Romford barber celebrates 60 years of cutting hair
- Credit: Stuart Blakemore
A Romford barber who has cut the hair of celebrities including a 1966 World Cup winner is set to celebrate 60 years in the industry.
Bernard Blakemore, 76, owns the Richard Armstrong hair salon in Romford High Street and started working for Richard, the previous owner, as an apprentice 60 years ago.
Bernard, who lives in Thundersley, Essex, said he has proudly owned the salon for 35 years.
Now working with his 51-year-old son, Stuart, who lives in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Bernard said he hopes to continue cutting hair until he “physically cannot do it”.
He said: “I cut hair for the dad who is now the granddad, his son and his grandchildren. I really enjoy having regular and loyal customers.”
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Having trained to be a barber at the Ardleigh Green college campus, Bernard said that he feels very proud to have been able to cut hair for so long and for his salon to be able to be taken over, in the future, by Stuart.
“At my salon we make everyone feel welcome and I think that’s why we’ve been going for so long.
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“I knew I wanted to do hairdressing and after doing my apprenticeship at this salon back in 1961 I was hooked.”
Bernard said that the highlights of his career include cutting hair for actor and comedian Brian Conley and former West Ham footballer Stuart Pearce, which his son said was “really cool” to observe.
Following in his dad’s footsteps Stuart has been cutting hair since 1987 and said that it was a career he felt inspired to carry on with after working at the salon as a Saturday boy just as his father did.
Stuart said that he enjoys working with his dad “especially social-distancing at the moment”, he joked.
Recalling on the fond memories he has had while working at the salon, Stuart said that he remembers his dad cutting the hair of footballer Martin Peters, who was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup.
He said: “I think it’s great that my dad is continuing to cut hair as it keeps him young.
“I look forward to one day being able to take over.
"It’s amazing that the salon is still going and how quickly the years go by you don’t know where the years go."