THEY may be a bit itchy but moustaches are beginning to take hold on upper lips across Oxfordshire.

Three weeks into Movember – the annual month-long campaign which aims to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancers – men are bonding over their new-found sense of masculinity.

Damian Orman, of Sandford St Martin, in North Oxfordshire, has more reason than most to wear his moustache with pride.

He is growing his in memory of his grandfather John Aldworth, who died of prostate cancer in 2007.

Mr Orman said he had been close to his grandfather, a mechanic who ran the Auto Workgarage in Jericho.

He said his grandfather loved vintage cars and after bringing them up to scratch, he and his wife Mary would go out driving for the day.

Mr Orman would regularly spend evenings at Mr and Mrs Aldworth’s home in Kidlington playing card games, and Mr Orman would talk about going travelling.

The 32-year-old said: “He once said to me, ‘It’s not when you go, it is just important that you go.’ “He did not know he had prostate cancer at the time, but he was a very private man anyway, and he didn’t disclose those things.”

Mr Orman had taken his grandfather’s advice and gone travelling in New Zealand when he passed away.

He said: “I was aware he was ill, but I took it badly because I was not around at the time it happened.”

Now Mr Orman has managed to get about 20 of his colleagues from Property Care Complete Maintenance in Minster Lovell to take part in the campaign.

In Abingdon, the Kings Head and Bell pub launched its commitment to the charity at a beer festival where 50p from every pint of porter or stout was donated.

So far the team have raised £300 and hope to reach £1,000.

Landlord Steve Hipgrave said: “The team has had great feedback from customers many of whom have grown taches for the month.

“Apart from being a bit itchy we are all enjoying the added masculinity and feeling of unity.”

Tony Jones, from Stratton Audley near Bicester, is raising money for men’s health awareness after recovering from rare penile cancer.

He was diagnosed in July, and after a successful operation was given the all-clear in October.

He and 82 others who drink at his local, the Red Lion, are hoping to raise £10,000.

Some employees from Elsevier scientific publishing in Kidlington are also going unshaven in the hopes of raising £1,000.

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