Barbershop in Sidmouth gets sharp new styling

Philip Weaver in his barber shop. Ref shs 17 18TI 1735. Picture: Terry Ife

Philip Weaver in his barber shop. Ref shs 17 18TI 1735. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

An old fashioned wireless that’s a family heirloom takes pride of place in a barbershop’s redesign.

Philip Weaver’s shop in Church Street, Sidmouth, was closed for a two week refit and completely refurbished to give it an eclectic and stylish fresh appearance.

“It’s a mix of the old and the new, rather like Sidmouth,” he said. “I wanted it to look like a traditional barbershop but updated.”

It has been re-plastered, rewired and retiled. The plumbing and seating is new. So too is the display of high-end hair and grooming products from the online business he runs with his wife Melanie.

“It’s got a slightly Cuban vibe and slightly old fashioned look, but clean and tidy – which sounds a bit like me,” he said.

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Centre stage is the wonderful old wireless. It originally belonged to Philip’s grandfather and he remembers it in his father’s workshop at Core House in Sidford. When he inherited it he simply stored it in the loft.

“I didn’t want to get rid of it but I wasn’t sure what I could do with it,” he said.

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Then his wife saw a shop in Bridport called Clocktower Music that reconditioned old radios. So it may look old-fashioned but it’s fitted with a ‘widget’ that allows it to stream music from the internet or other digital device using Bluetooth.

“It means if somebody comes in for a shave, which is meant to be a very relaxing thing that takes about half an hour, they can request their own music,” he said.

He believes it may be particularly useful where a customer with Alzheimer’s is brought in by a carer.

“I can find a bit of music that is from a period matched to their youth which often relaxes people who might get a bit agitated,” he explained.

Philip used to work with people with autistic and challenging behaviour. He retrained as a barber and toured music festivals. Several heart attacks and a triple by-pass caused him to find an alternative.

“My wife told me I had to grow up and settle down!” he said. Just over two months after his operation he opened the barbershop in December 2015.

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