THREE former workmates have joined forces to open a business following a chance meeting.

When Paula Turnbull, Anthony Longstaff and Deborah Sutton saw that the hairdressers where they once worked as a team, in Crook, was up for sale they could not resist going into business for themselves.

Ms Turnbull, 36, said: "It all came from a chance meeting in the street between Anthony and Deborah and they saw the salon was up for sale. They contacted me and we thought it would be nice for the three of us to work together again."

Customers who previously visited Smarties in Commercial Street, Crook, would have remembered the trio when they worked together as hairdressers about 15 years ago.

Mr Longstaff, 38, left the shop 13 years ago and has been working as a mobile hairdresser since then.

Ms Turnbull and Ms Sutton, 39, have been bringing up families as well as working as mobile hairdressers on an occasional basis.

Now the three have bought their old workplace and refurbished and relaunched it as HQ.

Ms Turnbull said: "We are all well known in the Crook area and some of the old customers have come in and have said that it is nice to see the three of us back together. We never lost touch but it is really nice to be back working together."