game was fundraising, not profiteering (the bane of all our lives in recent times), the social benefit of BBMC2018 was immeasurable which, ultimately, was the result of great acts of generosity by the attendees, our fabulous sponsors and those who gave their time freely, from the Sandgrown volunteers and their families, to the judges, the band and our wonderful girls, The Hunties, and show host Mr Ryan Gleeson!

Many said, on the day and since, we set a high benchmark for those that follow in our stead, but we had the town on our side, Blackpool and all its wonders, in particular the Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens, without which we wouldn’t have had such a spectacular venue and support.

Until the next time we host the bearded and moustachioed of the UK and the world in Blackpool we wish the organisers and hosts of BBMC2020 in Rugby all the best!

Sandgrown Charabanc Goes Boss!

The Force is Strong Between the Liverbeards and the Sandgrown Beardsmen.

Saturday 24th March and the Mystery Bus left Blackpool, Liverpool bound. Aboard were not Thelma, Diane, Fred, Shaggy and Scooby but Brian, Michael, Dale, Jonathan, Roger, David, Granville, Ben, Sean, James, Peter and Percy.

Setting out from Beard HQ (279 Church Street Barbers), the journey was relatively short and the conversation lively (with several empties to dispose of on arrival).

First stop, a cocktail bar for an aperitif (just the one at those prices, no names, no pack-drill!), where Dale took an early bath, before the Beardsmen were joined by Glynn. Then on to Red Dog Saloon for some scran.

Once sated and primed for the evening’s shenanigans, the Sandgrown Beardsmen headed down to EBGBs, the site of many a good night, and tonight would chalk up one more.

After doing the paperwork and meeting and greeting old friends and new, everyone settled in for the Boss Championships, taking in a few beers and banter in this subterranean venue, while waiting for their cue to step into the spotlight.

As beard comps go it was welcomingly low key, informal, and fun, but one would expect nothing less from the Liverbeards – hosts of the 2016 British Beard & Moustache Championships (from whom the Sandgrown organising committee of this years Championships have been taking notes).

Talking of #BBMC2018, the Sandgrown Beardsmen met up with one of the Championships’ supporters, British Bearded Baby, who were somewhat larger than anticipated though unsurprisingly hirsute.

Once the show gained its stride Joe, the MC, was forthright and somewhat reminiscent of many a notable comic doing the working men’s club circuit of yore, with material not for their TV audiences. With no (or little) messing about the rounds cracked on until everyone had had their chance to impress the judges and entertain the spectators. As such, beards & ‘taches were oggled and fondled in equal measure, whether natural or ‘Handmade‘.

Also worth mentioning that while the Sandgrown Beardsmen are, in the main, sartorially elegant it was Mr Hayhurst’s triceratops jumper that caught many an eye with accompanying comment (all positive, we might add, well, almost all), before, during and after he presented his whiskers for review.

The showing over, it was time for a musical interlude from a rather fine ensemble, and the raffle – to which the Sandgrown Beardsmen had donated a few beers, courtesy of Mr Michael Sowerby of 279 Church Street Barbers and the Tawlboat Brewery, along with a pair of tickets for the British Beard & Moustache Championships in August (being won by Karl & Stephanie – see you in August guys!).

And so to the results. Safe to say that the 12 Sandgrown reps didn’t disappoint, taking seven trophies in all, across four of the five categories;

Moustache – 3rd – Mr McCormick

Beard longer than 6″ – 2nd – Mr Knowles

Beard longer than 6″ – 3rd – Mr Murphy

Beard shorter than 6″ – 1st – Mr Morris

Beard shorter than 6″ – 2nd – Mr Taylor

7 Day Beard – 1st – Mr Hayhurst

7 Day Beard – 2nd -Mr Smith

The business of the evening concluded, it was time for a few ‘for the road’, shits & giggles, conversations and heartfelt wishes to see everyone at EBGBs in the Empress Ballroom come August. Then it was adieu from the Sandgrown Beardsmen, hearty congratulations to our hosts, the Liverbeards, for an evening well spent, and back onto the Mystery Bus for a safe journey home to Blackpool.

Until next year Liverpool, thank you and good night!

Beard On Brethren!



Hoots Mon!

The Sandgrown Beardsmen Northward ho to Glasgow for the Braw Beard & Moustache Champs 2018!

While it was nae quite a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht on Saturday the 24th February (23rd being merely a quarter moon), there were more than a smattering of howlingly handsome haries down the Drygate Brewing Co, Glasgow.

