She was a cut above - tributes are paid to popular barber Liz
COMMUNITY SHOCKED BY SUDDEN DEATH AGED 55
SHE was the popular barber who championed her community and preached the message to “love, respect, and enjoy Cullercoats”.
Now, the village is in mourning following the sudden death of Van Gogh Barbers owner Liz Harbron aged 55.
Liz was found dead at her home on Eleanor Street on September 4 following a sudden heart attack.
The close-knit community has rallied to support her grieving son Iain, who has emotionally opened up on the tragic loss and the strength of goodwill.
He said: “It’s hard to actually describe right now. My feelings at the moment are just numb.
“I’m not really sure where I’m at, every day is blurring into one. You keep expecting her to come back in.
“My mam was a ray of sunlight on a rainy day. She was always happy.
“It was like turning out a light, so she didn’t feel any pain.
“If there’s one thing I could do, it would be to say ‘I love you.’ We both were not big on saying that, but we knew it was unconditional.”
Mum-of-one Liz was born in Gateshead and raised her son Iain in Newbiggin Hall.
She operated Van Gogh Barbers out of North Shields for almost two decades before moving to Cullercoats.
It was here she endeared herself to the community, hanging bunting in her street, decorating the area with painted stones and spreading positivity by insisting she was “lucky” to live in the village.
Nestlé worker Iain, 36, said: “She loved the people – the fact it brought her closer to the community.
“She was a real people’s person. If she was not cutting hair, she was out on the street talking to people and spreading her positivity.
“She always tried to cover the darkness with her light.”
Family friend Sarah Elliott added: “Liz was a right character, really quirky and eccentric. A couple of friends have said she changed their life.
“It was all about making Cullercoats better. She had such a positive energy. Her death has come as an unbelievable shock.”
Liz was also involved with the village’s festive window decorations at Christmas, and enjoyed meditation and writing classes as well as nights out with friends.
Floral tributes have been laid outside the family home, while Iain has been inundated with cards containing condolences.
One sympathetic message read: “Cullercoats has a lost a really good woman with a big heart and a lush sense of humour.
“A woman who cared about her home and worked hard to promote it and worked hard to improve the street she lived on. She will be sadly missed by all.”
Iain has thanked the community for rallying to support him and says the response he has received to the news is “mindblowing”.
He added: “I knew she was wellknown but I didn’t think it was as much as this.
“It’s been a welcome distraction. I’ve not been left alone with your thoughts on the reality and the questions of ‘what if.’”
The community came together to bid their goodbyes to Liz at her funeral at Whitley Bay Crematorium yesterday afternoon.
Iain hopes to return to college soon and complete his barbering NVQ qualification to reopen Van Gogh Barbers and preserve his mother’s legacy.
He finished: “She will be a massive miss - she was a big part of my life and now that’s gone.”
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to support Iain and help to pay for the unexpected funeral costs, and more than £300 has already been raised.
To read more about the page and donate, visit www.gofundme. com/in-memory-of-liz-harbron.
Liz Harbron was described as ‘a ray of sunlight on a rainy day’