Picture Archive 1947
The Founding of the Handlebar Club
The first public announcement of the Handlebar Club was on April 17 1947, when an item appeared in the "News Revue" under the heading "The Smashers' Club". It was based on a press release produced by Jimmy Edwards, and included the photograph below:-
Handlebar Club's Edwards, Muir, Hooper
Note the old BBC microphone!
There was also an item in the "Evening News" which included a different photograph, but unfortunately this fifty-plus year old cutting is too faded to copy. It included the statement that:-
"Jimmy Edwards own moustache has had an interesting history; it is the fourth of its line. The first was posted "missing" after an R.A.F. mess party. The second was removed for security reasons just before D-Day (F/Lt. Edwards, Pilot of a Transport Command aircraft, was deemed to look too English with such an appendage). The third was burnt off when its owner's Dakota was shot down on the way back from Arnhem. A D.F.C. was hardly adequate compensation."
The full text of the press release can be found here.
And the report on the inaugural meeting is here.
On April 21st the "Daily Herald"reported that the Club had been launched.
NOW I know the bitter truth - this moustache of mine is really a puny thing.
And there is George Hoffman (right), nearly seven inches from tip to tip.
Jeep Ormsby (second from right), another six-incher, said: "I had to come. Couldn't
let the old handlebar down y'know."
|moustaches in England to form the nucleus of what he hopes will
become a nation-wide movement.
As for admitting men with famous false moustaches like Flying Officer
Kite, of radio and television fame, Vice-President Edwards said: "We only want the
And on April 30th "The Sketch" had a feature:-
WE TAKE OFF OUR HAT TO -
The Handlebar Club was inaugurated on April 21 by Windmill Theatre comedian Jimmy Edwards. Its flowing moustachio appeal is directed primarily to serving and ex-members of the Forces, particularly those of the Prune school. Readers will remember his loose brushlike appendage. Many of the founder members are former R.A.F. men; including famous personalities. The President is Raymond Glendenning, B.B.C. commentator. Bill Hooper created the wartime character Percy Prune. Captain Hare sits below in the front; second row, l. to r.: Allan Edwards: Raymond Glendenning; George Hoffman; next row, above: Baron de Bere; Anita d'Ray; Bill Hooper; H. Lestocq (F/O Kite); with Jimmy Edwards behind him; directly above is Russ Allen; and finally Founder Frank Muir, of the B.B.C.
The First President
- Raymond Glendenning
Vice-President - Jimmy Edwards
Some early publicity
in American Life