From "Tit Bits"
May 8, 1954
(Sorry about the poor quality of parts of the picture)
|The caption to the picture at the top left is:-
CHAMPION: John Roy (16½ inch moustache) wins kiss
from Barbara Kelly.
To whom do these growths belong? answers at foot of page. (but we only have the last two, who are Sam Costa and David Niven)
And the main text reads:-
|MOUSTACHES are growing where they never grew before. Hair on
the upper lip is high fashion. Nervous beginners threw away their last doubts that night
when millions of viewers saw Barbara Kelly emerge smiling and unscathed after kissing
Britains Prime Handlebar.
John Roy, Glasgow artist, won both the kiss and the 1953 championship of the famous Handlebar Club (complete with silver cup presented by moustached founder member Raymond Glendenning) with a wing-span of sixteen and a half inches.
Only twice has a more magnificent moustache than John Roys been found. In 1952 he was defeated by a young Londoner, Ted Hooker, who only started to grow his four years before and won on curl rather than on measurements.
Inches alone do not decide such an award. Points are given for texture, shape
(particularly in the handlebar tradition) and colour.
Beards are taboo among the handlebars. That is why ex-Forces (with the Army
outnumbering the R.A.F.) include only one from the Navy. He had a beard, but "lopped
the bottom half off" to join. Loss of handlebars brings membership to a precipitate
end. The secretary explained: "We lost a member only a few weeks back someone
saw him wandering naked in clubland." His girl friend had persuaded him
to shave off the distinctive feature. The world is full of Delilahs, but they dont
all hate moustaches.
| The two best-looking men in the
Government, Anthony Eden and Earl Alexander, both have moustaches. The Eden moustache,
greying and neatly shaped, is almost as much a trademark as his hat; the Defence
Ministers moustache is small, of military style but most becoming.
And what about Terry Thomas, who only accentuates that familiar gap in his front teeth with a moustache and certainly has more that his share of sex appeal?
Sam Costa boasts a really magnificent growth of facial hair. And everyone at the B.B.C. is grateful to comedy script-writer Frank Muir for the fine bushy effort which makes it easier to distinguish him from his partner Denis Norden.
Some of the great romantics, past and present, have used the moustache to suggest a hint of villainy, a touch of the devil-may-care. John Gilbert, Ramon Novarro, Antonio Moreno and many of their contemporaries all wore small dark moustaches. Can you imagine a clean-shaven Ronald Colman? Errol Flynn would not look such a debonair rascal nor would Clark Gable hold his top box office place if they plied a razor indiscriminately. For moustaches have a most interesting habit of revealing personality.
The fine, well-trimmed line immediately suggests the highly civilized, the serious thinker who puts on a facade of humour. Douglas Fairbanks Junior and David Niven are typical examples their moustaches belong with immaculate evening clothes.
Now look at what grows on the upper lip of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, eighty-year-old philosopher, theologian, musician, writer and surgeon, who spends his life running a native hospital in Africa and won the Nobel Peace Prize last year. His is a big, bushy, expansive moustache somewhat suggestive of the patriarchs of old, as unrestricted and generous as himself.
You might imagine that even an ex-king would spend quite a bit of time on his "tash", but Farouks untidy growth is sparse and shapeless. Now look at Mr. Attlee and Clifton Webb a politician and a Hollywood actor, each with strong views of his own and you will see how precise, how meticulously groomed to the last whisker, in fact how exactly like their owners, their moustaches are.
Roots in the Past
Theres nothing like a good strong growth of hair on the upper lip to suggest
powerful manliness. Ernest Hemingway has that kind of moustache.