Saturday Morning Beard Fact

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July 30, 2016



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Just as had happened in the first decades of the twentieth century, employers started to query whether their staff should be allowed to grow their hair and facial hair. A memo survives in the archives of the Bank of England dated 2nd August 1971:

I confirm that the question of Messengers wearing beards has been discussed with the Chief of establishments who agrees that in this day and age the Bank should not insist on Messengers being clean shaven, but … beards must … be neat and tidy. It should be made clear to the staff that the Bank do (sic) not expect the growth of any beard to be started during duty in the Bank …                                                                                                                     A Messenger who grows a beard while on leave must expect to be asked to remove it if it is not of an acceptable standard by the time he returns to work. A Messenger wishing to grow a beard should seek the advise of the Front Lodge as to whether the wearing of a beard would be acceptable in his particular job/place of work.

Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards by Lucinda Hawksley, National Portrait Gallery




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