A WELL-RESPECTED figure in Chipping Sodbury made a remarkable personal sacrifice last week. 

Charles Campbell, who used to own Gimby's Books and the founder member of the Chipping Sodbury Yacht Club, bade farewell to his beloved beard of 57 years to raise funds for South West Air Ambulance.

Taking place at The George Hotel by Franklins the Barber Shop, amidst an assembly of family, friends, and fellow yacht club members. Campbell's decision to shave his beard, which he began to grow during a holiday on the Isle of Seil in Scotland back in August 1967, was not taken lightly.

The beard had become a part of his identity, especially after letting it grow longer to embody the role of Santa Claus at Yate Shopping Centre.

Gazette Series: Charles Campbell shaved off his beard last week after 57 yearsIt’s worth noting that even his late wife, Beryl, had never seen him without his facial hair.

The shave lasted exactly seven minutes and 56 seconds, during which decades of history were gently erased.

In a delightful twist, Charles had offered one of his homemade chutney/jam hampers as a sweepstake prize, which was won by Paul & Ann Mapson with a close guess of 8 minutes and 27 seconds, narrowly edging out the second-place guess by just a few seconds.

To date, Charles has successfully raised £602 for the South West Air Ambulance, a testament to the community's support and generosity.

Charles expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards everyone who participated and donated to the cause, emphasising the impact of their contributions towards saving lives through the vital services provided by the air ambulance.