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!

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!

SBBMC 2017 – Winners Row

Our bearded, chop-tastic, moustachioed champions!

Left to right: Jack Creegan, Peter Murphy, Sean Dowdell, Russell Bristow & Michael Wallage

The inaugural Sandgrown Beardsmen Beard & Moustache Competition was awesome!

Our winners were;

Michael Wallage – Partial beard
Russell Bristow – Moustache
Peter Murphy – Beard over 6″
Jack Creegan – Beard under 6″
and finally, Sean Dowdell – Beard, styled moustache, plus the winner of Best in Show !!!!

Congrats to them and a huge thanks for taking part, and becoming the first Sandgrown Beardsmen Beard & Moustache Champions !!!

Huge thanks also to our sponsors;

Mat Wheelhouse of Barbershop Beard for their sponsorship and their fantastic Barbershop Beard oils for the winners !!!

Michael Sowerby of 279 Church Street Barbershop, and Owen Pouncy of Scrooges bar for their generosity and support.

We couldn’t have asked for a better night or warm-up towards hosting the British Beard & Moustache Championships 2018!

All proceeds donated to the Football 2 Amsterdam ride completed by SandGrown Beardsman David Hayhurst in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

Beard On Brethren!

Football 2 Amsterdam

Sandgrown Beardsman, David Hayhurst, gets on his bike in support of Prostate Cancer UK!

After months dedicated to training hard David set off on a charity bike-ride to the Netherlands with other Football 2 Amsterdam participants from football clubs around the UK, each raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK. David rode in association Blackpool FC.

Long before setting off David exceeded his initial target through his JustGiving page and looks set to hand over almost double the figure to the charity.

The proceeds from the inaugural Sandgrown Beardsmen Beard & Moustache Competition held on 10th June 2017 – the very day David rode triumphantly into Amsterdam in the lead pack of four riders – have been donated to David’s charitable endeavour.

The ride was split over two days; day one in the UK, day to in the Netherlands. David came in with the first group of four riders in both stages out of a ‘peloton’ of 160!

David at the finishing line

One of the highlights of the ride was, as he put it, ‘When you get to spend time with two legends!!’, Sir Les Ferdinand and Viv Anderson, post ride.

David with Viv Anderson and Sir Les Ferdinand

David also appeared on That’s Lancashire, days before setting off, to promote the ride and the cause;

David is the Senior Development Officer, Blackpool Football Club Community Trust.

Beard On Brethren!