Northampton barber goes out in style as he heads in retirement after 56 years in the town

Terrence Wright with his hairdressing awards NNL-150223-150411001
Terrence Wright with his hairdressing awards NNL-150223-150411001

One of Northampton’s oldest and best-known hairdressers is retiring after 56 years in the job.

Terry Wright, who began working for Faulkner’s barber shop in Mercer’s Row, in the town centre as an apprentice at the age of 15, said it was the only job he had ever had.

Terrence Wright receives the Malin Shield for the Northampton Champion Hairdresser for the last time in 1973. NNL-150223-150422001

Terrence Wright receives the Malin Shield for the Northampton Champion Hairdresser for the last time in 1973. NNL-150223-150422001

Now aged 71, Mr Wright, who lives off Station Road in Blisworth, applied for the position in 1959 after seeing a local job advertisment.

He said: “I was going to be a carpenter and was top of my woodwork class at school, but I saw the advert and liked the idea of something different.”

He quickly picked up the trade and was cutting hair by himself within just a few months.

During the 1960s, he was named Northampton’s champion hairdresser seven times in a row; so many times that he was eventually given the trophy to keep.

Mr Wright said: “I must be one of the oldest in town now.

“I’ve always really enjoyed meeting people and having a good chat.

“Some of my longest customers and I now consider each other good friends.

“I know so many people in Northampton that I can’t walk across Market Square without someone shouting “Hi, Tel”, that’s my nickname.”

Mr Wright took over Faulkner’s about six years ago when the last remaining family hairdresser, Wally, retired at 85 years old.

He has cut hair for the likes of pop star Marc Almond and several snooker celebrities.

In the last 56 years, he has mastered so many hairstyles that some have even gone and come back into fashion again. He said: “When I was starting out it was all Teddy Boy styles and now that retro stuff has become popular again. I have been in my element for the last couple of years.

“I’ve done them all over the years, perms, mullets, the lot.

“If it wasn’t for my health I would probably keep going.”

Mr Wright has been involved in national hairdresser training since the 1970s.

Now he hopes to spend more time fishing and with his two sons and two grandchildren, as well as gardening with his wife and childhood sweetheart, Ann.

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Faulkner’s is one of the oldest barbers shop in the town centre

Closing this year following Terry Wright’s retirement, Faulkner’s is one of the oldest hairdressers in Northampton, established in 1830 in Marefair.

Mr Wright joined the business in 1959, when it was operating in Newland, before moving into the Mercer’s Row premises.

Located in the centre of the town, opposite All Saints Church, it has been a popular barbers for generations.

Mr Wright said: “We’ve had clients from all walks of life come through the door, from labourers to a High Court Judge, and I would like to thank them all for their loyalty.”

He once cut the hair of Darling Buds of May actor, Philip Franks, before his performance in a play at the nearby Royal & Derngate theatre. He said: “It was a sort of basin cut and I thought it looked terrible, but he was very happy with it. He was a smashing chap - one of the nicest I’ve met.”