The longest running business owner in Tynemouth is preparing to pack away her scissors and combs and head off into retirement.
Helen Collington has shocked her clients at Head-On after revealing she will be retiring on Saturday after working for 42 years in the village.
The well-known and loved hairdresser says the time is right to hand over the business to someone else, with colleague Kerry Smith receiving the keys to the shop in Hotspur Street.
Helen, who took over the business in 1978, has been a hairdresser since she was 15-years-old and has cut thousands of people’s hair.
She said: “I love Tynemouth. I love what I do and I love my clients.
“My clients are devastated to see me going, I have clients who come from all over the world for their hair cut, including Nigeria and Spain.
“I would like to thank all the clients for their business over the last 42 years.”
Helen, who will turn 60 next month, is looking forward to her retirement and some time off work, with her first port of call a family holiday in Florida, while will also continue cutting hair for special occasions.
“I’m going to travel England,” she said. “I hope to do all the things I’ve never had time to do when I’ve been working.
“It will be nice to have a Saturday off for once.
“I love doing weddings. I have a few weddings booked in and it will be good to go out to the bride, which I’ve never been able to do.
“And I’ll do my friends’ hair for weddings as well.
“I’ll still call in to the salon to have my hair done and catch up with the staff.”
Helen, who lives in Wellfield, Whitley Bay, said she kept abreast of changing styles through industry magazines while also attended courses in London with Vidal Sassoon.