Popular Wakefield barber to hang up his scissors after 59 years of serving the city

A popular barber is hanging up his scissors after 59 years of working in Wakefield city centre.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:53 am

Steve Roberts, 73, has been enjoying the barber lifestyle since the early 1960s.

His interest in the trade grew after watching barbers cut his own hair and he became an apprentice.

And he has been the longest serving barber at Dee Bee's, on Westmorland Street, since 1962.

Mr Roberts will be retiring after serving the city for 59 years.

Steve said: "When I first started there would be six barbers and me as an apprentice and I would get £3 a week.

“The atmosphere was so different as it was busy all the time. Nowadays it’s just laid back.

“There used to be eight barber shops as far as I can remember but now there’s 28, so there is a lot more competition not just in Wakefield but nationwide.

“At one time nobody wanted this job apart from the people who were dedicated to it but now it's like floodgates have opened.”

The popular barber will be leaving Dee Bee barbers on Saturday, July 10.

“Everything has changed where we are, there are only three of the original businesses that are left, but Wakefield is nowhere near as good as what it was.

“Since the market went it changed, the streets used to be so vibrant and we would have a lot more passing trade back then.

Throughout the 59 years Steve has experienced all the different trending hairstyles from the 60’s to present day.

“Once you have the basics you can adapt to anything, there's nothing new under the sun. We have seen it all before the styles go round in circles, in the 70’s everyone was growing long hair now it's really short.” Steve said.

Steve first started at Dee Bee’s with the original plan to be helping out the previous owner but stayed longer than expected.

“I was only coming to help out for a week back in the early 70’s and I am still here.

“I enjoy meeting people,I have built up some great friendships with people throughout the years and it has followed through generations of my customers.

"There comes a time when I have done enough and I want some leisure time.

"The pandemic had a dramatic effect on the business, our appointments have dropped by 25% and I am not prepared to wait years to build the business back up. It's my time."

His dream was to become a barber - and now he feels he has fulfilled his dream.

Steve said: "I have had some great memories throughout my time and I would like to thank all my loyal customers who have been coming for many, many years and I want to thank each and everyone of you.

"I am just going to ride off into the sunset now."

Mr Roberts will be officially hanging up his scissors on Saturday, July 10