Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow crack
Hair today, gone tomorrow – well it will be if you wander down the Lower High Street and pop in for a gents’ cut at Mike’s Barbers!
Remember the long hair of the 60s? The Mohican? Flat tops? Or even the dreaded mullet as worn by DJ Pat Sharpe? Mike Mudway has seen all the styles come and go in the traditional barber’s shop he has owned on the Lower High Street for the last 25 years.
Mike Mudway started to learn his trade as a 15 year-old apprentice under Cheltenham barber Bob Ford after he was offered the chance while he was getting his own hair cut by Bob. Mike said: “I always wanted to work for myself and this seemed like a good opportunity. I never looked back!”
Mike prides himself in using traditional comb and scissor techniques to get the best finish, instead of clippers. And he wants to see the return of ‘singeing’ – running a lit taper over the ends of the hair to give it a smooth look and to take away and dead ends. “I haven’t done that for years” he said. “But it used to be popular!”
Another old tradition making a comeback is that of popping into the barber’s for a shave, a service he still offers.
Mike has a regular flow of customers old and new and from all walks of life, many drawn to the tiny shop by the traditional barber’s pole outside.
The red and white pole dates back to when barbers were also surgeons, the white being the bandages and the red – the blood. Their skills with a blade led to them performing tooth extractions, operations and, in medieval times, cutting the umbilical cord during births – not something Mike has been called on to do!
Mike’s Barbers is “local, friendly and affordable” according to a regular customer who called in for a trim while I was there. Charging just £8 for a trim, OAPs pay just £6.50 on a Monday and Tuesday and there are reductions for children’s cuts too.
The shop, at 446 High Street (just before the bridge) is open for business from 8.15am till 5.30pm during the week and until 1.30pm on a Saturday, making it convenient for people to drop in before or after work. Appointments not necessary but you can book ahead by giving him a call on:
So, if you are looking for a traditional cut done the ‘proper’ way, get down to Mike’s Barbers. Not for my ‘bloke’ though, unless of course he does a sideline in head polishing too!