Sandgrown & Friends at the Drygate

Half-a-dozen of which represented the Sandgrown Beardsmen; Mssrs Ashton, Eva, Knowles, Murphy, Sowerby & Taylor (possibly the finest legal firm this side of the Pennines!).

Owen, James & Ben let the train take the strain

By road and rail they ventured to the erstwhile Scottish industrial heartland, checking into their overnight hotels and hostelries in readiness to sample the best that Drygate has to offer and put on a  show of the Fylde coast’s finest facial furniture.

Bearded and moustachioed brothers, and sisters, gathered from near and far in the early evening, some queuing to register, others enjoying a meal before combat begins, all eyeing up the competition around them in good spirits, whether they be from the UK, Europe, the US, etc.

The Northwest was well represented by not only the Sangrown Beardsmen but also our Liverbeard and Deva Victrix brothers.

Pete getting grilled…

No sooner had the scran been scoffed, the first pint quaffed and they were off. The category showing was on. The MC teasing out the usual niceties from the competitors as they file onto the stage and in front of the judging panel, with good humour and quips aplenty.

James T before the grand inquisitor!

Once the hard part is out of the way the music starts up, the crowd are several deep around the bar and the volume of the conversations increases, some step outside to be heard and do that which is verboten inside (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Have you got a light boy? Here’s my card…).

Bri’s turn…

And then, as if by magic, the results are announced.

Three at a time the category finalists mount the stage and await their fate. One by one, the results announced, In third place… In second place… and the winner is… although somewhat bizarrely second and third for Beard Over 10″ was settled by a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors! (We’ll let you fathom the whys and wherefores of that one).

Suffice it to say, at the end of the day, 50% of the Sandgrown Beardsmen present walked off with a trophy, to the light chagrin of some and cheers of congratulations from the many.

Mr Owen Ashton took third place in the Beard Over 4″ with Styled Moustache category.

Beard Over 4″ with Styled Moustache

Mr Michael Sowerby was handed second for Beard Under 4″ with Styled Moustache

Mr S in contention…

And Mr Ben Knowles won first for his Beard Over 4″!

Beard Over 4″

Collectively, that’s not a bad result for the boys from Beard HQ – 279 Church Street Barbers!

The Sandgrown Trophy haul…

As with all the ‘Sandgrown on Tour’ attendances there were new friends met and made, old friends embraced, none more so than honorary Sandgrown Beardsman Mr Russell Bristow – who himself took first for Best Moustache, and Mr Tom Ince of The Liverbeards, taking second for Best Partial on the night with his fine chops!

Tom & Russell, trophy holders both

In finishing – and while there was a Moose Loose Aboot the Hoose (or was that just the proverbial bear with a sore head) into which we won’t go – a grand day out for the Sandgrown Beardsmen with another three trophies for the cabinet! (Not that we’re counting. 😉 )

With that we’ll just say, “See y’all next year. Thank you, and good night!”.

Beard On Brethren!

Braw portraits by Number 94 Photography;

Ben K

Brian E

James T

Michael S

Owen A

Peter M

STV, Sandgrown & Braw

In pictures: Scotland’s beard and moustache championship

Braw beards on show at the annual competition included ‘best ginger’ and ‘freestyle’.

It was a night of pure bearded decadence.

Scotland’s annual beard and moustache championship was held for the second time last weekend after its debut in Glasgow last year.

And what a gathering of resplendent facial hair it was.

Hairy competitors from across the country and beyond gathered to compare their winsome whiskers, with some entries as far afield as America and Austria making the journey.

Including a couple of the Sandgrown Beardsmen;

Bri Eva

Pete Murphy

Read more

Beard On Brethren!

Sandgrown Meet 14th October 2017

On Saturday 14th October the Sandgrown Brethren gathered in fine form, as evidenced by this now familiar, nay, traditional shot;

The evening began with a quite traumatic scene, that of a bearded brother having his jaw and chin exposed to the atmosphere by way of a charity shear & shave!

Martin, supported by Emily (front and centre above), had been raising funds via their Go Get Funding campaign for a cause close to their hearts, and the sponsored assault on his facial follicles was the last push to achieve their goal, which they did, and then some.

While the assembled Sandgrown Beardsmen stood agog at the sight of a brother losing his whiskers, liquid refreshments in hand during the whole process – which involved a close trim followed by a wet shave, with hot towel and trad razor and massage (including a bit of slap and tickle) – the onlookers lifted their spirits with the usual chit-chat, banter and a heavy dose of shits & giggles throughout.

