Bearded man first by a whisker

What’s deemed to be the local areas first Marvellous Beard and Moustache competition took place in Hastings Old Town last week, drawing a large number of entrants and raising nearly £800 for men’s cancer charity Movember.

The event, held at the Albion, George Street, was organised by Brian and Vanessa McNeilly, and Brian says hairy faced men and women put on a great show. “There were many types of beards and moustaches and a category of false beard for the ladies,” he said.

“We were delighted that 42 men and women turned up to take part in the competition and around 100 people came to watch and enjoy the evening - a brilliant result for a first time event.”

Brian’s wife Vanessa (who runs Hastings based McNeilly’s gentlemen’s grooming products) has been making tash wax, beard oil and beard balm for the family for a couple of years. Brian said: “The McNeilly men were in a tangle...they were finding it hard to find quality products to tame their facial hair. Vanessa had a solution and with a background in Aromatherapy she set about creating the perfect moustache wax. Lots of friends now use the product.”

With beards and moustaches being all the rave at the moment along with the Movember Foundation urging men to grow facial hair during the month of Movember and raise funds for the charity, the competition was the perfect opportunity for those who prefer to shave their razors for a later date.

The competition was compered by Andrew and Gloria. Musical entertainment throughout the event was performed by local bands King Size Slim and the Dirty Spoons.

The Full Beard Long first prize winner Sam Eiry also scooped the Best in Show prize of £250.

There was also a Tombola with loads of Sailor Jerry goodies.

Brian added: “The day was a really good first year and we are hoping to repeat this again.

“I would like to thank all who helped make the event happen along with the competitors and beard watchers that came to see the sights.”