Martyn’s in Chichester to close

Martin (far right) outside the hairdressers with his staff in the 1980s
Martin (far right) outside the hairdressers with his staff in the 1980s
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It is the end of an era for Martyn’s gentlemen’s hairdressers in Chichester.

After more than 40 years in the city the barbers in Bognor Road will shut its doors for the final time at 11.3oam on Saturday, April 2.

Owner Martin Phillmore said: “I am 72, and felt it was the right time.

“It is going to be a really sad day, and I’m going to miss working with the staff and talking to people.

“On the day we don’t have anything planned but I’ll take the staff out when the dust has settled.”

Born and bred in Chichester, Martin started his hairdressing career cutting women’s hair, and completed a three-year apprenticeship working at a number of salons in the city.

“I just did it,” he said.

“I was living with my mum who was a single parent and I just decided hairdressing was what I wanted to do.”

While working in Chichester, Martin took the decision to commute up to London to attend the London School of Fashion to further his career.

“I worked through my lunch break so I could catch the 3.40pm train to London and would come back at 9pm.”

His dedication led him to a job at the famous salon Trumpers in Curzon Street, Mayfair.

Martin explained: “I cut the hair of those from stage and screen while I was there in about 1961.

“People like David Niven, and Nicholas Parsons who was the stooge for comedian Arthur Haynes at the time.”

During his three years at Trumpers, Martin also taught hairdressing at Pentonville Prison.

In 1968 he took the decision to come back to the south coast and opened the salon in St Peter’s in Chichester before moving premises to Bognor Road in 1975.

“One of my original clients, who I still see now, I first cut his hair in my mum’s front room in 1959 when I was an apprentice,” revealed Martin.

“I have a lot of customers who I have known and cut their hair for more than 40 or 50 years.

“I have someone this week who came all the way from Dorset so I could do his hair one last time.”

Another factor for shutting up shop has been the boom of barbers.

Martin said: “When I opened there were four barber’s chairs in Chichester now there are loads, it has really shifted in recent years.”

A member of the Rotary, Martin is also a lifetime member of Chichester Boys Club.

He is looking forward to spending some of his retirement watching Sussex cricket and playing golf.

He said: “I will miss the friends I have made.

“I just want to thank all our customers over the years for their support and custom.”