Fond farewell to Muriel - hairdresser to the stars

Hairdresser Muriel Hampshire, who has died aged 93.
Hairdresser Muriel Hampshire, who has died aged 93.

A former hairdresser-to-the-stars, who helped nurture the talent of future stylists, has died at the age of 93.

Muriel Hampshire was once a hair stylist for famous names including actress Shirley Anne Field and Pinky and Perky puppet creator Vlasta Dalibor during her long career of more than 40 years.

Actress Shirley Ann Field

Actress Shirley Ann Field

The great-grandmother, whose maiden name was Saville, opened her first salon in Castleford when she was just 19 and soon set up Saville Hair Artists on Little Westgate, Bread Street and Bond Street in Wakefield.

She worked alongside her late husband Sydney and daughters Denise Herdman and Karen Stratton. The Muriel Hampshire Academy for Hair Artists, which ran for more than 30 years, trained several award winning stylists, including celebrity and TV hairdresser Mark Hill.

Mrs Hampshire became the first woman to represent the British World Championship Team in 1954 and was the winner of more than 30 national and international industry awards.

She died on Monday, August 26, at Croft House Care Home, in Ossett, and leaves behind four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Mrs Stratton, 71, of New Sharlston, said: “Mum’s salon was the place to be in those days and anybody who was anybody went there.

“She was a very popular person, very fun-loving and loved the social scene. She used to live the celebrity lifestyle as she was well-known in her field and would attend lots of functions.”

Mrs Hampshire, who grew up in Horbury, travelled all over the country for competitions and events, styling Shirley Anne Field’s hair during a spell in London.

And Czech-born Mrs Dalibor was a regular at the Bond Street salon in Wakefield.

Mrs Hampshire was provisional master of the Leeds City Guild of Hairdressers and helped develop a new hair roller, which is still used today.

Her funeral will take place at Wakefield Crematorium on Tuesday, at 2pm. Donations will go to Alzheimer’s Society and Croft House Care Home.