Putting the scissors away after 50 years of snipping

David Priestley retiring from hairdressing after 56 years.'Pictured with customer Neville Readyhough, 89, who has been a customer at the shop for 84 years.'Southgate, Elland
David Priestley retiring from hairdressing after 56 years.'Pictured with customer Neville Readyhough, 89, who has been a customer at the shop for 84 years.'Southgate, Elland

He cut his first hair aged 16, but now 72-year-old David Priestley has put his scissors away for good.

He has shut the doors of his shop, David & Co, in Southgate, Elland.

It is the end of an era for David, who followed in his parents’ footsteps when he went into the hairdressing business.

He studied at Bradford College and gained experience under his father’s watchful eyes at the family business of Frank Priestley and Son, Market Street, Halifax.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” said David.

In 1976, the business closed because of the redevelopment of the Woolshops shopping centre.

David then moved to Elland and took over Crowther’s hairdressers and tobaconist.

While David ran the gents’ hairdressers, his wife Annette ran the card shop and ladies’ hairdressers next door.

He then made the move into the ladies’ shop around seven years ago.

He has seen hairstyles come and go.

In 1955 when he started, the in “do” was, according to David, a short back and sides with Brylcream.

“Now people use more lacquers and there are plenty of different styles. I think people are more conscious now,” said David.

And Elland town centre has changed plenty since he opened the shop.

“It’s not as busy as it used to be. There were a lot more individual shops then,” said David.

He said it will be the people and customers he will miss.

“It’s all about meeting people. You get to know people who become regulars.

“A lot of people have continued to come over the years. You get that satisfaction that you must be doing something right,” he said.

“We made plenty of friends over the years,” he said. It is also the end of an era for Neville Readyhough, 89. He has been a customer at the shop for more than 84 years. His custom at the Southgate shop goes back across Crowthers and David & Co before that.

David plans to spend his retirement with Annette. “I think we’re just going to relax more and do some travelling.”