WHEN he’s not bearing a mace or driving the Lord Mayor’s car, he’s out winning competitions for his moustache.
Meet Alan Spencer, official chauffeur and mace bearer of Portsmouth’s first citizen and now British Freestyle Moustache Champion.
The 61-year-old said of his whiskers: ‘I originally grew it to look older when I was 16. I never got around to shaving it off.
‘It covers up half my ugly face I suppose.
‘My wife has told me that if I ever shave it off, she’ll divorce me.’
Mr Spencer won the title at the British Beard and Moustache Championships held in Bath last month, and dressed in a bright orange suit and bowler hat to stand out.
He said that as well as the freestyle category that he won, there were also competitions for handlebar moustaches, English-style straight and pointy moustaches and another for natural whiskers in which styling products were banned.
Mr Spencer is planning to head to the World Beard and Moustache Championships next year in Austria, where he expects some fierce competition.
He said: ‘I’m always up for going abroad to see what their creations are.
‘The Austrians and Germans take it very seriously.’
Mr Spencer visits the Windsor Castle pub in London once a month to meet fellow members of the Handlebar Club.
He said: ‘We all have a drink, a chat and laugh and talk about moustaches and different styles.
‘Lots of tourists come there too to see us. It’s great fun.’
Before he started working for Lord Mayor, Councillor Steven Wylie, Mr Spencer was chauffeur and mace bearer for the mayor of Southampton for 10 years.
He said: ‘It’s an enjoyable job.
‘I get to go to a lot of interesting places and meet interesting people.’
Next year, Mr Spencer, from Southampton, will take up the top office of Prime Warden of the Guild of Mace-Bearers.
Cllr Wylie said Mr Spencer’s whiskers added a splash of colour to mayoral engagements.
He said: ‘He brings great character to the city.’