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

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!

Message from SBHQ: We Raised £465 Last Saturday!

£465 Raised at the 1st Sandgrown Beardsmen Bear & Moustache Competition!

An Awesome Effort From All Involved!

So whilst we were competitive bearding our man David Hayhurst was perched upon his saddle riding from Yorkshire to Amsterdam, raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

We at the Sandgrown Beardsmen are enormously proud of him for his successful journey, and well exceeding his target of £1000 overall!

A huge thanks goes out to Barbershop Beard, 279 Church Street Barbers, Scrooges Bar, Liverbeards Beard and Moustache Club, FineFettle and Southwest Beard Club for helping us get this done!

A massive thanks go out to guys from the Liverbeards. Michael Wallage, Adam Frearson, Ben Waddington, Russell Bristow and John Henry Crosby, to name a few that took the time out to come up to our comp from all over. Unexpected but hugely appreciated.Thanks to them men!

Everyone who took an interest, bought a ticket and showed up!

And last, but by no means least, my fellow Sandgrown Brethren! Who have made the club what it is. Many thanks!!!

Beard On Brethren!

Sandgrown Beardsmen’s Beard & Moustache Comp 2017

Well, the SBBMC2017 took place on Saturday the 10th June 2017 in the Top Bar of Scrooges in Blackpool.

The evening began for some at 279 Church Street Barbers – one of the event sponsors – where Mr Michael Sowerby hosted pre-show cocktails for the Brethren.

Other than Mr Sowerby and Mr Pouncy, who sponsored and provided for the event, we were fortunate to be gifted an array of product from ‘Barbershop Beard‘, whose support and generosity meant all those placed in each category received of their bounty.

L>R: Mr Drew Steiner, Mr Michael Sowerby, Mr Tom Ince, Mr Owen Pouncy & Mr Peter Murphy

Once the gears were lubricated it was a short haul from 279 Church Street Barbers to Scrooges to greet the competitors, spectators and guests.

The Top Bar is an intimate space that was soon bustling. The bar was busy and the conversations varied, as was the background music, provided by Sandgrown Beardsman, Myk.XLR.

Mr Michael Wallage & Mr Owen Pouncy

This was an open competition, so not only were the Sandgrown Beardsmen well represented we attracted competitors, and guests, from far and wide including Mr Michael Wallage from Ripley, Derbyshire, Mr Russell Bristow from Coventry, Mr Ben Waddington from Leeds, Mr Adam Frearson from Nottingham, and several of our Brothers from the Liverbeards in Liverpool including Mr Tom Ince and Mr Drew Steiner.

Most competitors were club affiliates, though that was not a bar to entry as some were not club members or associates – although they were encouraged to seek out a local facially hirsute enclave, or found one themselves.

Master of Ceremonies for the night was Sandgrown Beardsmen founder, Mr Brian Eva, who performed a fantastic job (several quaffs notwithstanding).

The competition itself was fairly, low-key with a handful of categories evenly populated (in the main, or should that be ‘mane’). There was ‘Moustache‘, ‘Partial Beard‘, ‘Beard, Styled Moustache‘, ‘Beard Under 6″‘ and ‘Beard Over 6″‘. There was also the Grand Prize up for grabs that is Best In Show! The latter chosen from the category winners by a panel of judges including our host for the evening, Mr Owen Pouncy..

There was also a ‘Furthest Travelled‘ prizelette, which went to the aforementioned Mr R Bristow of Coventry who undertook a nigh on 300 mile round trip to be with us!.

The showing began no long after 9pm, and while the air was charged thankfully the it wasn’t overly electric, static does not bode well for a controlled presentation of facial hair.

Competitors for each category were called and took to the stage for a comparative view, then individually they were invited to present themselves to the judging panel (the panel being on rotation for each category).

Some of the judges would inspect the whiskers in wonder, asking the owners of the unfollically challenged faces to turn one way then the other, while others judges and bystanders (generally of the female sex) just wanted to cop a feel.

Then they took to the improvised ‘catwalk’, a Biblical parting of the waves, walking to and fro amongst approving spectators to the sounds of ecstatic cheers, and other boisterous comments of appreciation.

After the showing there was a musical interlude, and busy bar, while the judges were consulted and the category placings ordered. With score-sheets at the ready, the hard decisions were being made, the results almost at hand. The tension was palpable… you could feel it too.

Suitably refreshed, Mr Eva took to the stage to announce the winners and runners-up. For each category the top three were asked to take to the stage, then the third placed was named followed by the winner. Each were presented with a prize of increasing magnitude, the winner receiving a bit of everything, including the kitchen sink.

The results of the categories on the night were;


1st: Mr Russell Bristow
(While we only had one competitor, Mr Bristow, he fulfilled the category brief with aplomb and was more than deserving of the top prize).

Moustache: Mr Mr Russell Bristow

Partial Beard

1st: Mr Michael Wallage
2nd: Mr Tom Ince
3rd: Mr Ben Waddington

Partial Beard: Mr Tom Ince, Mr Michael Wallage &
Mr Ben Waddington

Beard, Styled Moustache

1st: Mr Sean Dowdell
2nd: Mr John Craig
3rd: Mr Chris Thacker

Beard, Styled Moustache: Mr John Craig, Mr Sean Dowdell & Mr Chris Thacker

Beard Under 6″

1st: Mr Jack Creegan
2nd: Mr Ben Knowles
3rd: Mr Jim Crowder

Beard Under 6″: Mr Jim Crowder, Mr Jack Creegan
& Mr Ben Knowles

Beard Over 6″

1st: Mr Peter Murphy
2nd: Mr Adam Frearson
3rd: Mr John Henry Crosby

Beard Over 6″: Adam Frearson, Mr Peter Murphy & Mr John Henry Crosby

Best In Show – Champions of Champions

Mr Sean Dowdell!

Thank you to all who attended the inaugural Sandgrown Beardsmen Beard & Moustache Competition 2017, competitors and guests alike.

Mr Peter Murphy & Mr Owen Pouncy

To the Sandgrown Beardsmen who have contributed so much to make our little corner of beard (and moustache) heaven the success it is and help raise money at our monthly meets for local, grass-roots charities.

A BIG thank you to everyone who volunteered to help out, as well as the most grateful thank you to those that made it happen, our sponsors and facilitators.

Honourable mention to Mr Owen Pouncy who graciously let the Sandgrown Beardsmen use the venue for the event, provided a prize for the raffle and also consented to judge.

Finally, a special thanks to Mr Drew Steiner and the Liverbeards for sharing their competition hosting experience and advice for little more than our fraternal gratitude and beers.

See you all next year!

Beard On Brethren!

The Gazette – 5th May 2017

The Gazette – 5th May 2017

Bearded folks from all over the world will put their whiskers to the test in Blackpool.


Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

The British Beard and Moustache Championships are coming to the Winter Gardens next year, with a range of wacky competitions including best styled beard, best 
moustache and best fake beard.

Read more