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Salon celebrates half a century of hairdos
HE MAY have been told his business would only last 10 years when he opened in 1963, but Samuel Rose has proved his salon is a cut above the rest after half a century in the town centre.
Sam, 69, of Stratton, opened John Samuel, in Bridge Street, 50 years ago this month after buying the premises for just £4,100.
It is now managed by his daughter, Samantha Joyce, known as Sass, but Sam still works there two days a week.
“I think I’m the oldest working salon owner in town. When I started the council gave me 10 years here because all this area was scheduled for warehousing,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure and my dad was telling me not to buy it. I said maybe we can make it go for 10 years. Here we are 50 years later.
“When I started, the salon was in two separate rooms – we used to light a fire in the winter. The whole salon was salmon pink, the colour was horrible.
“I have a lot of people who have been coming here for 40 years. We work hard and look after our clients as best we can. Everyone is important to us.”
The premises have been a hair salon since 1886, when it was just for men. When Sam took over it had been a ladies’ salon called Eugenie.
Sam trained at Louis Raymond’s in Wood Street in Old Town when he was 15 and completed a three year apprenticeship.
“Hairdressing is totally different now. The biggest change is blow-drying. When I first started it was all about rollering, now it’s all blow-drying and straightening,” he said.
“I am still really enthusiastic about the salon. Everyone thinks I’m mad or a bit sad. I just love the business.”
John Samuel, which is Sam’s first name and middle name in reverse, has been renovated four times since it opened – with the last costing £100,000 six years ago.
Sass, 39, of Old Town, who is salon manager, started working there on Saturdays and during the holidays when she was just 12-.
“I always wanted to work here. I like the clients best, I like the social side of it and meeting different people,” she said.
Sass hopes that the business will be run by one of her four children in the future.
Mary Watson, 82, of Park North, first had her hair done by Sam before the salon opened, and has been coming to the town centre premises for the whole 50 years.
“It makes me feel good when I come here, they are all so friendly. I have known Sass since she was a little girl,” she said.
The salon, which has five staff including a chiropodist, will have celebrations on January 15 from 6.30pm for its regular customers.
For more information visit www.johnsamuel.co.uk or phone 01793 534299.