Skans barbers set to close after 170 years in city as final barber retires – Worcester News

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Worcester 18°c
AFTER more than 170 years a city centre barbershop will shut its doors for good when its final barber retires this month.
David Smith will be retiring after 50 years of cutting hair at Skans in Broad Street for more than 50 years.
The 70-year-old barber has cut the hair of some families in Worcester for five generations.
Started in around 1848 as part of the Skans family tobacconists, the barber’s shop was originally above the premises on Foregate Street, before moving to the basement in 69 Broad Street in the 1920s.
Over its 170-year history, the shops has had some famous customers – most notably The Beatles, actor Robert Powell, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and DJ Neil Fox.
He has also cut hair into every imaginable style.
“Over time we have had skinheads, suedeheads, new romantics and mullets and people wanting spikes.
” I remember one lad coming in with a note from his mother saying he wanted the new hair ‘spicked’.
“I didn’t know if she meant spick and span but turned out it was a spelling error and she wanted his hair to be spiked.”
Gone are the notes from mum telling Mr Smith how a young boy’s hair should be cut and in came images shown on people’s mobile phones.
Skans was the premier place for men to have their haircut at one point with people coming from neighbouring towns and villages.
At their peak Mr Smith could be cutting the hair of up to 200 customers a week with 600 people passing through the shop.
When Mr Skan retired in the 1970s, the barbers working for him retained the name of the business and became self-employed.
Mr Smith worked alongside Louis and Brian who retired last year also clocking up 50 years in the business.
Hailing from Birmingham, Mr Smith trained as a barber at Worcester Tech from the aged of 16 after the family moved to an estate just off Hallow Road.
He worked firstly at a hairdresser’s in Monarch Drive before starting at Skans where he was well know for his long hair which measured 18 inches.
The 70-year-old from Ombersley Road said: “I am looking forward to my retirement at the moment but I am sure I will miss it.
“I have no regrets and I am looking forward to stopping but I am sure in time I will miss it.
“I will certainly miss the conversation.
“Most of our customers have been coming in for donkey’s years.”
His last day is planned for Saturday, September 18 with customers planning to come in for a final haircut.
“My grandson James is insisting on coming in to sweep up on the last day.
“My daughter has suggested on our Facebook page that if anyone wants to come in to say goodbye can come in and I know some customers are definitely planning on coming in for their last haircut.”
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