Captain Fawcett's Great Expedition Leg Two - Part One
CAPTAIN FAWCETT’S RIGHT HAND MAN, RICHIE FINNEY, HAS BEEN BACK IN THE SADDLE, A LONE WOLF, RIDING HIS MOTORCYCLE SOLO ACROSS EUROPE. WHY? TO SHOWCASE THE SPLENDOUR OF BRITISH GENTLEMAN’S GROOMING IN BARBERSHOPS ACROSS 27 NATIONS. WILL HE MAKE IT? I SHOULD COCO! READ ON FOR MORE TALES FROM THE ROAD…
DAY 1 - KING’S LYNN AND BEYOND
Somewhat bemused by HQ’s palpable glee as I kicked my mechanical beast to life and vanished in a blaze of glory, or so I like to think. One must hold fast to one’s dream! I can’t help but wonder, are they tossing their hats in the air, glad to see the back of me? No matter. For a lifelong nomad chasing the horizon there is naught but the endless highway. Colour me gone.
DAY 2 - ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Pit stop to see the legends at Schorem, ‘The Holy Ashtray’, where tales are spun from whisky and smoke. Crossed trails with a Tasmanian traveller, chasing razors and dreams. Mane manager Mikey trimmed my beard. Absolutely superb skills! And thus I made ready to travel on! To the New York Barbershop, where beauty blossoms from the bygone docks. Met a Spanish blade whisperer from Galicia who came to NYBS for but a month yet 4 years passed in a moment. What a place, and for all its troubles, what a truly wonderful world!
DAY 3 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
From one Dam place to another! At Barbershop Van de Hare, Marc and Miranda pinned the Silver Barber Pole brooch to my lapel, a nod to my service to the international barbering industry. What an honour! Thankyou so very much! Look out for their Barber Society Magazine and book into Amsterdam’s annual event Barber Society Live! Hightailed it to the Red Light zone and Shab’s District Barbers, a tonsorial beacon right up the Captain’s strasse! Joined by Jaap of Hair Pomades, Captain Fawcett’s first ever commercial distributor! A marvel and delight! After a cracking evening with Captain Fawcett Ambassador Extraordinaire Mr Snorrie Morrie adding his moustachioed flair to the mix, I finally hit the hay.
DAY 4 - HAMBURG, GERMANY
Now to Friseursalon Rieckhoff, a veritable hallowed haven of Pomade, established in 1952 by owner Jens’ illustrious father. A bonafide time machine of fragrance and boundless delight!
DAY 5 - SVENDBORG & NÆSTVAD, DENMARK
Crossing the Danish border I met with Ben, of Mr Higgins Barber, a true Colorado spirit whose shop is a two-wheeler’s dream, in the window a custom Royal Enfield bobber stole the spotlight! Next it was off to The Gentleman's Barbershop. A symphony of yesteryear, decked out with Mantiques and rather tantalising art of a somewhat risqué nature, with a wine bar tucked alongside. Supper on the terrace was nothing short of magnificent! A heartfelt ‘Tak!’ to George, Captain Fawcett’s Danish distributor, for the most generous gift of delectably mouthwatering chocolate-coated liquorice.
DAY 6 - COPENHAGEN, DENMARK & LANDSKRONA, SWEDEN
Rode into the ever lovin’ arms of Mermaid City! Ahoy there Kristine at Aurbakken Hairdressers! And whom should I find in the barber’s chair? None other than Lars Elbaæk, the national TV sensation known for his magnificent upper lip tamed with Captain Fawcett’s very own Moustache Wax! Huzzah! Then lo and behold, as fate would have it, Rob from Dashing Blades, strolled right through the door, on a charming weekend break! Gadzooks! Talk about a small world! Without wasting a moment, I raced on, across 5 miles of the Oresund Bridge (linking Denmark and Sweden) to Landskrona and HK Barbers. On this Midsummer festival day, the crew should have been gadding about on a well earned day off, however they came together in a true gathering of blades, as owner Hussein opened especially for my visit and the whole gang from both barbershops (another being in Malmo) came to salute this wandering soul’s quite deranged journey. Incredibly cool indeed! Cheers to the whole crew!
