Tributes paid to legendary Gosport barber who died of coronavirus
EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a long-serving barber who died due to coronavirus.
George Mason, co-owner of Mason’s Barber Shop in Stoke Road, Gosport, died from Covid-19 on Wednesday, March 25.
The 71-year-old has been cutting hair for more than 50 years, alongside his twin brother and lifelong business partner, Malcolm.
The twins trained at the old Husband’s barbershop in Brockhurst Road as teenagers, before opening Mason’s together at the age of 19.
Malcolm has now led tributes to a hard-working family man, who will be sorely missed in the town.
He said: ‘We were far too young and it was tough in the early days, but we made it work by sticking together.
‘We’ve worked together our whole lives – I can’t believe he’s gone.
‘In the early days we did everything together, like going out to play squash.’
After coming down with what appeared to be the flu, George spent a week at home before being admitted to hospital.
He was placed on a ventilator over the weekend but sadly never recovered, despite not having any underlying symptoms.
According to Malcolm, the virus caused him to deteriorate quite quickly.
‘He walked into the ambulance by himself and everything,’ he said.
‘But he told me he wouldn’t wish it on his worst enemy – it was clearly a very dangerous virus.’
Malcolm said they pair didn’t spend as much time outside of work in the later years – but had so much love for his dedicated and caring twin brother.
He said: ‘He was just a great bloke.
‘George was good fun – we had our moments like all brothers do, but got along brilliantly.
‘He was a real family man and cared deeply about those around him.’
Many of George’s customers have also paid tribute to the barber – who during his 52-year career built up a legendary reputation.
Commenting in The News’ Gosport News group on Facebook, Robert Easson said: ‘Very sorry to hear this; many times I've had my hair cut by George, deepest condolences to his family.’
Steve Smith said: ‘This is so sad.
‘I’ve been going to Mason’s for more than 15 years now and see him all the time. Thoughts go out to his family.’
Dean Cridge added: ‘It’s so sad – I’ve been going there for around 35 years.
‘He will be really missed and my thoughts go out to his family.’
Rod Callaby said: ‘George was a lovely guy and was always sharing a joke with you whilst cutting your hair.
‘He will be sadly missed by all who visited Mason’s Barber Shop.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage says the barbershop boss will be greatly missed in the community.
She said: ‘The impact of coronavirus really hits home when it comes to our own doorstep.
‘George Mason was a well-known and respected member of our community, his loss will be felt deeply by so many of his friends and customers in Gosport.
‘My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.’
George is survived by his wife Bobbie, children Joanna and Natalie, and grandchildren Hannah and Ben.