UK Markets open in 7 hrs 28 mins

Britain’s longest serving barber is hanging up his scissors

·4-min read

Britain's longest serving barber is hanging up his scissors - despite never having a trim himself and sporting the same MULLET hairdo for 52 years.

David Smith, 70, is recognised all over the world by customers and has snipped thousands of fringes since starting his career as a teenager.

Despite his hairdressing skills, David has always favoured a long curly mullet for himself and his last trim was back in 1978.

He began cutting friends' hair before getting a job at Skans barber's shop in Worcester in 1971 when he was 20.

Since then David, - whose career spans an incredible six decades - has seen him cut the hair of more than half-a-million people. 

The granddad, from Worcester, said: "I've cut the hair of famous people, regulars and everyone in between and seen fashions and trends change over the years. 

"I have always been very proud of my long hair. People call it a mullet and it's been in and out of fashion but it's always suited me the best. 

"Believe it or not, I have not cut my own hair since 1978, it is quite ironic that I am a hairdresser and I haven't bothered with my own. 

"My hair breaks off when it gets to a certain length so I don't need to bother.

"Now, as I am getting older, I still have a 15-18 inches of hair.

"When I was in my 20s, I used to have really long hair that came down to my waist - well over 2ft long."

David met his wife Monica, 67, who worked at the tobacconist above the shop, before marrying her in 1974.

The dad-of-one, who also has an eight-year-old grandson, has decided to retire after chopping his final barnet on Saturday which will also see Skans close forever after 170 years in the city.

David said: "I'm 70 now and I have had a great time here, I have been here almost 52 years. 

"The last 18 months keeping the business safe for customers, and for myself, has been a real struggle. 

"I have always planned to finish when I reach 70 but the real shame is that the barbers is due to close after 170 years. 

"It has been difficult to recruit staff that have any sort of work ethic.  

"We did have one prospective buyer, but that fell through." 

The iconic barbers has been visited by countless celebrities as they worked their way to fame.

Famous customers included The Beatles as they were starting out in the 1960s, DJ Neil Fox, actor Robert Powell and Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

David, whose former business partner Brian Higgins, famously cut Paul McCartney's iconic mop-top, added: "I wasn't working when the Beatles arrived but we had a ticket stubs from one of their nearby concerts in 1962.

"They were not as well known as they obviously are now - at the time we were more famous than them.

"We used to have Imran Kahn in a lot, he was about 17 or 18 at the time, he had just gotten into cricket and was making a name for himself, and I what I remember was, was that he was a cocky little sh*t.

"Neil Fox was at Radio Wyvern at the time and lived locally, he was a pleasant chap.

"Robert Powell also lived locally, he was at Worcester Rep at the time before he started to make a name for himself, he used to pop in regularly - another pleasant chap.

"As well as that, we have had the Dean of Worcester and Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire - apart from that we haven't had many other famous faces but those were the ones that stuck in my mind.

"We as a barber shop, must be pretty famous. 

"I've been on holidays to Budapest, Ilfracombe, Barcelona and London and I have always had people shout to me 'have you got your scissors with you?'

"I'll miss the banter in the barber's shop but I've had a wonderful career which has been a very important part of my life."

David now plans to enjoy more time with his family.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting