Ted Sedman

When, as a very young Ted, I did my National Service in the Royal Air Force, it was only twelve years after the end of World War II and the RAF tradition of wearing a moustache was still strong.

I tried to grow one, but I gave up when I was asked at breakfast, "Are you trying to grow a moustache, or have you just forgotten to shave?".

In my first year at university lots of my friends grew beards, but I decided to be different. So, during the summer vacation I started to grow a moustache.

This picture (right) is positively the last sighting of my upper lip, taken during the camping holiday when I stopped shaving.

About a year later the moustache had attained reasonable proportions. There had been a setback when some "friends" sat on me and "improved" one side of it. But it soon recovered.

I think this picture (right) was used on a college identification card - hence the writing on it.

A couple of years later it was beginning to get quite large, and I had decided that it was a good idea to keep it. In my last year at university it featured in the College magazine, and was measured as being 13 inches across.

Shortly after the photo (right) was taken I was invited to join the Handlebar Club.

A MAJOR EVENT took place in October 1966. I got married, and for this special occasion I decided that the moustache needed to have a serious tidying up.

However, this picture (missing) was taken at the Handlebar Club "Ladies Night" in February 1967, only about 4 months later. It shows that the facial hair had soon started to spread again.

In 1968 there was another significant event - our daughter was born. Somehow young children seem to have an irresistible urge to pull on a moustache!

I had forgotten all about this until recently, when our young grandson came to visit us. He wants to continue this tradition. This picture (right) from 1969/70 shows that I had reduced it to a minimum size in self-defence.

In retrospect I should have made more of an effort to stay in touch, but in the early 1970's I failed to renew my subscription to the Handlebar Club.

Not much growth of moustache took place after that until one Christmas in the late 70's when my sister-in-law gave me some moustache wax as a Christmas present. I discovered that I could roll up the ends to keep it tidy.

Five years later the moustache was a lot longer, but with it rolled up you couldn't tell the diference.

In 1986 I re-joined the Handlebar Club, and to celebrate the event I decided to shave my cheeks so that the growth was more like a proper moustache, though the colour had changed from what it was!

The late John Roy, who was the original holder of the record for the longest moustache, had had an accident in which he sat on one end in the bath and broke off a large part of it. So in the late 1980's Mike Solomons took over the U.K. record.

I challenged him, and as a result I featured in the 1991 Guinness Book of Records, with a moustache measuring 51 inches from end to end. When this photograph was taken in 1992, it measured 53 inches.

This is my favourite picture (right), taken in 1994 when my moustache was 63 inches across. It was used to publicise a sponsored bicycle ride in aid of VSO. (Voluntary Service Overseas).

Since then the moustache is past its best. It is down to less than 48 inches, but still provides entertainment, as in this photograph taken during a Handlebar Club A.G.M. weekend, when we visited a brewery.

Just for a change, I decided to enter the "Fu Manchu" (Chinese) category in the 2003 World Beard and Moustache Championships. And, surprisingly, I won.