Honiton Town Crier - the hair and whiskers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:11 27 February 2018

Honiton Town Crier, Dave Retter, gives his shout. Picture: Alex Walton

Honiton Town Crier, Dave Retter, gives his shout. Picture: Alex Walton


Honiton Town Crier Dave Retter speaks about the history of his hair and beard

Ever since The Beatles, with their long hair, came to fame in the sixties, I have had long hair and most of the time, whiskers as well.

When I went to Honiton Secondary School, I was a bit of a rebel because of my long hair.

In those days, it was short back and sides or a Boston haircut.

My mum was always nagging me about my hair, but I would have none of it. The more she nagged, the more determined I was not to have a haircut.

In July 1996, I was appointed town crier and macebearer to Honiton Town Council.

When I told my mum of my appointment, she was over the moon about it – for about five minutes.

Then she said ‘Well David, you will definitely have to have a haircut and shave now if you are going to represent Honiton’.

I said ‘Definitely not! This is my image and I’m keeping it.’

When she calls me David instead of Dave, I know she’s not best pleased with me.

Early on in my appointment, the wife of a footballing friend of mine called Olive Moore said to me ‘You need a decent haircut and a shave’.

At the time, my beard was six inches long.

I said ‘No way.’

For months, Olive kept on about it – yes, she was nagging me big time.

Eventually, I jokingly said ‘If you can raise £1,000 in sponsorship, I will have a hair cut and my beard shaved off’.

Believe it or not, within ten days, she had raised the money!

I think she had collared everyone at East Devon District Council, where she worked.

Barber Alan Rowe MBE did the honours at the Three Tuns pub in Honiton and the money went to Diabetes UK and Hospiscare (my mum was well happy!)

About one year later, I saw an appeal to help raise money for Cancer Research UK.

A young woman called Tina Blunden had lost her mother to cancer and was asking people to join her in a head shave at the Volunteer Inn.

For some unknown reason, I said I would have my head shaved with her.

On the night, we were joined by Michael Coombes, who also braved Alan’s cutters.

Between us, we raised £4,500 – an incredible total!

A few years ago, Movember started. I shaved my moustache off and grew a new one.

There was a prize for the best moustache grown in a month – so I coloured my new moustache with three stripes – red, white and blue.

These are the colours of the Union Flag, but I was laughed at because when people looked at me, my moustache bore the colours of the French flag!

Once again, this raised a lot of money for charity.

Today, my image is long hair (what’s left of it!), generally all over the place and mutton chop whiskers.

People say I am the face of Honiton, which is really nice. So I realise my bit of hair left and whiskers are easy money for charities.

If you are interested in raising money for a charity, the starting price is £20 a snip!

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