DAY 7 - BORAS, SWEDEN
Next stop Johnssonn’s Herrfrisering. A third generation delight of minimalistic charm carried into the future by Oliwer, son of my dear friend Kenneth Johnsson. Several ‘Bearded Villains’ assembled to extend the warmest of welcomes. This international brotherhood raise phenomenal amounts of money for charities. Kudos to you, gentlemen, for your outstanding efforts!
DAY 8 - HVALER, SWEDEN
A day veiled in solemnity. I travelled to salute a fallen friend, Per Simble, and mourn the hour of his passing. Our remarkable adventures will remain forever alive in my memory. I ride on, a kindred spirit riding shotgun, his noble epitaph etched on the restless wind.
DAY 9 - OSLO, NORWAY
Arriving into Oslo, my grieving heart was warmed by Marius’s beard grooming mastery at Pels Pels Barbershop. There I had the great pleasure of meeting the renowned Scandinavian Beard Club, Skjeggmann, and their President Morton Braathen, famed for the Father Christmas Run, delivering presents to Children’s Hospitals! The evening rolled on to a rendezvous at a local watering hole, with Lars, Captain Fawcett’s highly esteemed Norwegian distributor.
DAY 10 - OREBRO, SWEDEN
Before my onward odyssey, I nipped to Pels Pels Schuzler, a splendidly old school Barbershop. Swing by and tell ’em the Captain sent you! Meanwhile, back across the frontier to Sweden. Today is Jessie’s Barbershop, where all-female barbers wield razors and wild rebellion! Each resembles a Vargas 50’s Pin-Up, a superb homage to biker belle tattooed culture! Yet this lonesome drifter must journey on. To Chia's Barber Shop, for pastries, coffee and a few frames of pool. In truth I had not played for years, but believe I acquitted myself well enough. Pot black chums! Such generosity, as the crew was due to depart for Alicante at 2am! I was thrilled to encounter Rajan who’s just been working in a Barbershop in Long Sutton, only 6 miles from my Norfolk home. What are the chances? Unreal!
DAY 11 - SPÅNGA & BROMMA, SWEDEN
A boisterous red carpet reception awaited me at Georges Klipp & Barbershop where bearded brethren gathered for a marvellous banquet. The Swedish Bearded Villains made a grand entrance, with none other than my dear chum Kim Johansen in tow, a most highly esteemed Captain Fawcett Ambassador! Then it was off to The House of Barbers in Bromma, Swedish epicentre of gentleman’s grooming dreams! What an extraordinary showroom it was! Truly magnificent! Thankyou! It was a delight to be met by more barbers, bikers and beards, including Fawcett Ambassador Extraordinaire Carl-Johan Kellgren of Herr Svartskaegg Tattoo. Kindred spirits all! Huzzah!
DAY 12 - STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Pulled up at Mannerstals Herrfrisering, a charmingly old school Barbershop, passed down through three generations. With roots reaching back over 70 years, it is currently under the stewardship of Peter and his son Alan a previous Swedish Barber of the Year winner. The symphony of time continues to serenade us all!
DAY 13 - HELSINKI, FINLAND
Leevi, proprietor of Greasy Fingers and Captain Fawcett’s esteemed distributor in Finland rode in all the way from Tampere. We headed to Dick Johnson, a truly great Barber shop, ‘approved by Satan’ and adorned with, ahem, somewhat playful curiosities. I say! Did I mention his best-selling ‘Ball Wax’? Cover your eyes Mother! Superb beard trim by Irish wandering barber Dara who hails, once upon a time, from Belfast.
DAY 14 - HELSINKI, FINLAND
After a hearty breakfast (is there any other kind?!) I made a pause at Por Vida Barbering for a chinwag with infamous Reuzel Scumbassador Uncle Ronnie. In his notorious ‘safe space for dangerous people’, strangely, I felt quite at ease. Yet the road whispered its silent summons. Onward.
‘Faster, faster, faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death…’
Hunter S Thompson
Stay tuned for more of Richie’s barbering adventures as he leaves the Nordics behind and sets sail for the heartland of the Baltic. Next stop Estonia.
TO BE CONTINUED… VIEW VIDEOS HERE