Rose­mary’s part­ing is end of era at salon

A hair­dresser has swapped curlers for gar­den­ing gloves af­ter 50 years of snip­ping and styling in Ash­ford. But cus­tomers are re­as­sured the busi­ness will re­main up and run­ning, thanks to a gre­gar­i­ous clair­voy­ant... Clare Mul­grew re­ports HALF CEN­TURY: Styli

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

A POP­U­LAR Ash­ford hair­dresser is step­ping down af­ter 50 years of cut­ting ladies’ hair in the town, to fo­cus on gar­den­ing and grand­chil­dren. Rose­mary Cook, of Peter Cook hair­dressers at 57 High Street, has re­tired to­gether with her hus­band of 49 years, Ivan. The cou­ple set up busi­ness to­gether some 25 years ago but Mrs Cook has been a hair­dresser in Ash­ford since July 1956. She started out at The Elite salon above the old Co-op in High Street, then moved to Betty’s in Sta­tion Road. Af­ter tak­ing time out to have chil­dren, Mrs Cook went it alone with sup­port from her hus­band, who man­aged the ac­counts, and grad­u­ally built up a strong cus­tomer base un­der the name Peter Cook. “When I started rollers were just com­ing in,” she said. “The Ital­ian ones had just come into fash­ion, started by Sophia Loren in the Fifties. “The perms were a bit un­com­fort­able to do and very ex­pen­sive – it was two guineas

The perms were a bit un­com­fort­able to do and very ex­pen­sive – it was two guineas for a perm

for a perm. “We had bouf­fant hair­styles, birds nests, flick-ups and flick­downs then it got softer and more nat­u­ral as the time went by. “The French pleat was a dif­fi­cult style to do be­cause it all had to be back-combed first and it took quite a long time to do.” Mrs Cook said there had been no ma­jor hair catas­tro­phes over the years, but a cou­ple of times when ladies had been left with a green­ish tint or hair like cot­ton wool be­cause of the bleaches that were avail­able. “I think the nat­u­ral look is my favourite,” she added. Now the grand­mother-of­five has called it a day, but in loy­alty the busi­ness has been sold to an­other hair­dresser who has promised to main­tain its tra­di­tional charms. “I felt it was the right time to re­tire,” said Mrs Cook. “It has been great be­cause all the clients have be­come friends. “It’s a bit of a wrench but I know it’s in good hands now.” She and Ivan will be spend­ing more time with their grand­chil­dren, work­ing on their one acre gar­den and cy­cling on the coast.

pd1165217 Pic­ture: Chris Davey Buy this pic­ture from ken­ton­

Rose­mary Cook, left, with the new faces at Peter Cook Hair Stylist, which is chang­ing its name to A Cut Above The Rest with Shirley Wilkin­son as new man­ager­ess and new own­ers Yvette Fillery and Gor­don De­war

Rose­mary Cook, circa 1980, at the Peter Cook hair salon in Ash­ford High Street

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