The Swindon Pop Shop

The Swindon Pop Shop is riding high on the popularity of what owner Steve Causer describes as “the top collectable” of the past six years.

“Interest in Funko Pop vinyl figures is huge,” he said. “They come from the USA and hold the licences for all the top films as well as the comic book heroes and sporting teams such as American hockey and football.”

Steve’s customers at his Pop-filled shop, which he opened in Morley Street 12 years ago, range from young to mature, with a core audience of teens up to mid-30s. He owns similar shops, also selling American comic books, at Bath and Cirencester too.

“Most people collect piece by piece, and build up entire collections based on a particular character or film,” Steve explained.

“It’s fun to collect your favourite characters, and they are nice pieces of artwork too – but they are also a great investment.

“Some Pops are released in very small quantities, which make them particularly collectable, mostly via eBay.

“For example, if you have a rare Pop figure, maybe with only 300 sold worldwide, the value of that could shoot from £12 up to £400 overnight! The message is, keep the boxes that your Pops come in, because they are crucial to their value.

“Both boys and girls can enjoy owning their Pops, but It encourages them to be a bit canny too, playing with them but keeping them in good condition – they are not throw-away toys, it’s a nice lesson for them to learn I think.”

Steve said he had “never seen anything like” the level of interest in Pops. It is driven and maintained by the fact that between seven and ten new ranges of figures are released each week. A Pop figures starts at £11.99, with a special offer of three for £30. Exclusives, where Pop figures come in a range of slightly different poses, start at £15.

The Swindon Pop Shop, 28 Morley Street, call 01793 520300,

Mac’s Barber Shop

Hairdressing is in Amanda Baden’s blood – her Mum had her own salon in Swindon and her Dad was a barber, so it was a natural progression for her to go into the business.

Amanda has been snipping and styling for more than 30 years now and opened Mac’s Barber Shop in Morley Street 14 years ago.

“It’s a really nice, steady gents hairdressing business – we pride ourselves on being a traditional British barber shop,” said Amanda.

“I’ve got lots of regulars who have been coming to me for years and years. It doesn’t feel like going to work, just meeting up with a load of friends!”

Mac’s has two other barbers, Angelene and Gareth, and the trio are kept very busy with their walk-in service.

“There are no appointments, which seems to suit gents down to the ground,” said Amanda.

“We have a comfortable, friendly barber shop and offer all aspects of barbering from traditional to modern – we pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest trends.”

Mac’s basic cut costs £10, pensioners £7, children £8.

For all ladies’ hairdressing requirements, above Mac’s is ladies hairdressers The Styling Lounge, run by Jen Covey.

Mac’s Barber Shop 32 Morley Street, call 07799 284863

Style Council Hairdressers

With a seven days-a-week hairdressing service, Style Council in Morley Street is a busy and buzzing salon.

It is owned and run by Maria Dziuban who has been hairdressing for 35 years, since she left school.

“We are a unisex salon but our main clientele is ladies,” said Maria, who opened Style Council seven years ago.

“It’s a small salon with me and one part-time stylist, and it is really busy, which is great!”

Maria’s clients obviously love what she does as many have been coming to her for 25-to-30 years.

“I am lucky to have lots of regular customers who come to me for their colour and highlights as well as cut and blow-dries,” Maria said.

“We do hair up-dos for weddings and proms too, and we have both appointments and walk-ins – we face the car park, so it’s easy for people to pop in. It’s lovely to see all customers, old and new.”

Maria is proud of her exceptional service. Style Council opens at 8am in the morning, so that people can have their hair done before they go to work, and she has late night opening until 8pm on Thursday and Friday. Sunday and Monday are appointments only. She is open seven-days-a-week.

Style Council Hairdressers, 24 Morley Street, call 01793 335650