VETERAN barber Ken Collins has given thousands of haircuts during a career which has spanned almost 50 years.
Now the 63-year-old has decided to call time at his barber shop Ken’s, in Havant Road, Farlington.
He plans to still do haircuts three days a week – either at his home or by visiting his customers.
During his semi-retirement, Ken intends to take up golf and spend more time with his wife Kim, 50, and his children Katie, 19, and Kieran, 15.
And in the spirit of new beginnings he’s planning to move from his home in Waterlooville to Copper Beech Drive in Farlington.
‘I want to slow down and enjoy the later years of my life,’ Ken said.
‘I’ve had a fantastic career and I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most fascinating people.
‘That’s what I love about being a barber.’
Ken began his career as an apprentice at Drayton Barber Shop, in Havant Road, Drayton, at the age of 15.
He spent 30 years there before deciding to set up his own business in 1994.
‘When I was at school I knew I either wanted to be a chef or a barber,’ he said.
‘But then one day I went to have my hair cut at Drayton Barber Shop and Tom Hember, who was running it at the time, said to me “how would you like a job here?” and the rest is history.
‘Trade hasn’t changed in all the years since I was an apprentice.
‘Long hair and short hair has been in and out of fashion ever since the 70s. You just learn to cut lots of different styles. My loyal customers are the ones that have kept me going for so long.
‘I still intend to cut their hair because they have always been there for me.’
Ken has now locked the doors of his barber shop, which is being converted into part of the attached house, for the final time.
‘I’ve got mixed feelings about leaving,’ he said.
‘It’s unfortunate that the place won’t continue to exist as a shop of some kind. Back in my early days golf used to be a real passion of mine so I’m looking forward to getting back into it again.
‘And no doubt my wife will be getting me doing odd jobs around the house.’