Inspirations: Movember at the Angel Inn, Petworth

Andy McFarlaine, Captain Tom Hunter, Ian Duff, William Morley, Rowland Brand and Mark Thompson SUS-141011-104949001
Andy McFarlaine, Captain Tom Hunter, Ian Duff, William Morley, Rowland Brand and Mark Thompson SUS-141011-104949001

MEN at the Angel Inn are putting away their razors this month and making handlebars and goatees trendy again.

But it’s not just for fun or fashion, it’s saving lives.

The Petworth pub is supporting the Movember Foundation, which challenges men to grow moustaches during November to raise funds, and awareness, for prostate cancer research and other men’s health issues across the world.

Many men from across the whole of the Observer area take part in Movember and co-owners of the Angel, Murray Inglis and Mark Thompson, said locals had really got involved with the fundraising initiative.

“Some people did it last year, but it was more low-key,” said Murray.

“Movember was something we felt we could bring customers in to do with us.

“This is a medieval building at the heart of the town and we see ourselves as a community pub. We’ve got a real following which is really pleasing. It’s a really worthwhile cause and until recently something which was perhaps ignored or not given enough attention, so it’s great we can now raise the profile of men’s health problems in a fun and amusing way, which is excellent.”

At the end of the month, there will be a competition at the pub, judged by actress June Whitfield, to choose the winner with the best moustache. June is a star of musical theatre, radio, film and television, currently starring in BBC sitcom Boomers.

She has also appeared in Midsomer Murders, Absolutely Fabulous, The Green Green Grass, Coronation Street, Last of the Summer Wine and numerous other television series.

Mark said: “Some of our football team did Movember last year, but this time we are really going for it.

“We have about 30 people involved, from the age of 18 to men in their early 70s.”

But the pub isn’t sticking to the basic concept of Movember – they have added a twist to their version.

Mark added: “For one of our regulars, Captain Tom Hunter, the last time he shaved was 52 years ago. He’s joining in with all the youngsters, by shaving it off and starting again.

“We will be raising money on our last day by shaving another of our locals, David ‘Skinner’ Gumbrell, who has not shaved his moustache for 45 years.

“So there’s nearly 100 years of growth coming off!

“My moustache is growing quite mad at the moment and our manager William seems to be having trouble growing his!”

Staff have pledged to donate ten per cent of November’s tips to the foundation and participants are asked to donate £2.

Anyone is welcome to compete and there will be an auction to shave the winning moustache.

Murray said: “Everyone is really getting into the spirit of it, which is great to see.

“It’s a friendly competition and people are getting on board, and having fun.

“I’m proud of our staff, who are giving ten per cent of their tips from this month to the charity.”

Judging will take place at 6pm on November 30 at The Angel Inn.

Before Movember has even finished, the Angel staff are already looking towards their annual Christmas fundraising raffle, which donates proceeds to local charities.

This year the money will go towards CRY, in memory of 21-year-old Hannah Stanton from Petworth who in 2013 died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition.