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Royal barber's two centuries of cuts

Friday, June 01, 2012 - 02:13

Jun 1 - As Britain's Queen Elizabeth prepares to celebrate sixty years on the throne, her husband's barber Truefitt & Hill is still in business two centuries after opening its first shop. Hayley Platt reports

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James Elvery & Tom Freedman are paying a visit to Truefitt & Hill. Like Britain's Queen the London barbers knows a thing or two about longevity. It's the world's oldest barbers and has been trimming the locks of discerning gentlemen for over two centuries. Among the list of past and present clients include King George III, Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill as well as Hollywood A listers like Leonardo DiCaprio. Dennis Hornsby is head barber and personal hairdresser to the Duke of Edinburgh. He says little has changed since he joined the firm 47 years ago. SOUNDBITE: Dennis Hornsby, head barber at Truefitt & Hill, saying (English): "Basically we still cut to the traditional lines that we used to cut years ago and it's just been passed down from barber to barber as the years have gone on and it's still wanted these days. Our clients come in and they know exactly what they are expecting." Truefitt and Hill opened its first shop in London in 1805 - it's now a multi-million dollar business. In 1987 they started selling licenses to operate under the Truefitt brand and are now in 10 countries. SOUNDBITE: James Elvery, customer, saying (English): "Shaving and hair dressing are very different. I don't think I would trust your chain of high street hairdressers to shave me. I'd have to come somewhere where they've been doing it for a while. You want to know that they are even half good at it." SOUNDBITE: Tom Freedman, customer, saying (English): "I think people like a bit of tradition and heritage as well. There are very few places you go into these days that they won't bring out the clippers straight away and start scything into your hair quite frankly so it is important hence why people keep on coming back and they have a loyal customer base." Hair styles have changed a little over the centuries but Truefitt and Hill's style of business hasn't. But they are keen to attract a younger clientele. And while they can't cut hair online yet - the are selling lotions and potions around the globe under the slogan from Dickens to Dotcom. Hayley Platt, Reuters.

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Royal barber's two centuries of cuts

Friday, June 01, 2012 - 02:13