Shaven-headed Charlie goes on with the hair removal at the Auld Triangle pub in Finsbury Park
charlie shaves off his beard after 40 years to raise £2,000
THE last time Highbury man Charlie Travers was without his resplendent bushy beard, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister and the Beatles were No1 in the pop charts.
That was 40 years ago in 1965, and since then former builder Charlie, 57, has always proudly sported his growth and rather enjoyed it when children nicknamed him Father Christmas.
Now his mates are calling him Yul Brynner after the famous bald movie star following a packed charity event at the Auld Triangle pub in Finsbury Park when Charlie agreed to have his beard and hair – and even his eyebrows – removed for charity.
More than 200 family, friends and regulars packed the pub in St Thomas Road on Sunday night for the event in aid of St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney.
Several of Charlie’s friends spent their last days there.
And thanks to some last-minute, front-page publicity for the event in last week’s Islington Tribune, Charlie finally raised more than £2,000.
With hours to go on Sunday before the 6pm barber shop stunt, Charlie, married with five grown-up children and 11 grandchildren, admitted he was beginning to have second thoughts.
“But when I arrived at the pub everyone was cheering,” he said, “and my family were all there. I couldn’t let people down.
“And St Joe’s is a marvellous charity which does such wonderful work and I wanted to do something for them.”
To the sound of hand-claps and the stamping of feet, Charlie’s daughter, demon barber Diane, started the proceedings, neatly shearing off Charlie’s hair.
Then, to rapturous applause, off came the beloved beard until Charlie, as bald as a coot, stood up to take a bow.
Landlord and owner of the Auld Triangle, Martin Joyce, said it was a great night and Charlie was a really good sport.
Last word has to go to Charlie’s wife Margaret who, speaking the day after the event, said: “I woke up and I didn’t recognise the new man in my bed.”