I worked as a Saturday girl at the hairdressers opposite the church in Banstead High Street when I was 15 in 1969. It was called Nicolette then and I worked for Margaret and her mother Mrs Anscombe. Margaret was a lovely boss, she taught me many things. The salon seemed huge to me in those days, but on a recent visit I was surprised at how tiny it is now. When I worked there we had seperate booths and front was basins. The curtain was pulled across once the customer was seated within. I recall one client who worked at the church would request a foot stool while under the dryer and would read her bible while waiting for her hair to dry. Miss Deacon (Deaky) was her stylist. The salon also had a barbers attached and Ian and Trevor were the two barbers. Famous clients were Peter Osgood and Peter Bonetti - both footballers playing for Chelsea at the time. My school friends were really jealous of me over that! Ian was an amateur photographer, and I still have the photos he took of me, sadly I have no photos of the interior of the salon.
I used to 'Cardinal red' the hearth floor in the staff room and keep it spic and span. The towels were hauled up to dry on an old Victorian railed airer over a heater. I worked with Joan Townsend who lived in the village, she used to wash the hair and take care of the clients - and us. Elsie Henderson was the receptionist, I think she lived in Chipstead. They were both lovely ladies. The salon was taken over by Pam and Graham Attwell, in about 1971, by then I was an apprentice and was soon working for Margaret, a very talented stylist, we still keep in touch by Christmas cards each year. Teri and Mike Rabin took the shop over just after I left, they renamed it Oscar's after Mike's grandfather, the famous band leader - Oscar Rabin.
I can recall the camera shop, I think it was owned by Mr and Mrs Dexter, Mrs Dexter was a client, and the bakery, where we bought lunch - small shepherd's pies and Rum Babas! Woolworth's was across the road, it had the wooden flooring when I shopped there. I still have the metal back comb I bought there for 6p. I made my own clothes in those days and bought fabric every Saturday from a little shop by the bus stop, opposite Waitrose, near the roundabaout. One of my favourite clients was Mrs Bevan, she made marmalade for the village fete each year, she was in her 80s then. Nearly everyone had their hair set on rollers and I used to have clients come to me for half price while I was training. I charged 30p for a Shampoo & Set, rather than the full price of 60p! I had Marcel waving irons and learnt wig making (boardwork) at college. Pin curls were common and blow drying had just started to come into fashion. Nearly everyone had their hair permed and colouring was used to cover the grey rather than for fashion. How times have changed.
I have my own salon now - The Salon at Prestwood in Buckinghamshire, where I eventaully settled. My mum still lives in Tadworth, so when I next go to Banstead I will take a recent picture of the High Street showing the salon as it is now. I have enjoyed looking at all the old postcards - well done Francis Frith, they are great.
A memory shared byon Sep 28th, 2009.
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