The Handlebar ( moustache ) Club
Picture Archive 1951

From the Birmingham Mail 10 April 1951

"Handlebar" Champion Defends Title This Week
john with cup

"Like Topsy - it just grow'd" was the explanation given by the portrait artist, John Roy, whose mammoth moustache last year won him the Handlebar Club Cup (above).  Roy will defend his title on Thursday at the club's annual dinner in London against such formidable opponents as Raymond Glendenning and "Professor" Jimmy Edwards.
Caressing the auburn strands - measuring 12in. from tip to tip ("Thirteen inches to the last hair") Roy declared his attachment for his distinguishing feature.   Once he decided to insure it, but the cost was too great.  "I smoke - but it was not the fire risk," he said.  His defence against rude remarks: "Without it I would be as much a nonentity as yourself!"

measuring john's moustache

And from another magazine, after John had retained the title

John drinking soup

Still growing strong
John Roy, of Glasgow, Scotland, a member of the famed Handlebar Club in London, drinks his soup through a straw to protect his champion moustache.

The new honary secretary of the Handlebar Club, Pat Cocks

(the scrap book adds
"imbibing some strange liquor")

Pat wrote the letter below to the editor of the "Daily Sketch"

Pat Cocks

Some time ago you ran an article about moustaches, which it was alleged are disappearing.  As the hon. secretary of the Handlebar Club I cannot allow this to pass unchallenged.
     The Handlebar Club was formed in 1947 and its membership today is stronger than ever.   From
time to time photographs of its more hirsute members have appeared in your own paper.
     You might like to know that the Prime Handlebar of Great Britain is one John Roy, of Glasgow, with a wingspan approaching 12 inches.
     Your naming of Jimmy Edwards as Prince of Handlebar is very apt, but you may like to know that his official title in the world of manly moustaches is Vice-President of the Handlebar Club.  Incidentally, I feel sure that Jimmy would like me to point out that his full name is James Keith O'Neill Edwards, and not as shown in your article.
     It was apparent from your article that you did not know of the existence of the Handlebar Club, and that at least one section of British manhood retains its male glory.-
                                    P. J. F. COCKS,  London, S.W.

letter illustration
Replying to your letter above:   This fine example of a moustache on the left was taken from yesterday's news pictures.  It is, alas  -   unlike the magnificent specimen you have quoted, and the well-known property of Mr. Edwards  -  no more.  It belonged to Wing Commander John Hubble, R.A.A.F.   He wore it in Korea.  His fiancée - Miss Toni Fitzgerald - took one look at it and said: "No moustache - or no wedding."  Yesterday he was married at Perth, Australia - clean shaven.-
  THE EDITOR,  "Daily Sketch."

We have lots of pictures from 1951, so the next page is from this same year.