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Bill Pollard, manager of the Chilterns Shopping Centre in High Wycombe, shaves off his beard for charity
A SHOPPING centre manager cut off his beard for the first time in more than 40 years – all in the name of a good cause.
Bill Pollard, manager of The Chilterns Shopping Centre, lost his bushy white beard in front of shoppers for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust.
Bill – famous for dressing up as Father Christmas – said beforehand: “It has probably got to be 40 years plus because my family and my son, he can’t remember me without a beard.
“That has got to be a long time.”
Son Simon, 40, said: “I have never seen my father without a beard. I have seen a few pictures but that was basically his wedding day.
“It will probably make him look a lot younger.”
Mayor of High Wycombe Julie Pritchard – who is supporting the air ambulance with her Mayor’s charity – made the first cut as shoppers were entertained by an Elton John look-alike.
Wycombe District Council leader Councillor Lesley Clarke and Bill’s grand-daughter Madeleine helped out.
And there were gasps and cheers as an electric razor quickly dispatched of the clumps of snowy beard.
About a quarter-of-an-hour later a clean-shaven Bill, 64, rose from his chair to applause.
Simon said: “He looks very different, a lot younger. I just hope he has his hair cut as well.”
Pat Conafray, the air ambulance’s corporate fundraising manager, said: “It is fantastic, he has done a great job. I didn’t recognise him.
“What we get today will go a long way to keeping us flying.”
Bill said he felt ‘rather strange’.
He said: “I haven’t seen myself like this for a long long time.”
And is it a look he could get used to? Bill said: “I have some promises for this coming Christmas so I suspect that it will be back.”
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