I waited till 2pm when the sun was high before going for my run today. Fresh from the barber’s I thought a cap would be in order in case I caught the sun on me napper. It was 28 degrees on the thermometer when I went out past Church Lane and the little two-pump petrol station, The Cricketers pub and on down Deadman’s Ash Hill where once plague-ridden corpses were burned. Yes, Sarratt is a proper village; full of quaint names, a church, a dash of history (some a little ghoulish) and of course a plentiful supply of beer. But we do not have a barber’s shop. #Fail.
In my school geography lessons I’m sure we were taught to classify hamlets, villages, towns and cities according to scale and the presence or absence of certain features. Nearby Rickmansworth must be a town; it has a large church with a graveyard and everything; a council office, a high street and a police station. It also has no less than 22 hairdressers listed in Yellow Pages introducing a whole new category of conurbation. (Perhaps it should have been called a Barnet). I can name about 6 on the 400 yard high street alone – mostly with stupid names too – Funky Follicles and Extreme Lengths being the most nauseous.
I know the owners of the oldest and most respected barber’s shop in Rickmansworth well – Louvere Hair Cutters (it’s a name that leaves you in little doubt) where I have had my hair cut for many a decade. They’re Cypriots, who cut the best hair. I try to tip generously and they try to give me a few freebies; it’s a system that works well.
As far as I am aware, there is no turf war between the barbers of Ricky. I don’t think they swap the hair dye bottles around or blunt the scissors. Somehow they collaborate, sharing the loyalties and follicles of the good people of the area. One lad once broke away from Louvere to go it alone. The gossip was he’d been offered a salon job “up west” (possibly Uxbridge or Ruislip). But he set up another barbers shop 300 yards away. Mysteriously, he’s still there. Unlike most of my hair.