Bar­ber Frank, 90, sharp as ever af­ter 73 years in trade

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - BY MICHELLE HEN­DER­SON

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.

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