Acomb hairdresser, Gerald, retires after 56 years in business | York Press – York Press

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York 15°c
A WELL-KNOWN York hairdresser has bowed out after 56 years at the cutting edge.
Gerald Allen has retired from his hairdressing salon, G&G in Acomb, which closed last year, after a career which began at Swallow and Barry’s in Stonegate, in what is is now the Antique’s Centre, when he was 16 in 1964.
He says he will miss the interesting clientele the most, including former York Lord Mayoress Ivy Whyteman, and Sister Agatha from York’s Bar Convent.
He said: “Mrs Whyteman was quite a character, she would get four hours of sleep a night and fall asleep in the chair.
“I’ve kept in touch with Sister Agatha, she’s a wonderful person and have since taken her out to Sunday lunch.”
Gerald can reminisce on a career that involved him creating the latest hairstyles throughout the decades, from rollers, to waves and perms and hair colouring and straightening and everything in between.
He said: “People used to get perms every week, and I’d work on about eight of them a day.
“I once cut the hair of a woman who didn’t know she had broken biscuits stuck in it, and a woman who had melted brushes fused in it when blow drying brushes weren’t heat resistant.”
Gerald had clients who stayed loyal for 40 years, some coming from as far afield as South Yorkshire, and would even be recommended by his competitor salons in York.
He said: “I had a lot of job satisfaction but its the people I’ll miss the most, with many gestures of thanks for my work including the gift of a Scandinavian tankard.”
He is enjoying his retirement in his mobile home in Knaresborough.
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