Romford barber hangs up scissors after 56 years

PUBLISHED: 14:49 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:49 06 February 2015

Don Adams outside Bretts in 2009

Don Adams outside Bretts in 2009


“I started cutting hair when I was 14,” says Don Adams, who has just retired after 56 years of being a barber.

As owner of Bretts Hairdressers, in North Street, Romford, the 80-year-old has seen it all, but is now hanging up his scissors due to ill health.

“I’ve seen a lot of different styles! You had the Tony Curtis haircut in the 50s – I’ve still got one customer who comes in and has a “Boston haircut”.

“Then you had long hair in the 70s. A lot of hairdressers went out of business then, but me and a colleague went to the school of hairdressing in London and learned how to do it – and survived!

After negotiating the perm period – “I wasn’t involved in all that” – Don has noticed recent styles hark back to a different era as people ask for “war-time cuts”.

“Things are very different now,” he said. “It’s all odd-jobs – a lot of them do their own.”

As a familiar face in Romford and the surrounding areas, Don has cut the hair of generations of families, and seen children grow up and move away, but still come back for a trim.

“I’ve cut hair for a lot of people in the area. There are some customers who I gave their Thursday cut when they were children. It really has been a lifetime for me. It’s been a social thing as well. I’ve enjoyed it all.”

Don lives with his wife Irene, to whom he has been married 57 years, in Chelmsford, having moved from Romford some time ago.

He was unable to say a proper goodbye to his loyal customers when he left in January, and had to make do with a notice pinned to the door of the shop.

So he has asked the Recorder to deliver one for him.

He said: “I’d just like to say thank you for all the service over the years and I’m sorry I had to pack up.”

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