Bob snips his last at salon

AS STYLES have changed and the years have passed one of the things that hasn't changed in the Ipswich hairdressing world is Bob Southgate.For 35 years Mr Southgate has cut, trimmed, styled and generally improved the hairstyles of thousands of customers at his salons.

AS STYLES have changed and the years have passed one of the things that hasn't change in the Ipswich hairdressing world is Bob Southgate.

For 35 years Mr Southgate has cut, trimmed, styled and generally improved the hairstyles of thousands of customers at his salons.

Now the 55-year-old veteran hairdresser has sold his salon, Nutters, in St Nicholas Street and opted for the slightly more laid back life as a hairdresser at a salon owned by one of his former employees in Woodbridge.

Mr Southgate will cut his last customer's hair at Nutters on September 23 and he said it will be a sad day.

He said: “It will be very sad in lots of ways. The customers have become friends and the staff past and present have been great fun to work with and have made Nutters very special.

“Quite a lot of people have been with me for 20 or 30 years. I've got some customers who are in their 30s now with kids and I used to cut their hair when they were children themselves.”

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Mr Southgate opened Nutters in 1971 when he was 19. At that time the salon catered mainly for men with long hair, which was coming into fashion.

Back then clients had their hair cut to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Who.

Originally Nutters operated from a salon on Crown Street before moving to Friars Street. When the Friars Street shop was demolished for road widening around the Buttermarket development, Nutters relocated to its current home in St Nicholas Street.

In 1990 the business expanded further and opened another shop in Woodbridge. That salon was later taken over by one of the business' partners.

Now Mr Southgate is going to work at that salon, Judd's in New Street, Woodbridge, as a self-employed hairdresser.

The basis behind his decision is that Nutters needs a younger team to invest in it and drive it forward.

He said: “I decided it would be better for me to take the easier life and hand it to younger people. The people who work here need a modern set-up.”

So Mr Southgate has sold the salon but he will keep hairdressing for at least another five years. And he said he'll keep his trademark sense of humour and will continue to “talk for England”.

He said: “I've always believed that having a good laugh is what you need in any job. We've had a million laughs in this ship on a daily basis and that is what makes the customers come back.”

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