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Romford barber retiring after 60 years says it’s been ‘incredible’ to cut hair of different generations

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 18 January 2019

Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.

Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.

Archant

A barber who was spent 45 years cutting hair in the borough has decided its time to close up shop and retire.

Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.

Geoffrey Stuart, owner of The Mane Barber Shop in Market Place, comes from a family of barbers.

He followed his dad, Alfie Stuart and uncle into the profession in 1958 by starting his apprenticeship near Fleet Street in central London.

“My first shop was in Upminster at what used to be called Brick House,” said Geoffrey,

“I then moved to Ilford Lane to the shop that was owned by my uncle and father. I came to Romford in 1974 and at that time the shop was called Hair by Geoff.

Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.

“I had that for 25 years and then I moved to where I am now in Romford.”

Asked about how hairstyles have changed over the years, Geoffrey said they hadn’t changed much.

“If anything it’s gone back to what it was when I first started. All the barbers are doing these short haircuts.

“When I started people were still in the forces so short haircuts were in then too.”

Snooker player Steve Davies used to come in for a haircut. Steve with Geoffrey Stuart's two children. Photo: Ken MearsSnooker player Steve Davies used to come in for a haircut. Steve with Geoffrey Stuart's two children. Photo: Ken Mears

Over the years Geoffrey has seen many people come and go, including a snooker legend and a top jazz musician.

The 75-year-old told the Recorder: “Steve Davis used to come in the shop. He was a charming fellow. I’ve known him for quite a few years.

“I also once had Kenny Ball, the jazz musician, come into the shop. He used to play at the Queen’s Theatre on a Sunday morning.

“I remember one day when I first introduced myself to him, he already knew me because he had met my father and uncle.”

Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.Geoffrey Stuart has been a barber for 60 years and 45 of those years he spent in Romford.

Speaking about what he would miss most after retirement, Geoffrey said it had to be the people.

“I’ve got guys that come in here who I knew when they were schoolboys, and now they have kids of their own.

“When you see that over the years it’s incredible.

“A lot of people I’ve met over the years are still around.”

He plans to close The Mane Barber shop around March 23.


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