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Barber who cut Paul McCartney’s hair is hanging up his scissors after 65 YEARS

Video Credit: SWNS STUDIO - Duration: 03:29s - Published
Barber who cut Paul McCartney’s hair is hanging up his scissors after 65 YEARS

Barber who cut Paul McCartney’s hair is hanging up his scissors after 65 YEARS

Britain's longest serving barber who cut Paul McCartney's iconic Beatles' mop-top is hanging up his scissors - after 65 YEARS.Brian Higgins, 79, is known as the 'man with the flying scissors' and has snipped thousands of fringes since starting his career aged 14.He began cutting friends' hair in 1955 before wandering past Skan's barber's shop in 1960 and asking if there was any spare work.The owner was so impressed with Brian's lightning quick scissor skills he gave him a job on the spot.He even took over the Worcester barber's in 1968 and has run it with business partner David Smith, 69, ever since.His career - which has spanned an incredible seven decades - has seen him cut the hair of more than half-a-million people.Undoubtedly his most famous customer was Paul McCartney who nipped in for a trim after playing a gig in Worcester in the 1960s.According to Brian, he was better able to cut the star's distinctive mop-top hair because he had been trained to cut women's long hair at college.Brian, who has four grandchildren, is now retiring to spend more time with his family.Widowed Brian said: "I don't know anybody who has been serving longer as a continuous barber. "I kept on working after my wife's passing for something to do and because I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. "I was going to go back to work but with the complications of coronavirus my family and I decided it would not be wise for me to work. "It is very disappointing.

I loved the job and the customers at work. "I got the nickname because I was so fast with scissors and people started calling me 'the man with the flying scissors'."One day I customer said to me: "I'm not in a hurry.'"That's when I twigged some people thought I was working too fast. "I said to him: 'This is the way I work.

If I slow down it won't be as good.'"I haven't kept count but I must've done around half a million cuts. "In the early days I used to cut 35 to 40 heads a day."It has gone down nowadays because of people's expectations. "They want you to take more time and they want to feel pampered.

They don't want to feel you are rushing through them. "The industry has totally changed.

There are too many hairdressers for the number of people."Brian cut Paul McCartney's hair when The Beatles, number one at the time with From Me You, came to Worcester to perform at the Gaumont Cinema on May 28, 1963. Brian said: "Paul McCartney was one of the customers I remember.

The whole four Beatles came into the shop. "At that time anybody who was anybody would come to Skan's to get their hair cut.

We were the premier place to come. "I can't remember what he talked about but he was a nice lad with no airs or graces.

He was on his way up then. "His hair wasn't short at all.

It was very long then.

It was hard to find a barber that could cut hair like that. "I'd learn how to cut ladies' hair in my apprenticeship so I knew how to cut long hair like his. "It was collar length then in a sort of bob style and he would grow it much longer later on."Brian's hairdressing skills became legendary in the area with customers travelling many miles to have him work on their hair.He said: "I've known some customers right through my career from when I came to Worcester in 1960 to when I finished more than 60 years later. "I've cut the hair of parents, their children and then their grandchildren.

That has been one of the best things about the job. "I've seen young boys become grown men, chatting about all sorts."They often compare the hairdresser to the priest - it's where man comes to confess sin."My customers come from all over the county and even from Abergavenny. "I'm very proud of that because there must be hundreds of barbers between me and them but they still come to me. "People get used to their hairdresser.

They like the banter as much as the way it is cut. "When I first started cutting people's hair everybody wanted it short."My boss told me he liked the way I cut hair because I didn't take too much off and it kept people coming back.

That was good for the business. "Then people started taking more pride in their hair and wanted to copy the rock and roll styles. "You had to keep up with the fads and changes and keep an eye on what other barbers were doing. "Someone will show me how they want their hair done and I'll say I was doing that style 40 years ago. "The style is very short these days and it is easy work."Brian married his wife Delphine in 1966 and they had two boys and have four grandsons. She worked as a personal secretary and was 61 when she died in 2003. Brian said a key reason for retiring was to protect himself from contracting coronavirus.He added: "I am extremely sad to be leaving, I always planned to work until I no longer could, but the pandemic has meant it is too dangerous for me to come back after shielding for so many months."This industry will always have a special place in my heart, but now, after 65 years I am looking forward to spending my retirement with my children and grandchildren."

