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Hair today - but going after 75 years in Halesowen
2:50pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
THE second oldest business in Halesowen is closing down this month after keeping ladies hair dos in trim for 75 years.
Pam Harris, who runs Peggy’s Hair Fashions, is packing away her scissors and comb after 52 years at the salon, founded by the late Peggy Wade in 1938.
The 67-year-old signed up for a three-year apprenticeship, which she said felt like she was “signing her life away” at the time, never dreaming she would eventually run the business and stay there for more than half a century.
Next to Dancers Menswear, the High Street salon is the second oldest town centre business, boasting many loyal clients, including one who has been having her hair done there for 70 years.
Miss Harris, from Oldswinford, took over running the salon from her mentor, who retained an interest in the business until her death in May 2012, aged 97.
Longevity is the key to the salon’s success - with other stylists Denise Scott and Jill O’Neill having each worked there for almost 30 years, while Susan Griffiths has clocked up 17 years and Emmalene Page nine years, with breaks to raise their families.
Dedicated cleaner Jennifer Shilvock has ensured the salon was spik and span for 34 years.
Miss Harris, who is looking forward to spending time visiting places during her retirement, said: “I think clients have stayed with us because our staff are long-serving.
“We have a really good clientele - some say I have ruined their social life because a lot of them know each other.”
There are plenty of tales she could tell from her clients over the years, but Miss Harris quipped she would not be embarking on her memoirs for fear of being sued.
Most of her staff will turn to mobile hairdressing after the salon closes on September 28 and Miss Harris’s sister Val, aged 72, will also be taking a well-earned rest, having driven her to work for 7am each day for the last 25 years.
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