Beards and beer at Spa

Beard Promo poster for the Spa event.
Beard Promo poster for the Spa event.

SCARBOROUGH’S Spa is lined up for a hairy time this weekend with a free gathering organised by the British Beard Club.

Men with beards are invited – and women and children too because there will be false beards available to wear!

Beards, Beer and Barabbas aims to be a relaxed afternoon for all the family in the Sun Court on Sunday, from 2pm with a number of fun contests for styles ranging from styled stubble to full beards.

Organiser Anthony Springall, who is also known as “Captain Ants”, said there was a False Beard Freestyle category so that women and children could also take part.

He said: “It’s light-hearted. The false beards could be made out of anything, a bit of carpet or seaweed, as long as it looks like a beard.”

The idea originally grew from a conversation when he was attending last year’s world beard championships in Norway – his own facial display has also taken him to Alaska – where a group of the British entrants were talking about an event later this year in Brighton.

He said: “I thought it was a long way for the northerners to travel. This is a chance to get a northern team together to go to Brighton in September.

“The first idea was that we would meet up in the pub but I thought let’s make it a family occasion and get the whole family involved.”

As well as the beard contests there will be entertainment from DJ Joe Winfield-Audsley – who will be using a wind-up gramophone player and a selection of 78rpm records – as well as an evening performance from Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six.

Anthony, a renown cake-maker who runs Imaginative Icing in Scarborough, said: “We’ve been trying to get Louis across to Scarborough for a while but we didn’t have the right place to showcase his full band. They are theatrical – we couldn’t just have them in a pub.”

And the event will feature two special brews provided by the North Riding Brew Pub called Blessed Is The Beard – in honour of bearded actor Brian Blessed – as well as Ginger Beard.

Anthony said the beers were due to be officially launched next week ahead of the event and added that there had already been a lot of interest in next Sunday’s get together. He said: “It is an unknown quantity how many will turn up because it’s not been done before. If it’s a nice day people will come along to meet their bearded friends.”

David Dade, the British Beard Club’s honorary president, said a beard was a man’s personal possession and every man should try growing a beard at least once. He added: “Unlike other body-modification such as muscle building, tattooing, and piercing, growing a beard is painless and takes almost no effort.”

Entry for the event is free and organisers have requested donations towards The Prostate Cancer Charity and a spokesman said it was proud to be a beneficiary of The British Beard Club Northern Meet Up.

He added: “March is our Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we are encouraging people throughout the UK to hold events. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men.”

Among the judges will be Ed Asquith, editor of the Evening News, a former beard-wearer of various types. Don’t miss the result of the contest on Sunday at Twitter@ed.asquith