The fifth in our Faces of Bedford series features Christopher and Camilla, a father and daughter barbering team, whose shop on London Road has been in their family for over 75 years.
Over to Christopher, in his own words…
This barbers has been in my family for 76 years.
My dad started here in 1945 after the war. He started when he was a young lad – his grandad was the local hairdresser for the village and my dad would hold the candle for him so he could see what he was doing. He used to cut hair with hand sheers!
When [my grandad’s] hands got too old, my dad – aged 15 – started doing the cutting for him. This was before there was electricity in the village in Wootton Hall end – opposite the Chequers pub.
My dad then moved here on London Road to this place and my brother came in to help, and then I came in in 1970 which is when I started – January 20th 1970.
51 years in this room cutting hair.
This chair is the same one that’s been in here since I started – it’s older than me. It still does the job but there are a few bits broken on it. We had them both recovered a few years ago so we could keep using them. I would have cleaned it and polished it if I knew you’d be taking pictures of it!
My daughter Camilla came in eight years ago and worked with me. She has now taken over the business. She ended up cutting my wages and extending my hours, my new boss!
She has a little one now so the business will eventually be passed to them! As soon as he can walk he’ll be sweeping up.
Faces of Bedford was set up during lockdown by commercial and wedding photographer, Dan Davies, to showcase the extraordinary people that make Bedford brilliant.
If you would like to nominate someone for the Faces of Bedford project, please email Dan at email@example.com. Visit the Faces of Bedford Instagram page for the full gallery.