A WIRRAL hairdresser will put away the scissors and shut her salon doors for good this week after more than 50 years in business.

Joan Turner's Salon in Grange Road West, Birkenhead has welcomed thousands of customers over the years, many who have become friends.

But now Joan, 74, has decided to call it a day and will say goodbye on Thursday.

Looking back on her time at the salon the mother of three, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of two told the Globe this afternoon: "I've been in the shop for 51 years, but 55 years in Grange Road West.

"I was in a little shop around the corner, called Hair by Peter, when I started off.

"Then I moved here. I went from a £2.50 rent to a £42 rent.

"I'm very appreciative of all the people who has supported me over the years; they have become friends really. Because I've know them for so long, I've also got to know their children and grandchildren. It's been nice.

"I was going to retire when I had my children, but have got grandchildren now."

Wirral Globe:

Joan outside the salon in Grange Road West, Birkenhead, this afternoon. Picture: Craig Manning

Among the thousands who have come through the doors over the years was music legend Paul McCartney who paid a surprise visit with his children one day.

Joan recalled: "I think he had been to Hammer Sound, the guitar shop down the road and was on his way past.

"News of his visit to town spread so fast, it was like a grapevine. Iris was in the florists and she phoned the next shop along, who phoned the next shop and so on ... eventually every shop along knew he was around.

"He was looking in the salon window and one of the girls asked 'can you come in and say hello to the customers?' and he said 'certainly'.

"I used to follow him around all over the place when I was younger so it was fantastic to actually have him in the shop."

Joan will spend much of retirement taking care of disabled husband Roy. The couple married in 1968.

On the timing of closing for good, Joan said: "I was hoping to have closed for good during lockdown as it would have saved me all the emotion of having to say goodbye to the public, who have been bringing me little gifts and cards. It's been so nice.

"Even the chaps going into the local betting shop have waved through the window or popped in to wish me well for the future.

"To be honest, lockdown got me used to knowing what retirement would be like, so I'm prepared for it."

Wirral Globe:

Joan at work in the salon. Picture: Craig Manning

Recalling some of the customers "I had one lady, Mrs Jones, who lived in nearby Menai Street and was still coming in when she was 106. She used to walk round to the shop.

"We've had some real characters and real laughs over the years.

"There was one woman, Gwen, who used to come in and was hilarious. We sometimes couldn't work because we were laughing so much.

"She managed to put her umbrella in a tin of green paint; can't remember why the tin of paint was there now.

"There were some customers who used to bounce off one another and it was really funny."

There was also a funny incident of mistaken identity.

Joan explained: "I'd called the local postman Chris for about 30 years. A different postman came along one day. His name was Colin.

"I asked him 'what's happened to Chris?' He answered 'who's Chris?'

"It turns out that I'd been calling him Chris for 30 years, but his name was actually Steve," Joan laughed.

"I just want to thank the customers for everything over the years. I've enjoyed meeting you all.

"I'm going to miss you."

Paying tribute to Joan's work and determination to run a successful business, proud daughter Helen O'Toole told the Globe: "She saved and bought the shop 51 years ago and has served the local community in this time.

"She's had many clients who have stayed with her all the way through.

"As they got older and couldn't make it to the shop she would take her things and go and see them in their homes / nursing homes to attend to their hair making them feel fantastic again.

"After taking the shop a year later she fell pregnant with me her first of three children.

"She never gave up work. She'd take us with her and feed us in between clients my grandma her mum looked after us in Cole street while she worked tirelessly.

"She's given myself and my two brothers a fantastic childhood.

"The children have loved sweeping the hair and passing the rollers to her even answering the phones."