A celebration to mark 40 years of salon in town

A hairdressing salon in Morpeth celebrated its 40th anniversary in style.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 07 June, 2019, 10:18
Jamie Bellizzi, left, Russell Fleming and Janice Dale pictured during the celebration in the salon last Thursday.

John Gerard started 53 years ago in Hexham with John Wade and Gerard Bradley. A Newcastle salon followed.

Morpeth was next in May 1979. It is now in Manchester Street after moving from a unit in Back Riggs in 2007.

Janice Dale, who has worked for the business for 27 years, said: “We have been serving the hairdressing needs of generations and we have such loyal clients in Morpeth, which means we frequently get three generations of families in at the same time and people who have been coming to us for 40 years.

“Gerard Bradley’s son Jason works and looks after the Hexham shop and Russell Fleming works and looks after the Morpeth salon.

“They both started their apprenticeships with us and Russell has been with us for more than 40 years, moving to work in Morpeth from the Newcastle salon.

“They were, with Peter Baptist, partners in the business and then when John and Gerard retired, they took over the full running of the business.

“Peter was our partner in our Newcastle shop, which we have recently closed due to his long illness.

“He was until his illness chairman of the National Hairdressers’ Federation and he judged competitions with them all over the world.

“Over the years, we have won many awards including the L’Oreal colour trophy, Wella Vogue competition, Rose Bowl and various hairdresser of the year accolades, and our apprentices have also won many awards.

“We tend to keep a lot of our apprentices and that’s good for our clients because they get to know them.”

Jamie Bellizzi was an apprentice at the John Gerard Morpeth salon between the ages of 16 and 21.

After completing a teaching hairdressing degree and working at an award-winning salon in Jesmond, Newcastle, she recently returned to work in the Northumberland town as she accepted an offer to become the salon’s new manager.

She said: “I feel like I’m back home again. I loved my apprenticeship – it was hard work, but enjoyable at the same time because I made constant progress.

“We’ve enjoyed celebrating the 40th anniversary of the salon and it’s nice that our clients have been so keen to celebrate with us.

“I do have some changes I would like to make and I’m looking forward to implementing them as I believe they will be good for the salon, the career progression of our team and our clients.”

Russell thanked clients at the salon for their loyalty and the people he has worked with over the years.

As for his own hairdressing experience, he said: “Things are very different to when I first started.

“It’s a more varied role and techniques for colouring have changed, so I’m still learning, even though I’ve been working for the businesses for more than 40 years.”

Claire Kilgour is John Gerard’s longest serving non-partner. She started her apprenticeship when the Morpeth salon opened and has been with the business ever since.