Stannington hairdresser to shut up shop after more than 40 years

Martin Strong will retire next week after more than 40 years as a hairdresser
Martin Strong will retire next week after more than 40 years as a hairdresser
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A Sheffield institution will shut its doors next week as the owner enters a much-deserved retirement.

Martin Strong will hang up the scissors for the final time, after more than 40 years in businesses at Stephen's Hairdressers at Stannington.

Martin Strong has built a great rapport with clients like Sheila Morson

Martin Strong has built a great rapport with clients like Sheila Morson

Mr Strong's long career in the industry began in 1967 with an apprenticeship under Roger Sherwood in Sheffield.

"He was one of the best in the country," Mr Strong said of the man who taught him his trade.

"He was very good."

Mr Strong first managed Stephen's before taking over the business on Pond Road.

Almost have a century later, he said six-day weeks were beginning to take their toll. They are the only things he'll miss about his career.

"I have mixed feelings about it," he said of his retirement.

"That's just the way it is."

He's seen just about every hairstyle there is, and there are plenty of memorable dos.

The main women's hairstyle which sticks in his mind is the purdey, once sported by model and actress Joanna Lumley.

In the 1970s, plenty of women asked for them, whether their hair was suitable or not.

"For every one of those you did, one would come out good, and you'd get 10 bad ones," Mr Strong said.

"It wasn't the cutting. The hair just wasn't right.

"You couldn't tell them. They wouldn't listen."

A lot of the blokes were after football Kevin Keegan's look. Mr Strong did perms aplenty.

"I did a lot of those for the lads," Mr Strong said of the perm.

The popular man has built a great rapport with his customers in the north-western Sheffield suburb.

Some of his clients go back to the very start and his days with Roger Sherwood..

Sheila Morson has been coming in for her shampoo and set once a week for years.

"He's a laugh a minute, this lad," Mrs Morson, who's in her 80s, said.

Mr Strong has become a family friend after styling Mrs Morson's daughter, Susan's hair before her wedding.

Mrs Morson's husband, John, also had his hair done by Mr Strong. Mr Morson died in 2010.

"Martin would come down and sort him out when he couldn't leave the house," Mrs Morson said.

"We've had some good times, and some bad ones," she said, referring to her friendship with Mr Strong.

"He's always cheerful. Sometimes, when one of us isn't good, we'll just have a yak."

"I think he's a good friend."

He's learnt plenty of gossip from customers over the years, but you won't catch Mr Strong passing any of it on.

"I never repeat it," he said.

"If you can't keep a secret, they won't tell you."

He has never contemplated changing the name of the business.

"You can call it anything you like, but people will still ring up and ask for Martin," Mr Strong said.

He is doing his best to make sure his clients find another great hairdresser.

"I've told people to go to places I've heard good things about," he said.

"That's all I can do."

The early stages of his retirement will involve trips to Spain and the Caribbean.

Mr Strong is also contemplating taking up fishing again, and maybe golf, after a long time away from the sport.

He said he wasn't very good, but still enjoyed 'knocking the ball around'.

He's not sure how well he'll go, though.

"I wasn't very good then, so I don't think I'll be any good 25 years later," he said.