Photo gallery: Former Caister lifeboatman embarks on fan-tache-tic fundraiser

A bearded Nigel Beales with his son Declan A bearded Nigel Beales with his son Declan

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
8:55 AM

Forget Movember, the month-long moustache growing challenge - a former lifeboatman has launched a year of different looks for charity.

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From bushy beards to designer stubble Nigel Beales has cultivated 12 different looks with varying degrees of success.

And while some of the top-lip topiary proved easier to live with than others he has stuck to his station’s motto: ‘Caister men never turn back’ - with one exception.

He said: “The idea first came to me while I was growing a moustache for Movember back in 2012 - a bit of a crazy idea I know but I’ve always wanted to do something to raise money for the Caister Lifeboat. The thing is, I didn’t want it to be over in a just a few hours.

“I hail from Gorleston and moved to Caister on Oxnead Drive where I became good friends with Jason Delf. Jason was already a crew member and invited me to join. I was only part of the crew for around a year because I moved to Norway back in 2009 and of course it would be difficult to reach any call outs from over here.

“I now live and work out of Norway but when I’m not offshore I travel back to Great Yarmouth to see my 11 year old son Declan every other weekend and holidays.”

Mr Beales, 43, said the different styles spanning snow-capped handlebars to the half-way route with just a beard were chosen by sponsors. His favourite moustache was the monkey tail, nominated by his Norwegian friends and raising over £300 by itself - but there was a sprinkling of hirsute horrors too.

His least favourite one was the Charlie Chaplin attempt. “It was truly hideous,” he said. “I had to seek permission to shave it off early it was that bad.”

“It wasn’t so hard for me as such. But my wife and son hated them. I’m an ex Royal Anglian, from many years ago, and I’ve always been clean shaven. My wife hated the feel of them so kissing me was out of the question, and my son was just embarrassed. I can see and hear him now. With a sly cheeky grin on his face he’d say: ‘Dad! What have you got this time? Shave it off!’ There were times when he wouldn’t be seen next to me. Walking behind me by several feet and in some cases he’d be in a separate aisle of the super market. He came round in the end and was very proud of me.”

The offshore worker who has a Norwegian wife and three step sons returned to Caister to present a cheque for £1115 to the independent lifeboat station which relies on donations.

Crew member Jason Delf said: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant, I am really proud of him, it was a fantastic effort. He raised a lot of money from people in Norway who are never going to see the lifeboat or need its services which is really quite something.”

The money will go towards lifeboat equipment and training.

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