Graham hangs up his scissors today

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TODAY sees the end of an era in Holbeach with Graham Johnson hanging up his scissors after working as a barber for 50 years.

Graham (65), of Vicarage Gardens, Holbeach, left school aged 16 with no career in mind.

He didn’t want to work on the land – his father also told him there was no future in it – but a single hair cut changed his life.

Barber John Turner chatted to Graham about his future and offered him an apprenticeship.

Tuesday marked two major milestones – it was the 50th anniversary of Graham’s first day at work and the 41st anniversary of him having his own barber shop in High Street.

Graham also founded a ladies’ hairdressers next door, which he sold in 2010, and tomorrow his barber shop will be in new hands as Simon Gouldring takes over.

While negotiations on the sale have continued, Graham has kept quiet about the plans and says his retirement will come as quite a surprise for his many customers.

He said: “They are not customers so much any more now, they are friends, and I want to thank them for their loyal support over many years.

“A lot of them have been with me since I worked for Mr Turner. He retired from the hairdressing business in 1970 and allowed me to carry on in his premises and then, in 1971 I moved into number 4 High Street, which was just up the road.”

Graham went to George Farmer School but says he gained an even better education by being in the shop and listening to customers.

He is married to Carole and they have two sons, Myles (36) and Warrick (35), and two grandchildren, William (8) and Katie (6).

Graham says he will spend more time with his family.

He said: “I will probably play more golf, probably do a bit of fishing, get more exercise, walking and cycling, and spend more time in the outside world.”