A hairdresser and friend to the stars has sold his salon in Northampton 46 years after moving there on a temporary basis.
Jon Barratt, of Jon Barratt Hairworks in Helmdon Road, was recommended to the Sunnyside Stores hairdressers in 1970 after the salon he was due to work at burned down on his first day.
After an expansion and a series of name changes, Mr Barratt made the business such a success that he was never short of clients - even if it was tucked away in a side street.
The 68-year-old said: “The secret was that I sold myself.
“I’d go partying in London with the celebs I knew in these outrageous hairstyles. They’d ask where I had it done and I’d say ‘I did it, you should pop in.’
“You come back with all sorts of stories and photos and before you know it people start saying: ‘I have my hair done at John Barratt’s, he knows all the celebs’.
“We’d have queues down the road on Saturdays.”
If outrageous hair was the secret to his success, John can pinpoint the time when that all began.
When David Bowie went through his Ziggy Stardust phase, he was the one salon in Northampton that would mimic the style and the youngsters loved it.
Many of customers date back to that time and the various incarnations of Studio Hair, Hairworks and Jon’s Hairworks will be familiar to several generations of Northamptonshire families.
They will also be familiar with Jon’s wall of stars, which comprised photographs of him posing with TV stars of the day.
Former Eastender Michelle Collins was a particularly close friend and he was flown out to exotic locations by the BBC to style her hair.
Actress Judy Carne, who was married to Burt Reynolds, also lived with Mr Barratt in Chapel Brampton for six months.
Soap stars such as Barbara Windsor and Beverly Callard as well as Paul O’Grady were all regular associates and Northampton-based. He even had Barbara Windsor’s original Eastenders wig until he loaned it out to someone for fancy dress.
Although he never modelled professionally he would often pose for photographer friends and, as a result, appeared in adverts for everything from British Airways to Liverpool Victoria insurance.
Looking back on his career, he said: “I’ve had a good innings.
“There are so many salon owners right across the town who started with me and I’m pretty proud of that.
“But I’ve had a great time and I’ll miss all the jokes with my clients, rich and poor.”
The salon is to be taken over in the next few weeks but a party will be held there for Mr Barratt on Sunday from 2pm.
All his clients, old and current, are welcome.