Pledge £1000 to help local hospices – or Simon’s beard stays on!

10th January 2007

A close shave as St Albans Symphony Orchestra members, including conductor James Ross (left), threaten Simon Healy’s beard with the chop. Simon insists it must stay until he can raise at least £1,000 for local hospice charities.

Simon Healy’s beard is agreed to be by far the most luxuriant and impressive example among members of the St Albans Symphony Orchestra. But the principal viola player and former chair of the orchestra has made a New Year resolution to abandon almost ten years of careful cultivation to raise money for Grove House Hospice in St Albans and Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice, near Luton. “I’m extremely fond if my beard, so I am not prepared to part with it unless I receive at least £1,000 in sponsorship,” said 41-year old Simon. “Provided the pledges roll in, I shall shave it off in public at one of the orchestra’s rehearsals. Moreover, if anyone would like to take pair of scissors to it in person, the price I shall be charging is an extra £5 donation per snip.” Simon, who works as a senior researcher for the History of Parliament Trust, anticipates it will take him around nine months to restore his facial hair to its former glory once it has been removed. He said: “Several people have already told me that I ought to grow it back again and I am entirely happy to accept sponsorship to do that, too. However, my mother has been begging me for the past ten years to get rid of the beard, so we could get into a bidding war!”

Would-be sponsors can pledge donations by contacting Simon Healy on 01727 852768 or e-mailing him at:

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