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Tom bans the Bics and measures up for charity

14 March 2016
A Royal Navy sailor from HM Naval Base Clyde has banned the Bics and jilted the Gillettes during a year-long charity event which has netted more than £1,000.

Chief Petty Officer Tom Ridsdill is also a member of Helensburgh’s RNLI Lifeboat and for the past 12 months has been growing a beard to raise cash for the Rhu-based rescue team.

As a serving member of the Royal Navy, Tom had to have his Commanding Officer’s permission to grow a beard, or “full set” as it’s known in the Service. 

On Tuesday, March 1, Tom re-introduced his face to the razor, but before he could feel the cold scrape of steel he and crew mates from the RNLI got out their rulers to measure the growth.  

My daughter is just two-and-a-half months old so she’s never seen me without one.

Chief Petty Officer Tom Ridsdill

As well as receiving donations, Tom has been running a competition to see who can guess the final length of his beard.  The person who guesses correctly will win a cash prize.

“A few of my mates at work have been caught trying to sneak up on me to judge it’s length, but so far I’ve managed to keep them at bay!”

He continued:  “I’ve had a beard at certain points in my life, usually when I’m at sea, but this is the longest it’s ever been.  

"It’s a bit daunting shaving it off.  My daughter is just two-and-a-half months old so she’s never seen me without one.  I hope she still recognises me!

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported and donated.  Thanks also to my Commanding Officer who gave me permission to grow it.”

There is still time to donate.  Visit: and visit Thomas Ridsdill’s page. 

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