The Handlebar ( moustache ) Club
Two reports of the cricket match against Ferring

From the "Worthing Gazette"

Setting out for the battle
cricket captains
With a loving hand on the famous fungus, "Professor" Jimmy Edwards, vice-president of the Handlebar Club, sets out to play cricket at Ferring on Sunday. With him are the rival captains,
L. F. Beeson, of Ferring (left) and Gordon Vaughan-Bendy.


A collection of England’s finest moustaches of all shapes and colours invaded Ferring on Sunday when members of the famous Handlebar Club came to play cricket (?) in a match in aid of Gifford House.
   For those who are uninitiated into the mysteries of this exclusive club, it should be explained that it is laid down in the rules that applicants must have a moustache which attains a length of at least five inches "at rest" or six inches or more "agrin", and must have "graspable extremities".
   Nothing about this club is ever certain — until it has happened! Let it be said here and now that they don’t take their cricket seriously. Everyone thought they might on Sunday for it had been arranged that Middlesex cricketers Leslie Compton and John Warr would turn out for them, but bearing in mind the first sentence of this paragraph it came as no surprise that they failed to appear.
   Gordon Vaughan-Bendy, their captain and the only cricketer among them, had said that neither Raymond Glendenning nor "Professor" Jimmy Edwards, president and vice-president respectively, would be able to attend.


Who should turn up though but Jimmy Edwards. Now Jimmy is an excellent comedian and musician and knows quite a bit about farming, but cricket— to quote him, "How do you play it?" He had not come prepared to play, but as the club had only nine players he decided to make it ten. So he borrowed "whites" but kept on his brown boots.
   Having fortified themselves from a crate of beer, the Handlebar men took the field (‘put it back you clot,’ said Jimmy) and Ferring raced to 186 for 5 declared in 105 minutes. Jimmy had a bowl, but with 33 runs and no wickets coming from three overs he was just a little expensive.
   After tea - and more beer - the visitors padded up and it was Jimmy to open with his captain. Jimmy was soon ready but his partner was some time preparing so the "Professor" amused the hundreds of spectators by addressing them over the loudspeaker system. "I want you to realise this is not our strongest team, our best players are in other pub— places," said Jimmy.
   L. F. Beeson, the Ferring captain, told his bowlers to "give ’em something to hit," and right well Jimmy did the job. Thanks to a few intentional "misfields" and dropped catches, 51 were put on for the first Handlebar wicket.


Jimmy hit the ball really hard, and a six to the mid-wicket boundary deserved a drink — which he duly consumed at the crease. On a hot summer’s day batting is hot work, so Jimmy had another beer after reaching 60. Most of his runs came from boundary shots and at the close, when his team were 132 for eight, he was 86 not out.
   More beer in the changing room before Jimmy came out to present prizes and sign autographs at six-pence a time. After the match, a rest for the Handlebar players?    No, just more beer. No doubt many more people would have attended had they known Jimmy was playing, but as it was well over 60 was raised.
   A cricket bat, presented by Mr. Jack Eaton of Worthing and autographed by the Handlebar team, was won by Mrs. Leslie Beeson.
   For the records, the scores were:—
   Ferring: D. K. Etherington b Vaughan-Bendy 30; J. Welman b Vaughan-Bendy 9; D. I. Stewart retd. 60; D. H. O. Allen b Vaughan-Bendy 42; W. N. Mercer c Edwards b Vaughan-Bendy 16; M. P. Learoyd not out 7; R. S. Knott not out 7; extras 25 — Total (for five declared) 186. Bowling; Vaughan-Bendy 4 for 56.
   Handlebar Club: Vaughan-Bendy b Knott 16; J. Edwards not out 86; M. Southwood c Knott b Welman 4; F. Russell b Cave 2; T. Richard run out 1; R. Stevens c Mercer b Challis 8; H. Cowan b Stewart 4; J. Perkins c Cave b Etherington 0; I. Lewis not out 3; extras 7.— Total (for 8 wickets) 132.

From another newspaper

10 bowlers could not move the "Professor"
Jimmy Edwards    The Handlebar Club visited Ferring on Sunday with "Professor" Jimmy Edwards at the head of 38 moustached ex-RAF types. The "Professor", who left his trombone at home, carried his bat for 86 not out and saved the club from defeat in a charity match which raised over 60 for Gifford House.
   Ferring batted first and declared at 186 for 6. Then Jimmy Edwards and G. Vaughan-Bendy put on 50 for the first wicket. Although Leslie Beeson, the Ferring skipper, tried 10 bowlers, Jimmy could not be moved. He clouted a six and 14 fours, and when stumps were drawn Jimmy was carried off the field in jubilation by his team mates.
   The Handlebar Club lunched at the Greystoke Manor Hotel before the match and returned afterwards for a social evening. There was a specially prepared iced cake, and handlebar moustaches were a feature of the decoration.

As the picture left shows, Jimmy Edwards celebrated his great innings with a drink — of tea.