When I considered these throwbacks to a simpler and more varied age it seemed that they all seem to exist within a rather old fashioned, conservative, service driven culture. Some research later and I discover that not only does Antwerp have plenty of men with fine plumes, but even has a snorr club to match (clubhouse the "De Konincklijke Snor" at 33 Adriaan Brouwerstraat, BBQ on the 7th August).
So what is it, a love of liberty and the right to be absurd? Or maybe the police force in India were right, when this year they announced a pay rise for officers with luxuriant growth, as it "adds gravitas" to the officer. So if you notice one of these fine fellow, give him a nod or a wave, you can be sure that he will be a decent chap, independent of mind, and public of spirit.