Grantham barber ‘going back to roots’ with new business in family shop

James Meadows outside No.95 Westgate.
James Meadows outside No.95 Westgate.

A barber with nearly 30 years of experience is opening a new business in the Westgate premises previously run by his grandfather and mother.

James Meadows, 44, said “I’m going back to my roots” by returning to traditional barbering with the opening of No.95 Westgate next Friday.

He inherited the Georgian property from his grandfather Ivan Burch, who bought the former Nationwide Building Society in 1974. James’ mother then took it over as a children’s clothes shop. “Me and my brother would visit after school, and worked on the market outside with my mother who was also a market trader. That’s where we learnt the art of people’s skills,” added James.

After his grandfather died in November, James decided to convert the building which had been “left to rack and ruin”. It is now a stylish barbershop inspired by the past, with elements of the burlesque, prohibition and rock and roll eras in the form of little quirks, including top and bowler hat light fittings, a chandelier from a French chateau and even a Tommy gun on the wall.

Having completed his apprenticeship with the late Grant Rudd at Razor’s Edge from 1986 to 1990, James set up One Cut Above in Wide Westgate in 1990. He then created the Cutting Company in 1995, which later became Blade Runner.

He explained: “No.95 is a step back to traditional barbering, focusing on wet shaves, clipper work, and quiffs, whereas Blade Runner was more multi-sex, longer styles, and ultra-modern. I had a stress-related disorder in 2013 and went to South Africa where I did some barbering. When I got back I thought it’s time for a change of geographics. This is my final shop, and my salute to Grantham barbering.”

He is proud to have trained more than a dozen local barbers, and at No.95 has recruited promising Italian barber Matteo Jones alongside George Dragnea from Bucharest, who himself has 22 years’ traditional barbering experience.

The opening of No.95 is on May 15 from 5pm to 8pm, with a jazz band kicking off at 6.15pm, scooters from the Grantham Daytrippers, and refreshments. To make an appointment call 01476 402058.