A NEILSTON barber is preparing to hang up his scissors for the last time, more than five decades after opening his first shop in the village. 

Sinclair Hair Studio, in Main Street, will shut its doors on Saturday, April 15 when Billy Sinclair retires next month after cutting the hair of multiple generations of residents.

The 73-year-old started out with James Lawns, in Cross Arthurlie Street, Barrhead, after leaving St John’s school before opening his own shop for gents in Kirktonfield Road, in Neilston, in 1968.

He later opened a ladies salon in the back of the premises before making the move up to Main Street to his current premises in 1980. 

He told the Barrhead News: “I started initially in the ladies hairdresser but I thought it would be easier to open a shop of my own just doing gents.

“I opened a ladies salon about five years after that, then myself and four others built a row of shops and moved up here to Main Street but I’ve been in Neilston altogether for 55 years.

“I’ve had my reliable sidekick with me, Mick [Barclay, who manages the gents]. He’s been here for about 35 years and Cathy [Moore, who manages the ladies salon] has also been with me for 35 years. 

“They are very much appreciated.

“Neilston’s been good to me and I’ve tried to contribute as much as I could. 

“I was chairman of the Neilston Business Forum and I’ve been quite involved with the village. I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

As news of his retirement was announced online, many took to social media to lament the end of an era and to offer Billy well wishes.

Indeed, many memories and stories have been shared in the shop over the years and many will remember getting lifted onto the board when they were too small for the chair.

“There was a lot of chat on that plank of wood the kids sat on,” added Billy, who is married to Janette and lives in Barrhead. “I’ve still got it.

“We have had kids come in from infants and then they have brought in their children and then their grandchildren so I’ve seen a lot of development of people and shared a lot of nice experiences with them.

“I’ve had a lot of highlights over the years. There has been a great expansion in the village since I first came. It’s been good to grow along with Neilston and watch it grow. It’s a great wee place.

“I’ve had a lot of staff over years who have done well for themselves and I like to think I contributed a wee bit towards that. I’ve always got on with my staff.”

In his retirement, Billy who has two sons Alan and Graham, is looking forward to playing more golf and going out to Dubai to visit his three young grandchildren aged five, four, and 18 months.

“I’m quite emotional and quite sad, but I think 55 years is long enough. It’s time to,” he explained.

“I have a close association with Uplawmoor and Barrhead. I was captain of Caldwell Golf Club in 1996 , so golf is a big part of my life and I know a lot of people through the golf club.

“I’ve got grandchildren in Dubai, so I’ll be able to and see more of them.”