A leading member of the bearded community in Brighton and Hove has died at the age of 77.
David Dade, the honorary president of the British Beard Club, died last night (Thursday 29 June). He had been suffering from cancer.
The British Beard and Moustache Championships said: “We’re shocked and saddened to hear of the death of the man without whom there would be no British beard community.
“David Dade, president of the British Beard Club, passed away last night. Our thoughts are with John, and David’s family and friends.
“Everyone involved in the British Beard and Moustache Championships over the years would like to pay tribute to his tremendous enthusiasm for our events and his warmth and dedication in building this community.
“He was unfailingly positive and supportive, attending events around the UK and Europe to represent and promote the ideals of the British Beard Club.
“He will be greatly missed.”
The Handlebar (Moustache) Club said: “It with a heavy heart that we pass on the sad news that David Dade, the club’s long-time friend and HBC webmaster, founder and president of the British Beard Club, passed away last night.
“You couldn’t wish to meet a lovelier man who did so much for the beard and moustache world.
“He will be greatly missed in the bearding world and within the club. Our heartfelt condolences go out to John, his friends and family.”
After the World Beard and Moustache Championships were held at the Brighton Centre in 2007, Mr Dade set up the British Beard Club.
And in 2012 he brought the British Beard and Moustache Championships to the Corn Exchange, in Brighton. The championships were described as “a light-hearted open competition for gentlemen with all kinds of facial hair styling”.
Mr Dade grew his first beard in the mid-1960s at the age of 19 and was believed to have last shaved completely in 1985 – except for his moustache.
He once told an interviewer: “I hated shaving and I always seemed to get a rash on my neck and the neck stubble wore out my shirt collars.
“So, although I was given an electric shaver early on by my dad, I really needed to wet shave to get close and it was just too involved and likely to end up with cuts.
“Also, I just felt that I was meant to be bearded. Even as a boy, I knew I wanted to grow a beard as soon as I could – to be as natural as my maker intended – and I still feel that way.
“I registered the British Beard Club website name in November 2008 after being contacted by a couple of chaps who, like myself, had attended the Brighton 2007 World Beard and Moustache Championships.
“These events are really quite friendly in spite of the impression given by the documentary-makers, and that’s really why we do it.
“There’s a great camaraderie among the bearded and beard-fanciers of both sexes and getting together in great numbers at a WBMC is an unforgettable experience.”
Mr Dade was a respected sound engineer. Below is a photo during a recording of the John Peel Sessions for BBC Radio One.