Hair stylist Jean Hallford is celebrating 60 years of working in the same salon.
An open day was held at Salon 128, in South Street, Tarring, on Friday and customers who have known Jean over the years were treated to celebratory cakes.
Jean, 79, from Lancing, owned the salon until five years ago, when Sue Cassey bought it, retaining all the stylists working there.
Jean had started there at the age of 19 as a first-year improver, having done a four-year apprenticeship in Goring.
“I have loved every minute,” she said. “I have always been happy here. I have loved my job, I love my girls, I just wish I had my husband here to see it.”
Jean and Roy Hallford were married at St Andrew’s Church in Tarring 54 years ago but he died about 13 years ago. She has also lost her twin brother David.
“Mum and Dad brought us down during the war after they were bombed in London,” said Jean.
“My mum was a typical mum at home. I have lost quite a few people. The salon has kept me going.
“I wanted to be a nurse to begin with but that didn’t take off. I wanted to be a stylist from the age of 13 and if it wasn’t hair, I would have been a beautician.”
Jean used to practise on her dad and joked that he used to go to the office ‘looking like a rat’.
Since then, she has built a band of loyal customers and is now cutting the hair of women whose mums were also her customers.
Sue saved the salon from closure when Jean decided to retire, much to the delight of those many local customers.
The lease had come up for renewal and Jean did not want to take it on again, so planned to close. The stylists were all looking for new jobs and when Rose Wade went for a position at Sue’s previous salon in Goring, she started talking about Salon 128.
Sue, who started in hairdressing when she was 12, decided to investigate, took one look at Salon 128 and fell in love with it. She said she liked the feel of the place and the fact it was a traditional salon, rather than a glitzy, modern place.
Rose said: “We were very pleased. We all kept our jobs and all the customers stopped crying. Every time we had them in here, they were crying, they really were.”
Even Jean agreed to stay on for two days a week, though she had now reduced her hours to work only on Fridays.
Jennifer Taylor, who has been one of Sue’s customers for more than 15 years, said: “It is a very happy place to come. You come here and you are offered a cup of tea. It is a very relaxing place.”