Cheshire’s town and village high streets may have changed beyond recognition over the years but, amid the myriad of ever-changing names, a small number of long-established and successful local outlets remain. Recently, Peter Pickering met a father and son team whose long-established family business continues to thrive.
Readily identified by its traditional barber-shop frontage, Guys offers exactly ‘what it says on the tin’; a complete range of barber-shop services, everything from wet shaves through to haircuts, and the very latest styles.Daniel, David, Beverley and Nichola
Daniel Belcher runs the business with his father, David, and enjoys the job satisfaction this wide variety of tasks provides “One minute I can be giving a senior client a wet shave or the ‘short back and sides’ he has preferred over the years. My next customer might be a young premiership footballer looking for more up-to-the-minute styling.”
Guys has been a permanent fixture in Knutsford’s Canute Place since David opened the shop in 1978, and both he and Daniel have followed interesting career paths.
David served his apprenticeship in London with Raymond Bessone aka Mr Teasy-Weasy and, for a time, worked alongside another aspiring young hairdresser…… a certain Mr Vidal Sassoon.
Prior to opening Guys, and with his wife Beverley, David ran combined ladies and gent’s hairdressers in Holmes Chapel and Goostrey under the brand name John David.
Over the years, regulars will have listened to David talking proudly about his family and their achievements; particularly the exploits of Daniel who, as a teenager, was offered the opportunity to move to Florida for a couple of years to attend the prestigious Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
Progressing quickly under Bollettieri’s guidance, Daniel was ranked number one in the UK in his age group for several years “I was lucky enough to be able to travel the World, competing in top junior tennis tournaments, playing against the likes of the young Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. It was a very demanding but also a very enjoyable experience.”
He joined the family business ten years ago after working as an apprentice in a top Manchester salon. The interior walls now serve as a gallery displaying an array of photographs and newspaper cuttings amassed over the years, including photographs of a very young Daniel being given a few useful tennis tips by Virginia Wade.
Daniel is looking forward to developing the business further “We have a really talented team of people here and we will continue to offer both traditional and modern styling.”
I get the distinct impression that David intends to continue working in the business he so obviously loves for many years to come, albeit on an increasingly part-time basis as he hands over the reins to Daniel.
The family connection is set to be strengthened even further. Daniel’s sister, Nichola, now combines her work at an out of town salon with regular stints at Guys.
In the longer term, Daniel is looking forward to the possibility that his son, Nate (Nathaniel) may decide to follow in his father’s footsteps “I’m hoping that Nate will grow up with an interest in playing tennis or in becoming a hairdresser, or both.”
No doubt, in due course, Daniel will be heard keeping Guy’s regulars up-to-date on Nate’s progress within his chosen career and, like his father before him, I’m sure he will be equally as proud and supportive whatever his son’s eventual career choice might be.