black moustache Conway Chiles black moustache
1928 - 2008


Conway Chiles


It is with great sadness that we announce that Conway Chiles, the President of the Handlebar Club, lost his battle with oesophageal cancer in the early hours of Monday 28th January 2008. It had been apparent to those close to him that he had not been well for a number of months. As was typical of Conway he didn't want to make a fuss about it, so most people did not know how serious his illness really was. He underwent a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy but the disease had spread.

Conway had been a member of the Club since the early days, went out to Canada for a few years then rejoined on his return in the mid 1950s. Since then he has been a leading figure, not only in the Handlebar Club but in other clubs throughout Europe. He served on the committee for years in various positions and having retired about 10 years ago, came out of retirement to be President during our 60th Anniversary year and for the World Beard and Moustache Championships.

During the early 1980s the Club membership was dwindling and many members had moved on or lost interest. Conway had an old membership list and wrote to everyone to ask if they were still interested in keeping the club going. A hard core said yes, and the Handlebar Club survived - so in some ways we owe our continued existence to him. Conway's friendship with Sten-Eric Molke in Sweden led to the formation of the Swedish nest of the Handlebar Club, which then led to the formation of the Svenska Mustaschclubben. Conway also forged long lasting friendships between the Handlebar Club and clubs in Belgium, Holland and Norway. He was an 'honoured member' of a number of clubs. You only have to look at the number of guests from overseas clubs who attend our AGMs to realise how strong the relationship with these clubs is.

Conway cultivated the image of 'an old grump' but those who knew him appreciated that this was part of his wicked sense of humour. He will be sorely missed by all who had the fortune to know him.

Our thoughts go out to Rosemary, his wife and his brother Chris, his sister Ann and their families.


Rod Littlewood