A NORTHWICH barber has decided to hang up his scissors after more than 50 years cutting men's hair in the town.

Malcolm Wood, has been based at his Owen Street shop since 1970, and after cutting such little hair during the last twelve months because of three lockdowns, has decided now is the right time to call time on his long career.

"I would have retired a couple of years but I still had my mum," he explained.

"After she died, I went away for a couple of weeks and when I came back home we were in lockdown.

"So in all honesty I've hardly worked in the last twelve months and I just don't fancy going back.

"I'll obviously miss my customers like hell and I've got such a good customer base.

"It's just got to that stage where I want to enjoy myself a bit more.

"My wife retired a couple of years ago and we've got a place in Spain so I'm hoping to enjoy spending more time there too."

The 70-year-old, who also enjoys playing golf, said he also was looking forward to be able to go for weekends away, something which he was never able to do when working.

He added: "It's one of those jobs that you're definitely tied to.

"I just hope it's the twilight of my life and I'll be able to get a bit more golf in and just enjoy my time.

"I'm not a good golfer by any means but I play with the seniors at Hartford and they're a really good bunch."

Having been based in the same premises for so long, Malcolm has seen plenty of changes, with so many hairstyles going full circle, as well as plenty of changes in the town itself.

"It's such a great area," he said.

"I've made friends with so many families over the years.

"When I started of course the railway was going, so the sheds were there.

"The train drivers used to sneak out for a quick haircut.

"One of the nicest stories I can remember is when a lad came in and asked me if I knew his Grandad and I actually remembered his Great Grandad bringing his Grandad on the crossbar of his bike for a haircut."

Customer loyalty is something that goes a long way in the barbering profession and Malcolm has had more than his fair share over his six decades of trimming heads in the town.

He went on: "I've got customers who have honestly never been anywhere else.

"Some of them will be in their forties and they've always said to me, 'what am I going to do when you retire, I've never been anywhere else, I won't know where to go'."

Malcolm actually started sweeping floors when he was just 12-years-old, when he worked of an evening for Eric Longworth after finishing a full day at school, as well as working every Saturday.

"I've been in hairdressing all the way through," he said.

"I remember when there used to be just me, Eric, Joe Sutton and Henry but now there's so many places to get a hair cut in Northwich.

"I just want to say thank you to all my customers.

"They've given me such a good living over the years and I really appreciate all the friendships I've made.

"I've known so many, even lads who've moved away, but they always call in for a chat whenever they come back.

"Over the years I guess it became more like a community centre."