Hospice hairdresser is a cut above at 80

80 year old St Catherines Hospice  volunteer Hairdresser  John Langley styles the hair of Hospice day patient Bob Raper.Pictured in the hospice salon in Scarborough.Showing the results. pic Richard Ponter 151412c

80 year old St Catherines Hospice volunteer Hairdresser John Langley styles the hair of Hospice day patient Bob Raper.Pictured in the hospice salon in Scarborough.Showing the results. pic Richard Ponter 151412c

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An 80-year-old hairdresser who has remained scissor happy by cutting the hair of hospice patients for the last decade is celebrating his 60th year in the business.

Since his official retirement almost 10 years ago, John Langley has volunteered at St Catherine’s Hospice, offering cuts, shampoo and sets and blow-drys to patients.

Mr Langley, from Bridlington, said: “I wanted to keep going, and St Catherine’s is a marvellous place.

“For patients they can come and feel relaxed with many say they feel better afterwards.

“I always say you look twice as good after a hair cut.”

Mr Langley’s hairdressing career began back in 1955, following a three-year stint as a soldier in the Royal Engineers.

It was while on a course at London’s Bush House that he developed a love of grooming which would last a lifetime.

He started out at Auty’s salon in Leeds, later going on to set up his own salon in Bridlington’s South Marine Drive, before moving to Flamborough Road.

Mr Langley’s career also saw him hold the post of provincial master of the Guild of Hairdressers Wigmakers and Perfumers and use his snipping skills on a star or two.

When comedian Les Dawson came to Bridlington for a summer season in the 1980s, he called in on Langley Hair Fashions for a cut.

Yet his time in the chair was not a laugh-a-minute affair.

“Amazingly, he was very quiet,” said the father-of-three, who is set to become a grandfather in July.

“He brought his daughter with him and he spoke very little, not what you’d expect at all.”

Despite the celebrity encounter it is his loyal, local clients who hold a special place in the octogenarian’s heart.

“I had one woman who followed me when I moved, so I cut her hair for 44 years,” he added.

After six decades, he might be forgiven for tiring of asking clients their holiday plans, but he still takes delight in the time-old hairdressing clichés.

Mr Langley said: “I love holidays myself, so I love to ask people where they’re going, or where they’ve been. I don’t get tired of it at all.”

One of the pinnacles of Mr Langley’s time in hairdressing came eight years ago, when his volunteer work at St Catherine’s received the royal seal of approval during a visit from the Prince of Wales.

Despite approaching his 81st year, he continues to get a kick from making others feel good, and remains as committed as ever to the cause.

“I’ll carry on as long as I can – it keeps me young,” he said.