Grantham hair salon celebrates its half century

Maria Hackney and her mother Joye Smith at Maria and Co hairdressing salon in Welby Street, Grantham. Photo: 0325A
Maria Hackney and her mother Joye Smith at Maria and Co hairdressing salon in Welby Street, Grantham. Photo: 0325A
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A Grantham hair salon is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend and is still serving customers who were with them when they first opened.

Maria and Co, formerly known as Joye and Aubrey’s, opened in Westgate in 1965.

The founders were Joye and Aubrey Smith, who left Griffins Hair Salon to begin their own business.

Daughter Maria Hackney later followed in her parents’ footsteps and trained to become a hairdesser.

She took over the running of the business 15 years ago and moved the salon around the corner to Welby Street.

Aubrey passed away four years ago at the age of 78, having helped out at the salon until he was 72.

Joye, who turns 80 in September, still helps out two-and-a-half days a week and Maria admits: “She does it for love, not money, these days and we’d be lost without her.

“My mum is wonder-woman as far as I am concerned. My nan died of cancer when I was very young, so my mum had to work and also raise me and my brother.

“From a young age I picked up an interest in hairdessing and it was a foregone conclusion it was the path I was going to take.

“I love hardressing but I really enjoy meeting the customers. We have a good clientele and we don’t really have to advertise much, it’s mainly word of mouth.

“We are having a little celebration when some of the old staff and customers will join us.”

Joye said: “I hated school with a passion but as soon as I started hairdessing I loved it.

“When we first started, Mr Flower, the barber, was based above us and he was cutting hair until he was 92. At this rate I might be doing the same.”

“I enjoy helping out and if I had my time again I would do everything exactly the same.”