Updated: Jun 14, 2020
General Secretary of the Bradpole Barbers and Men's Hairdressers Association [BBMHA] - Brad Pole - expressed his dismay today as one of the county's longest-established no-nonsense male head-shearers went into voluntary liquidation.
George Snipping and Son which have been offering haircuts, shaves and "a little something for the weekend" since 1850 closed its doors for what we now now to be the final time in March. Any hopes of a re-opening come the end of the current crisis [estimated as June 2022] were dashed with news that George Senior who, at 87 is the great grandson of the original owner, has hung up his scissors, frothed his soap and stropped his strop for the last time. "The thing is", his son George Junior  explained, "that even after 70 years of more or less constant clipping and snipping, a barber needs to keep his hand in". George Senior, who has shown signs of forgetfulness in recent years [he mistakenly shaved a 3 year old Pomeranian which had been left by its owner whilst he popped out to get a paper], was "on the brink of losing it even before the lockdown and this lack of regular practice has really done for him". "Anticipating a socially-distanced safe re-opening in about two year's time we tried to ease him back in gently by letting him loose on a family member but since it was clear he didn't know which was his fringe and which was his mullet, we thought it best to call it a day. It's a sad time for us all, but we will carry on in the way George would have wanted us to". "We are donating his shaving brush to charity", he added, proudly.
George's Barbers is just the latest in a series of gentlemen's stylists threatened with ruin by the CONTRIK-69 crisis. Businesses which had already been hard hit by the popularity of do-it-yourself-at-home semi-automatic ThrupieceTonsureTrimmers™ [the latest must-have device from the Threadbone Corporation's Thrupiece Small Home Appliances range] were hoping to make a fresh start when they re-open, but new Dorset County Council guidelines which suggest that barbers can see only one customer every three days with the proviso that they must completely refit, re-equip and deep-clean their salons between customers, has Mr Pole says "made our businesses all but non-viable". "I mean we are probably charging on average about £6 per pensioner for our most popular cut - the Dorset Special ["short back and sides and scrape it 'til it bleeds"] - and it costs approximately £150,000 to refit and re-equip each time. Tell me: where's the economic sense in that".
Mr Pole fears that with the odds so stacked against them, George's won't be the only small hairdressing establishment to fold. "With the odds so stacked against us, I fear George's won't be the only small hairdressing establishment to fold", he said. "I think several will have run the flag up the old barber's pole for the past time".
In the meantime, Mass Survey experts, Threadbone/YouGov Associates say that there are approximately 5,600 miles of unwanted hair growth currently attached to the heads of men in the Dorset region. If we include non-cranial hair that figure rises to 8,300 miles. "It's complete madness", salon owner Raymond "Teasy Weasy" Coiffeur [born Bert Walsh, Tirners Puddle 1958] says. Here at "Chez Jean we were waxing more than 30 "chaps" a day. By the time some of them come back, they'll look like a gorilla after a nasty encounter with David Attenborough and a van der Graf generator. We'll need an industrial filtration system. And that won't come cheap". Watch this space [but not for a year or two].