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.
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.
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).
1st: Mr Michael Wallage
2nd: Mr Tom Ince
3rd: Mr Ben Waddington
Beard, Styled Moustache
1st: Mr Sean Dowdell
2nd: Mr John Craig
3rd: Mr Chris Thacker
Beard Under 6″
1st: Mr Jack Creegan
2nd: Mr Ben Knowles
3rd: Mr Jim Crowder
Beard Over 6″
1st: Mr Peter Murphy
2nd: Mr Adam Frearson
3rd: 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.
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!