As ever, raffle tickets were on sale during the evening. This month The Sandgrown Beardsmen had been gifted goodies by the Bedfordshire Beard Company, a generous selection of their wares up for grabs, of which a small sample below.

The assembled Brethren raised £140 for their charity chest in an extended draw to which there seemed to be no end at times!

All in all an eventful and generously supported evening. See you next month!

Beard On Brethren!

Oxford Beard Festival 2017

The Sandgrown Beardsmen were represented in fine form at The Oxford Beard Festival by our devilsome duo, Bri & Ben.

This year was The Oxford Beard Festival’s 4th outing, and has become a regular fixture on the UK’s bearding scene, highlighted in many a beardsman’s diary.

Sandgrown Beardsmen selfie kings Bri & Ben caught in the act at the Oxford Beard Festival

This festival of fine folicular fun took place on Saturday 7th October at The Tap Social Movement – a new craft brewery, training facility and tap room – with entertainments for all, including an almost obligatory beard & moustache competition!

This years sponsors (and suppliers of premium prizes) included Tactical Beard Oil and The Bearded Rapscallion – like all good UK beard & ‘tache comps monies raised going to charity, in this instance some £600 for the Oxford Food Bank.

When the Sandgrown Beardsmen venture out from home turf they do so with a degree of preparation, by way of a visit to Beard HQ and the attentions on Mr Sowerby, tonsorial teaser in a traditional mode to the Brethren of Blackpool (and beyond), and this trip was no different;

Messrs Dowdell, Sowerby & Eva

Then, come the day, the dynamic duo hit the road for the 200 mile journey to the bespired badlands of Oxfordshire!

B&B en-route Oxford

Once there it’s a matter of meeting up with old friends and new while soaking up the atmosphere (and a few craft ales).

Brian & Ben put on their serious bearding faces…

Ben, Tom & Bri

World Beard & Moustache Champion (Sideburns Natural) Mr Wallage with B&B

However, before leaving The Tap Social Movement (and Oxford), Brian takes 1st place for Big & Bushy Beard, bagging another fine prize for his ever expanding trophy cabinet.. Huzzah & hurrah, nice bit of cross-stitch there Brother!!

With that it was, “See y’all next year. Thank you, and good night!”.

Beard On Brethren!

Go West Young Man!

Our man, Mr Brian Eva, is heading to Texas for the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships 

The biennial championships is being held in Austin, Texas this year, 1-3 September – with am Official Welcome Party meet & greet on 31st August, all hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club. and World Beard & Moustache Association.

Brian made the announcement of his participation on the Sandgrown Beardsmen Facebook Page;

Good evening brethren !!!!

From founding this club to the point we find ourselves at with the British Champs fast approaching it’s been a great journey

Next leg sends me off to Texas! Representing the Sandgrown Beardsmen, 279 Church St Barber Shop and to spread the word of what promises to be an amazing event next year

Huge thanks to all who’ve been involved and BEARD ON !!!!!

From the official Facebook Event Page;

The 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships are coming to Austin, Texas Sep. 1–3, 2017 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The three-day competition will attract beard enthusiasts from around the world including hundreds of international competitors and thousands of fans. Every two years, the WBMC showcases the very best in men’s (and this year- women’s) whiskers and unites beards in a cultural event like no other…

Brian will be one of those international competitors and the brethren of the Sandgrown Beardsmen wish him every success come September and a fulfilling trip!

Beard On Brethren!

Mr Simon Harrison

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we learned of the passing of one of the brethren, Simon Harrison, on 19th June 2017.

Simon was a much respected staunch supporter of the Sandgrown Beardsmen attending the first official meet at SB HQ – 279 Church Street Barber Shop (6th June 2015) and many meets hence, winning just as many raffle prizes – contributing hugely to the Sandgrown Beardsmen charity chest in the process.

Several of the brethren attended Simon’s funeral service held at St Kentigern’s – Newton Drive, a stone’s throw from SB HQ – on 7th July, paying their respects on behalf of all, then seeing him on his way in grand fashion at the Blackpool Cricket Club.

And, as expected, Simon’s family were as warm and gracious as the man, even at this sad time.

Simon was a dapper gent with a welcoming and ready smile for newcomers to the Sandgrown brotherhood, a true gentleman and a fine beardsman who will be sorely missed by the brethren and those who knew him.

Beard on, Sir, wherever you may be!