Britain's longest serving barber who cut Paul McCartney's iconic Beatles' mop-top is hanging up his scissors - after 65 YEARS.Brian Higgins, 79, is known as the 'man with the flying scissors' and has snipped thousands of fringes since starting his career aged 14.He began cutting friends' hair in 1955 before wandering past Skan's barber's shop in 1960 and asking if there was any spare work.The owner was so impressed with Brian's lightning quick scissor skills he gave him a job on the spot.He even took over the Worcester barber's in 1968 and has run it with business partner David Smith, 69, ever since.His career - which has spanned an incredible seven decades - has seen him cut the hair of more than half-a-million people.Undoubtedly his most famous customer was Paul McCartney who nipped in for a trim after playing a gig in Worcester in the 1960s.According to Brian, he was better able to cut the star's distinctive mop-top hair because he had been trained to cut women's long hair at college.Brian, who has four grandchildren, is now retiring to spend more time with his family.Widowed Brian said: "I don't know anybody who has been serving longer as a continuous barber.

"I kept on working after my wife's passing for something to do and because I thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

"I was going to go back to work but with the complications of coronavirus my family and I decided it would not be wise for me to work.

"It is very disappointing.

I loved the job and the customers at work.

"I got the nickname because I was so fast with scissors and people started calling me 'the man with the flying scissors'."One day I customer said to me: "I'm not in a hurry.'"That's when I twigged some people thought I was working too fast.

"I said to him: 'This is the way I work.

If I slow down it won't be as good.'"I haven't kept count but I must've done around half a million cuts.

"In the early days I used to cut 35 to 40 heads a day."It has gone down nowadays because of people's expectations.

"They want you to take more time and they want to feel pampered.

They don't want to feel you are rushing through them.

"The industry has totally changed.

There are too many hairdressers for the number of people."Brian cut Paul McCartney's hair when The Beatles, number one at the time with From Me You, came to Worcester to perform at the Gaumont Cinema on May 28, 1963.

Brian said: "Paul McCartney was one of the customers I remember.

The whole four Beatles came into the shop.

"At that time anybody who was anybody would come to Skan's to get their hair cut.

We were the premier place to come.

"I can't remember what he talked about but he was a nice lad with no airs or graces.

He was on his way up then.

"His hair wasn't short at all.

It was very long then.

It was hard to find a barber that could cut hair like that.

"I'd learn how to cut ladies' hair in my apprenticeship so I knew how to cut long hair like his.

"It was collar length then in a sort of bob style and he would grow it much longer later on."Brian's hairdressing skills became legendary in the area with customers travelling many miles to have him work on their hair.He said: "I've known some customers right through my career from when I came to Worcester in 1960 to when I finished more than 60 years later.

"I've cut the hair of parents, their children and then their grandchildren.

That has been one of the best things about the job.

"I've seen young boys become grown men, chatting about all sorts."They often compare the hairdresser to the priest - it's where man comes to confess sin."My customers come from all over the county and even from Abergavenny.

"I'm very proud of that because there must be hundreds of barbers between me and them but they still come to me.

"People get used to their hairdresser.

They like the banter as much as the way it is cut.

"When I first started cutting people's hair everybody wanted it short."My boss told me he liked the way I cut hair because I didn't take too much off and it kept people coming back.

That was good for the business.

"Then people started taking more pride in their hair and wanted to copy the rock and roll styles.

"You had to keep up with the fads and changes and keep an eye on what other barbers were doing.

"Someone will show me how they want their hair done and I'll say I was doing that style 40 years ago.

"The style is very short these days and it is easy work."Brian married his wife Delphine in 1966 and they had two boys and have four grandsons.

She worked as a personal secretary and was 61 when she died in 2003.

Brian said a key reason for retiring was to protect himself from contracting coronavirus.He added: "I am extremely sad to be leaving, I always planned to work until I no longer could, but the pandemic has meant it is too dangerous for me to come back after shielding for so many months."This industry will always have a special place in my heart, but now, after 65 years I am looking forward to spending my retirement with my children and grandchildren."




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