Barber Frank, 90, sharp as ever after 73 years in trade
There cannot be too many nonagenarians who can claim to be at the cutting edge of their trade.
But Frank Martin from Tain, who turns 90 today, has been a barber since the age of 17.
After starting an apprenticeship as a young lad in October 1944 with a local barber, Mr Martin has persevered at his craft, continuing in his shop to this day.
While working at his 40 years. I do it because of the public and to make my living, make my livelihood and doing as many (haircuts) as I can for as much as I can.
“Having a large family meant you had to work or you would starve.”
Mr Martin’s step-daughter Doreen Douglas, 73, spoke highly of what he had achieved in such a small town with quite a lot of competition.
She said: “You have to be proud of him. There are so many barbers and hairdressers in the town and he has fought against them all. Its great he has held down the job. His granddaughters Selma, 47, and Hayley, 42, are both really proud of him.”
In honour of his achievements and contribution to the community, Mr Martin was presented with the Order of St Duthac Award in July 2016, being described as a “true legend” and an “utter superstar of the burgh”.
Mr Martin’s granddaughter, Selma Douglas, added: “I learned a lot about career dedication and loyal commitment from my granda, especially when I used to bob down to pick him up early from work but he used to tell me he can’t leave the shop until the minute of 5pm, in case a customer comes looking for a haircut at the last minute.
“Rain, hail or frost, he’s up and down the road to the shop and I’m so proud of all he does for both the community and for his family who love and admire him dearly.
“My granda is a selfless man who has been more than a grandad, but a dad, and a best pal in the whole world to me and to my sister and our children, and I felt so proud of him when he won the Tain Tolbooth award in July 2016.” organisers of the junior event thought that starting up a children’s event would be a good way of keeping families fit in a fun environment.
Katie Greig, event director, said: “It’s gone really well. We didn’t know what to expect – whether we might have just 20 or so children.
“We had 132 in the first week, 118 in the second week and in the third week we had 151.
“Active Schools (Sport Aberdeen’s youth sport organising arm) have been really helpful in getting the word out there.”
She added: “The children are loving it. It’s a 2km course. Some of them walk, some do a bit of walking and a bit of jogging. We have a wheelchair user as well so it’s nice that it’s inclusive of everyone.
“It’s good to get the kids active, and it’s nice for them to have something to do with their parents as a family.
The event was set up after runners in Aberdeen raised £3,000 towards the initial set up costs.