72-year-old sacrifices long hair and beard for Stratford hospice
IAN Walker-Spicer admits that his former look – long hair and beard – would not have met the approval of his mother.
But that was not why last week he had his locks shaved off – the real incentive was to raise £1,000 for the Shakespeare Hospice (and to avoid having his beard dyed pink).
The former Royal Navy lieutenant commander and TA major, aged 72, plucked up the courage and braved the shave for the hospice because “it helps so many people in so many ways,” he told the Herald.
“My mother would have spun in her grave if she had seen my hair before the shave,” he said. “I looked like a long-haired lout that you wouldn’t buy a car off.”
Some of his neighbours at the Margaret Court retirement complex in Tiddington had asked him to dye his beard pink to support a breast cancer charity.
“I wasn’t sure,” said Mr Walker-Spicer, “so they persuaded me to shave my hair and do a before and after photograph.”
He added: “Nothing was left. Everything went from my neck upwards, and I said to the person who shaved my hair, Mindy Yorke, and everyone else, just don’t call me ‘baldy’.
“The Shakespeare Hospice has done such a lot of good for people at Margaret Court and beyond. When my shave was finished everyone clapped and thought I looked younger.”
Mr Walker-Spicer is a member of the Historical Maritime Society, which re-enacts famous maritime events liked the Cockleshell Heroes and Lord Admiral Nelson battles. He drives a 1996 army ambulance to special events, but this is no ordinary ambulance.
“I’ve attended events but I got fed up of sleeping in tents so I bought the ambulance. It’s got oak panelling, a fridge, microwave and Chesterfields.”