This is an interview we did ages ago with
Michael Attree, which was lost in the bowels of the Database office. But it has
been retrieved and you can enjoy it in all its glory.
Who were your moustache influences and who in particular inspired you to
grow your first effort?
As a boy, I craved for mystical enlightenment through
archaeology. This was not down to precocious intelect, but Sir Mortimer
Wheeler's stupendous moustache. In my early teens, a vivid broadcast of the
H.B.C. and Jimmy 'Whacko' Edwards mesmerised me into this present state of
perpetual waxed merriment.
How long have you been in possession of your present moustache?
From my indulgent St. Martin's art school days, this appendage has been on
and off like a trollops knickers. Now I'm proud to say, my handlebar will
remain with me to the grave.
Have you dabbled with different styles over the years, say from a Lynam to a
I endevour to keep this lip foliage groomed and trimmed to a modest
proportion. After all... size is not everything. I do experiment with my
curled extremities, but in general my facial furniture has always been and
always will be, the classic waxed handlebar moustache...
The Handlebar Club seems to be the last bastion of moustaches, how can
the humble moustache be thrust into the public limelight and why do you
think many today choose to abstain from the presence of lip ticklers?
Atters: Absolutely. The club was formed by and for R.A.F.
moustachioed knights of the sky. Honorary 'Prime Handlebar' Alan Gear has
remained a member since 1947. Those handlebars may now be grey, but each
whisker has the strength of a bull dog! I'm the 'new boy' and most
certainly one of the youngest members. So why has the noble moustache
remained elusive for decades? Personally, my sentiments and tastes reside
within a bygone era. Quite frankly, most marauding, politically correct
sops of today lack the balls to grow one.
you name, from past or present, the wearers of your top 5 moustaches?
Atters:Here they are then (in no particular order)
- Terry Thomas (Quite naturally)
- Sir Mortimer Wheeler ('Barking' archaeologist)
- 'Proffessor' Jimmy Edwards (H.B.C.
founder and admirable buffoon)
- Dick Dastardly (Nice chap. Had bad
- 'Dominus' Attree (or Atte Ree) of 'Ote Hall' (Elizabethan
'Lord of the Manor', Handlebarred ancestor and a corking 'name drop').
Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for any of our readers
thinking of growing, or product advice for those looking to sharpen their 'tache
and change style?
Atters: Should some 'goatee' have strayed from his
nanny's teat and now (god help
us) be considering the noble moustache, my advice would be "Don't do it!"
A true individualistic experience would surely kill the runt. At the very
least, it would render him more imbecilic than he already is. As for
everyone else... a jubilant cry of "Talley-ho!" is in order here. There's
an endless enchanted garden within us all to nurture and explore. Those
nubile fillies will yearn to gambol through your foliage (or not as the
case may be). One may become the brunt of numerous furniture polish or
crinkly crisp jokes, but alas, that goes with the territory. My product
advice? One could do worse than look at the H.B.C. web site. Why not pop
into 'Trumpers' of Mayfair, "Barbers
and Perfumers to gentlemen of distinction" For those advanced enough to need a
'snood' (protective moustache net) than I'm afraid you will have to
consult the internet. Again, the H.B.C. has ample information here. A
final little tip. When using Sellotape, for balley sake USE SCISSORS!
Once, when biting a sticky strip off, I ended up looking like a vulgar
Why does the moustache only seem to appear on the lip of the evil world
leader (ie Hitler, Stalin, Saddam)? It seems a lifetime ago that the Western
World boasted a moustache wearing leader (Chamberlain or Macmillan?) and
we think the last American President to sport one may have been Teddy
Roosevelt. Would the world benefit from stronger trust and leadership if
Blair or Bush were to sprout a moustache?
Atters: I whole-heartedly agree. I fear, a
leader would put the fear of god into the masses. Yet I'd wager the West
nowadays would merely embrace a lukewarm, pseudo do-gooding goatee...
Last but by no means least, what are the criteria for the humble moustache
wearer to join the Handlebar Club?
Atters: The simple criteria for H.B.C. membership is:
- Gentlemanly conduct.
- To be proposed by a full member (we can usually sort that out).
- Willing to
stand before the committee and have ones 'graspable extremeties' tugged.
- The wearing of the celebrated club tie at all meetings (on penalty of buy
everyone a drink).
- A spectacular ability to bore all 'outsiders' with
tales of the empire and various deceased comedians.
- An aristocratic lineage.
- A proven direct blood line to Christ.
The real wheeze is: only
the last two requirements are a joke.
Finally who is the lady behind you in the photograph appearing to sport a
particularly fine 'tache?
Ah yes... 'Grunthra'. The things she can do with a tube of Bavarian
'Brothers Love' moustache pomade. Such feats are worthy of a cup in itself. Well Chaps, I hope that's o.k. for
now. If I can be of any more help in the future, feel free to contact me.
I shall of course keep visiting your site in the future.Yours to the last
waxed whisker, Atters (H.B.C.)
And with a twirl of his fine appendage he sauntered off down
her majesties highway to promote the lost art of dapper chappism, and his
soon to be Internet based Ministry of Moustache. (More information when we