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William Starley: Barber

Grandfather cut my hair

I  remember my grandfather William Newton Starley with great affection. He was a barber, and once or twice I remember having my haircut by him in his barber shop at  9 Bartholomews.  The shop was called the Star Toilet Saloon and was situated behind Brighton Town Hall. Unfortunately that road no longer exists and a hotel has taken up that area.

Grandfather’s business card

A smart interior

I can still visualise the interior of his shop to this day. It had what seemed to me at the time to be a vast long marble table top. There was a long mirror and the top was inset with white bow shaped wash basins. I think there were possibly six huge leather and mahogany swivel chairs for the clients. Above these at ceiling height was a set of rods with circular brushes which could be lowered and rotated on the heads of the freshly shorn and shaven gentlemen.

The barber’s pole

My father was also a barber; the term ‘hairdresser’ was never really used in those days. I do remember that the barber shops always displayed a red & white striped pole outside such premises. I do not know if my dad ever worked with my grandfather, but I do know that he worked at ‘ Broadbridges ‘ in London Road opposite St Peter’s Church.

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