North Walsham Santa facing the chop - as he prepares to shave off hair, beard, moustache and eyebrows for charity

A plucky former policeman is facing a chilly start to 2012 as he prepares to have has his hair, beard, moustache and eyebrows shaved off in a hair raising festive fundraiser.

Bill Jones, from Swafield near North Walsham, uses his eight-inch beard to great effect playing the role of Santa on the North Norfolk Railway's special Christmas services. But its whiskers, along with his other bushy features, are now facing the chop for charity.

The grandfather-of-two says he wanted to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) but could not take part in anything too energetic because of medical conditions, so struck upon the idea of having an extreme haircut.

He said: 'I couldn't run a marathon, I can barely run across the room, and I can't abseil or sky dive - I'm disqualified for about 27 different medical reasons, so I thought I've got this eight inch long beard, I'll have it off.

'Then I thought I'll have the hair off, not that there's an awful lot on top, and I'll lose the moustache and eyebrows'

Mr Jones, 61, a former officer with the Metropolitan Police, has had his beard for three years and said he was looking forward to the benefits of not having it, but added there were some negatives to being without it and the rest of his fuzzy features.

'I'm looking forward to not having to put a scrunchie in my beard when I'm eating soup, or holding it out of the way while I do up a tie,' he said. 'But it will also mean I'll have to do up my tie because at the moment I can go to a function and leave the collar undone.

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'It's going to be very chilly (afterwards) I think I better invest in a balaclava.'

Mr Jones said his moustache, which he has had for 40 years, would be missed the most, especially by wife Sue as there were alarming consequences the one time he shaved it off.

'I did it as a dare from my wife, who didn't think I'd go through with it. She was absolutely horrified by the result; I surprised her at the front door without it. She screamed, the baby screamed and the dog bit me!'

Mr Jones will be saying a final farewell to his facial hair at 11am on December 29 at Enzo's hair salon in Aylsham Road, Norwich and spectators are welcome.

He hopes to raise as much as possible for EACH, a charity he said he 'greatly admired' for the wonderful work it does for youngsters across East Anglia.

? To sponsor Mr Jones visit

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