All Aboard Bosun’s Barbers

by Catherine Smyth Media

A SALON in Rawtenstall has gone back to its roots and opened a traditional barbershop.

Nautical-themed Bosun’s Barbers is on the top deck of Antony and Patricia, A&P, in Bank Street.

It reflects the history of A&P Director Tony Winder when in 1967 he went to sea as a cruise ship’s barber initially on the SS Southern Cross then SS Oriana when he circumnavigated the globe several times.

He said: “I sailed through the Panama Canal, got to be in Tonga on Independence Day, we visited New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and all over the South Pacific and the Caribbean, I docked at 56 ports in my time at sea and was lucky to have shore leave when the ship docked for some sightseeing. It was an amazing experience.”

Latterly he was ship’s barber on aircraft carrier HMS Eagle while it was in dry dock and finally at HMS Raleigh.

During leave time Tony also spent two seasons as camp barber at Butlins in Filey and Minehead.

He jumped ship for good 47 years ago when he opened the first salon on Newchurch Road with his former wife and partner Patricia.

Since he trained in 1962, he has been collecting barbershop memorabilia and these artefacts are on display inside Bosun’s.

It has authentic portholes, ship windows converted into mirrors, the lighting fixtures are from a ship and Tony scoured auction sites to find authentic barber chairs that are nearly 80 years old and have been renovated and stripped down to the last nut and bolt.

He said: “Outside the salon and barbershop we have installed a renovated rare1966 Dexter’s barbers pole and our motto is ‘when the pole is spinning, we are trimming’.

“When we opened A&P in 1969 the barbershop and ladies hairdressers were separate, then in the late ’70s unisex was the vogue and men and women would have their haircut, permed and highlighted sitting side by side.

“I never liked unisex and now I am pleased that the salon is going back to its roots and separating the two.”

Ahead of the opening, a series of training sessions have been held at A&P including one run by former World Cup Team and British Men’s Champion Lawrence Bell from Huddersfield, who is a friend of Tony’s.

Leading the staff at Bosun’s Barbers is Carly Millar, who has been hairdressing for 11 years and barbering for four years.

Carly, 25, said: “I started working in a salon when I was 14, because I got offered a job after being on work experience. Initially I trained in hairdressing before completing Level 2 and 3 barbering.

“I love the fact that every day is different when you work in a barbershop as it keeps you on your toes.”

For an appointment Bosun’s Barbers can be contacted on 01706 217129 or just walk in.

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