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Lincoln barber Frank Connell celebrates 50 years in business

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 11, 2013

  • A cut above: Barber Frank Connell celebrated 50 years in the industry with some of his regular customers at his Burton Road shop

  • 'Friendly': Harold Bond, aged 101, is Frank's oldest customer

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One of Lincoln's longest- serving barbers is hoping to become the world's oldest after celebrating 50 years in the trade.

Frank Connell, 65, has snipped thousands of people's hair since he started as an apprentice on his 15th birthday in 1963.

And despite the fact he hit the half century mark on Monday, January 7, he says he has no plans to retire.

The barber celebrated with some of his most loyal customers at his Burton Road shop on Saturday, January 5.

He said: "Reaching 50 years in the same trade, from 15 to 65 – I'm very proud.

"I'm not finishing. I'm carrying on because the people who come in are friends and not customers and I would miss them. My aim is to be the oldest barber in the world and I'll carry on as long as my health allows me."

Mr Connell's first job in the profession was for Higgs barbers in the Stonebow, High Street, where he worked for three years.

He then moved on to manage another Higgs shop in the city before working at RAF Scampton. After losing his job at the base he decided to open his own business, which he has run for 45 years.

Mr Connell is also well known for his charity work.

He and his friend Joe Cooke have raised more than £1 million for good causes.

Mr Connell said: "This is my office. It's a centre.

"A lot of things happened from here and a lot of the work that Joe and I are involved with will centre around this shop."

Mr Cooke, who has also been a customer for 40 years, said his friend had continued in his job despite a serious leg injury significantly affecting his mobility.

"I'm very proud of him," he said. "You can see from the people here the loyalty of his customers.

"Frank makes friends with customers and he's very well known across the city. Other people with injuries not half as bad as Frank would have given up, but he has carried on.

"He didn't give up."

Among the guests at the celebration on January 5 was 101-year-old Harold Bond, of Saxilby, who has also been a customer for around 40 years.

He said: "My family lived just across the road and every time I came over I would finish up here. I moved away to Devon and when I came back I went to another place, but I didn't like it. Frank's always been polite and friendly and does a good job."

Mark Potter, from Scotter, has been coming to Frank's shop for 20 years and is now bringing his three-year-old son, Marcus, to have his hair cut there.

He said: "I have been to barbers all over Lincolnshire and no one cuts it like Frank.

"I feel very comfortable here and you know what you're going to get."

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