Geoffrey back cutting hair in Sidmouth after 45 years
- Credit: Archant
Styles can come round full circle - and for one Sidmouth hairdresser, so do careers.
The 19-year-old Geoffrey Hadley featured the Herald’s front page in 1972 as the town’s youngest trader. Now, 45 years later, he is back in his High Street salon.
Then an arty youngster, Geoffrey entered the profession after watching his mum get her hair cut and seeing it as a way to create quick sculptures.
“Her hairdresser offered me a job and I went to work for him as an apprentice,” said Geoffrey, now 63. “I had this vision of becoming a famous artist. When I left school at 16, I could either go to the Exeter College of Art or Exeter College to do hairdressing. I thought it’s quick creations – hair sculpture.”
When he started, everyone wanted the midi cut, but in the last 30 years customers have strolled in wanting to look like everyone from Tom Cruise and Avengers-era Joanna Lumley, and, of course, Princess Diana. Meanwhile, Geoffrey sported a mighty mullet or a thick Tom Selleck moustache.
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“Now it’s a military cut with a Tintin quiff,” he said. “It’s gone full circle – and so have I.”
Geoffrey started out in Church Street with his mother as the receptionist then, when he was 24, he got the chance to buy the High Street salon and snapped at it.
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He trained several hairdressers who now have their own salons and worked there until 10 years ago when Helen Neal, who had been renting a chair, decided she wanted to run the place.
Geoffrey entered semi-retirement and started wintering in Spain and managing several properties around Sidmouth with his parents.
After his father died last year, Geoffrey decided to return to the town for good. He is back working at the salon and has moved into the maisonette above with his partner, Pia.
“I couldn’t work 8am till 8pm like I used to,” said the High Street resident. “I’m going to work 10am until 4pm and go on to semi-retirement. I’d like to rent out one or two chairs.
“I’ve got to look for some staff now.”
Are you Sidmouth’s youngest trader today? Email email@example.com.