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

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Ambulance managers shown as Nazis in Downfall video parody

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

A VIDEO portraying South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) bosses as Nazi military officials has emerged on YouTube.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Council tax could go up more than was first thought

Oxford Mail: New Oxfordshire county council logo

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

COUNCIL tax in Oxfordshire may go up by more than originally planned after the Government laid out its plans for local authority income.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Hoodie robbers sought

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

9:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Two men tried to rob a 22-year-old woman of her handbag in St Giles in Oxford.

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