TWO hairdressers are celebrating more than 30 years of cutting hair at the salon they now own after starting there as apprentices.

Michelle Vickers and Sarah Doudican are having a celebration event at their Winroths Hair Salon, in Darlington, on Saturday.

The pair, who started as apprentices to Barbara Winroth, took over the business in Clark's Yard 20 years ago today.

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Since then, hairstyles may have changed, but the businesswomen are familiar, friendly faces in one of Darlington’s most loved yards.

Michelle, 49, from Ingleton said: “The shop’s history as a hair salon can be dated back for over half a century. In the 60s, it was ran by two ladies who first worked at Binns. Then a gentleman called Gerrard owned it, followed by a lady called Mrs Lee. They approached Barbara who already had a salon in Court Arcade. She moved, and Barbara then had the salon for nearly thirty years.

“We started as apprentices for Barbara. We have loads of great memories of her and her husband Rolf. Rolf owned the barbers shop opposite where we also worked in the early days.

"The shops in Clark's Yard at the time were Dawson’s Locksmiths, Blends Café, Wrens Quickso, Renates gift shop, Phase One fabric shop and the Barbers. Later, Barbara and Rolf renovated the warehouse, which is now the cheese and wine shop and tattooists, and created a record shop and Renates clothing. Barbara decided the only way to get rid of us was to sell the shop and retire herself. We kept the name Winroths as we call ourselves The Winroth Girls.

“It is funny when we find ourselves doing the hair of daughter’s daughters that we did years ago. It makes us feel old. We can hardly believe it’s been twenty years. Time has flown by but we can honestly say we’ve loved it.”

The salon has recently undergone a makeover as part of a project, run by Darlington Borough Council to improve shop fronts in Darlington's yards and wynds, and has been newly painted a bright shade of blue.

On Saturday, a live band will be playing in the yard from 11am to 1pm and the salon will be handing out prosecco to customers.

Sarah, 47, from Darlington, said: “We’re really pleased with it. It looks stylish. All the work happening in the yards is great, it’s miles better than it was before, and we can’t wait for it to all come together. We encourage the good folk of Darlington to drop by the yard on Saturday, listen to a great band, The Wayne’s, from 11-1pm, and visit all the great little independent shops we have here in the town.”

Michelle added: “We consider ourselves very lucky to have survived the last few years and would like to thank our lovely, loyal stylists Sharon, Sarah, Sam, as well as all of our fantastic clients for their continued support.

Sarah said: “We wouldn’t be here without them.”

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