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16 October 2014

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Just a Trim Please

By Dai Burton
January 2006, Tonpentre
A digital story from Capture Wales

Barbaric Barbers

Dai remembers the old style barbers who would await their next prey.

This digital story includes language which some people might find offensive.

"Going to the barbers in the 70s was an experience. It was terrifying for me and my mates.

There was a barber in every village and they weren't famous, they were notorious. They had all developed their own unique techniques but the one thing they had in common was they couldn't cut hair properly.

Once you were in the chair it was gown on and away to go. I was always sheered like a sheep with clippers to start and then there was indiscriminate use of the scissors then a neck shave and talcum powder. Job done. Bobble cap on, no matter the weather, and home.

It didn't matter how much you wanted off, it would always be the same. It was as if there was a silent contract between the barber and your parents that they'd be guaranteed their money's worth so you wouldn't be back for six weeks.

Some of the boys used to optimistically ask for styles. Ha! There were only two: short back and sides, if you were really lucky... the other was known as being scalped or a crongie down to the wood.

One barber used to watch TV in the shop which would have been ok if you weren't having a haircut at the same time. The results were devastating.

You really knew that you'd been cropped when adult females, especially your aunties, described your haircut as 'smart' which was code for, "Jesus Christ! What's happened to you?"

The old style barbers are still around which is why I now cut my own hair."

Dai Burton

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a youth worker living in Tylerstown in the Rhondda Valley. My main interests are sports, I.T. and socialising with my celebrity friends.

What's your story about?
It's about having to go and get a haircut at the local barbers. I was given a school photograph by an old P.E. teacher and it just brought back some memories of the 70s.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
The tuition was first class and so was the company.

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