A SPARKLING Sixties-style celebration to mark a business’s 50th anniversary raised more than £4,000 for three good causes.
It was in 1969 when Tony Winder and his then wife Patricia opened Antony and Patricia’s Hair Salon in Rawtenstall (A&P), initially in premises on Newchurch Road. Many visitors attending the celebration at The Whitaker, in Rawtenstall, entered into the spirit by dressing in ’60s style clothing.
A&P moved to a former laundrette premises in Bank Street in 1972 and the business has never stopped evolving, opening Bosun’s Barbers on the upper deck in 2016 and the hugely successful Noah’s Ark Children’s Salon in 2018. However one thing that hasn’t changed is its director Tony Winder – who is still steering the ship.
Tony, 72, said: “I am very grateful to everyone who has come along tonight to make this celebration so special. I started my career in 1962 at Les Howarth’s barber’s in Haslingden and then was a camp barber in Butlins and on one day in Filey I did 65 haircuts in one 9-6 day and still had an hour for lunch.
“A lot has changed over the years with the business but one of our outstanding success stories has been Noah’s Ark that attracts children from all over the North West one that travelled from London.”
More than 150 guests attended the evening including actor Jane Horrocks, originally from Rossendale, who was guest celebrity. The star, best known for ‘Little Voice’ and her character Bubbles in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, recounted her days modelling in one of Tony’s hair shows as a punk.
Describing the salon as like a ‘home from home’, she said: “I have very fond memories. My mum also modelled in the shows and Tony would always do a demonstration of every generation of hair. To have a punk hairstyle in the show was fantastic for the Valley.”
Guest Julie Kszych, a long time skiing friend of Tony and his wife Karina, who is also a director of A&P, heard about the party when the friends met in Switzerland in January and made a 5,000 journey from her home in Florida for the celebrations. Julie, who used the trip to catch up with several friends in the UK, said: “My motto has always been savour the moment. This is the first time I have been to Rossendale. Tony and Karina are a lovely couple.”
The event included charity fundraisers, food and entertainment from Sarah Davis and singer Charlotte May and Thomas and was raising money for Civic Pride Rossendale, Tor View Specialist Learning Community and the Manchester and District Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND). John Edmondson, who went on to run his own salon in Monton, has MND. He said: “I was 17 when I joined A&P as an apprentice, my sister Christine was already there. Tony was very strict but in a professional way and he wanted to get the best out of you. There were lots of practical jokes – like when an apprentice was sent out to get a bucket of steam – but he taught me well and for 26 years I had my own salon.”
On behalf of Tor View, Clare Mulderrig explained how the school had grown from 40 pupils to more than 200 from nursery to further education and this year was offering 20 independent college places.
A&P has long been a supporter of Civic Pride Rossendale and trustee Lynn Smith said: “We thank Tony from the bottom of our hearts for everything he has done.”
The current team at A&P joined former colleagues, many of whom had been apprentices under Tony’s tutelage, to recount and reflect their time at the salon.
Tony used his speech to announce that he was now going to be taking Tuesday’s off, would be coming into work at 9am instead of 8am and was going to begin planning for his retirement.
Towards the end of the evening, former Tony Blair spin-doctor and fellow Claret supporter Alastair Campbell also called in to wish Tony well.