A ‘TRADITIONAL’ barber who for more than half a century has made sure the men of Barnsley look their sharpest is packing up his clippers.

Malcolm Brown, 73, has pulled the shutters up on the Hairdressing Room on Eldon Street North every morning, rain or shine, for 55 years.

But last Saturday was his final shift as he looks to head into his retirement.

And Malcolm thanked his customers - many of whom have seen several generations of their family sat in his chair - for their loyalty.

“I look after my customers, I treat them like family and friends,” he said. “I’ve been told there isn’t a place like this and I will be sorely missed.

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“I appreciate their loyalty and I can’t thank the people of Barnsley enough.”

Malcolm always wanted to be a barber, and it was while completing an apprenticeship as a teenager that his dad learned the shop on Eldon Street North had become available.

He took Malcolm to look at the premises and, with the price right, it was bought ready for Malcolm to finish his apprenticeship.

He has since seen the small shop, with its sole chair and enough space for only four or five people to wait on the original wooden benches, change with the times - serving pit workers through the 60s and 70s, who would come between finishing their shift and heading to the local working men’s club, but more recently working around the nine-to-five routines most people follow.

And Malcolm admits he has come to specialise in serving the ‘older gentleman’, with many of his customers having stayed loyal to his shop for as long as it has been open.

Malcolm said: “I’ve made a living out of it and it put my lad through university. I’ve been here 55 years so I must’ve done something right.

“It’s the right time for me to go. I am looking forward to not getting up at 6.30am every morning.”

Malcolm said he doesn’t know whether the shop will remain open as a barber’s once he leaves - but he ‘would be delighted’ if it did.