A Belper barber who was once the youngest qualified cutter in the world is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the family business.
Simon Moore started working at Alley Barbers, on Midland View, on February 28, 1992, when he was aged just nine. A quarter of a century on, he says he never imagined any other way of life.
Simon said: “It’s come around quickly, that’s for sure. I hadn’t really thought about it, it’s just another day - but I suppose it’s an achievement.
“It’s good to carry on the tradition but it’s always where I’ve wanted to be, and what I want to be doing.”
He added: “The main thing is that it’s nice to have a job you look forward to doing every day. I enjoy the work, and I’ve got a good team around me.”
Simon began his career helping out in the shop after school and at weekends, sweeping the floor and tidying up, taking guidance from his grandad and mentor Roger Evans - a national champion barber in the 1960s.
Roger, 78, said: “He was with me two weeks before he asked if he could learn to cut - we used to have models come in until nine o’clock at night.
“It was always obvious that he had an aptitude for it.”
Simon quickly mastered the arts and finally passed his NVQ exams at the age of 14, earning a place in the Guinness World Records book.
Simon said: “I was lucky to get taught by someone who knows all the old techniques.”
As soon as he left school, he went straight into work and Roger, now retired, says he was an asset to the business from day one.
Roger said: “You’d have to go a long way to find a better stylist. He understands the craft, has a good rapport with customers and, most importantly, he’s got vision.
“A good stylist knows what cut is going to work from the moment a customer steps through the door.”
Simon’s dad and brother-in-law work in the shop too, and there is the prospect of a fourth generation joining the team in his five-year-old son.
Simon said: “It’d be nice to think the opportunity will be there, for him, but you never know what the future holds.”