IT’LL be the end of an era on Friday when brothers Geoff and Barry Bernstein put down their scissors at Haircare by Bernie’s for a final time.
For the pair have been cutting hair in north Manchester for 57 years at their Bury New Road premises.
Geoff said: “The time has come for us to say goodbye. I’m very emotional at the moment because, when you’ve been cutting somebody’s hair for 35-40 years and they know you’re going, it’s emotional.”
Barry added: “It’s come to a natural end. I’m 70 and I want to retire because I want to, not because I have to.”
Geoff was born in Middlesbrough and Barry in London, before their parents decided to relocate to Manchester in 1950, as their mother Dora’s family lived in the city.
Geoff trained as a baker and worked in Longsight, while Barry had planned to be a ladies’ hairdresser.
But they were both persuaded to join the business by their father Bernie in the early 1960s.
Barry continued: “We’ve been doing this for 57 years and it’s a very personal business.
“I won’t miss getting up in the morning! We just want to relax now.”
Geoff said: “It gets a bit hairy for me when it’s busy. I can’t cope with it any more.”
The pair have had some eclectic customers over the years —including comedy duo Little and Large.
Geoff continued: “Stan Ogden, Lord Barnett and Jimmy Conway all came in.
“We once had the Bishop of Manchester Stanley Booth-Clibborn in . . . at the same time as Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, who was the head of the Manchester Beth Din!
“They had a great conversation between them.”
The biggest change the brothers have seen over the years has been the hairstyles.
Barry said: “When we started it was The Beatles’ era. Everyone had long hair, then it became short hair. Every fashion goes full circle.”
Although they are both retiring, Barry won’t be giving up the clippers entirely.
Their premises will be taken over by Sharp Barber Shop — which is currently located just a few doors down — where Barry will be working one day a week.
He said: “It’ll be a nice transition for the customers.”