Barber Gareth's top of the locks

Didcot barber Gareth Clarke has been awarded the honour of Master Craftsman in Barbering, the first in Oxfordshire

Didcot barber Gareth Clarke has been awarded the honour of Master Craftsman in Barbering, the first in Oxfordshire Buy this photo

First published in News

AFTER 27 years trimming locks Gareth Clarke’s cutting-edge talents have won national recognition.

The Wallingford barber is the first person in the county to receive the Master Craftsman in Barbering award by the Hairdressing Council.

The accolade recognises dedicated professionals in the industry who meet eligibility criteria including working in a management position.

Mr Clarke said: “I love my job and I love what I do – it means so much to me.”

The 43-year-old has run Didcot-based family business Gareth Clarke Hair for Men, in Broadway, for the last 11 years with his wife Tracey.

He followed in the footsteps of his father George Clarke, 73, and joined the industry after leaving school at the age of 16.

The father-of-three has since dedicated his entire career to cutting hair.

Before launching his own business, he worked in just three barber’s shops – Wallingford’s Thames Salon, Oxford’s Campus Barbers and Abingdon’s Charter Barber.

Mr Clarke said when he first entered the industry it was unfashionable for boys to join the female-dominated hairdressing industry.

When training, he was one of just two male students in a 20-strong female class.

He added: “I have seen it go full circle.

“Now the barber shop environment is big again. It’s a place to go and hang out.”

While long hair was popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr Clarke said short haircuts with partings and quiffs now make regular appearances.

Shop walls filled with posters of celebrities are becoming a thing of the past as customers arrive for their haircut armed with smartphones showing their ideal image.

With customers of all ages arriving in his shop, conversational topics such as sports appear on the daily agenda.

Mr Clarke said: “Back when I started there were lot of older gentlemen and we would struggle to get a conversation out of them.”

He added: “The customers almost feels like family and friends to us.

“I love the feeling of sending someone out after making them feel good.”

Our top stories

Megan's death 'leaves hole in the lives of all who knew her'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 5th March 2015

THE death of an Oxfordshire schoolgirl has sparked a social media trend to keep her “wonderful, infectious” spirit alive.

Former cop: I was told to stop raising alarm years before Bullfinch

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 5th March 2015

A RETIRED police officer who tried to blow the whistle on sexual abuse before Operation Bullfinch said senior county council managers must have known about his concerns.

School century is something to celebrate

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

YOUNG musicians, actresses, poets and dancers performed to a sold-out crowd at the Sheldonian Theatre as part of a school centenary.

Vice-chancellor 'third highest paid in UK'

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

9:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

OXFORD University’s vice-chancellor was the third highest paid in the UK last year, according to a report.

Police look into alleged assault of boy on school grounds

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

9:30am Thursday 5th March 2015

REPORTS a teenage boy was assaulted at a Headington school are being investigated by police.

No police updates over missing Emily

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 5th March 2015

Police say they have no updates on their search for missing woman Emily Stiff.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:13pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Lampoon says...

Congratulations Boo Boo; well deserved!!
Congratulations Boo Boo; well deserved!! Lampoon
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree