Kettering barber Vince still loves the banter as he celebrates 40 years of cutting hair

"They'll have to carry me out of here in a box."
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It’s 1983. Aberdeen have just beaten Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, Margaret Thatcher’s Tory Government has won the general election by a landslide and the 3D printer has been invented.

And here in Kettering a fresh-faced Vince Geranio is taken on by hairdressers Joe’s under a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) apprenticeship.

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Fast-forward 40 years and the legendary barber is still at the Hawthorn Road salon, which he now owns and is called Vince’s Barbers. And he wouldn’t have it any other way as he celebrates the milestone.

Vince Geranio, owner of Vince's BarbersVince Geranio, owner of Vince's Barbers
Vince Geranio, owner of Vince's Barbers

He said: "I've never believed that I'm the best barber in Kettering but personality, the people you employ and having a bit of banter gets you a long way.

"I still get up at 5am every morning and I love coming into work.

"I love my job, I love my customers who have been so loyal and I've got great staff who are amazing. I cannot thank them enough."

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Vince left Kettering Boys’ School aged 16 to work at the barber shop, where he had been a ‘Saturday boy’ aged 10.

He earned £25 a week as an apprentice, sweeping up, cleaning and doing the laundry before boss Joe Ianniello let him loose with the scissors.

And Vince, who turns 56 today (Wednesday), still remembers how nervous he was.

The Poppies fan said: "I remember it was packed and Joe was on his own.

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"A couple of my mates came in for a haircut and I was so shy and scared at what people would think that I cut their hair in the kitchen.

"I had always been the Saturday boy."

He carried on learning his craft there under a council scheme a year later before Joe took him on as his number two when he finished college.

They blossomed before Vince eventually bought the business in 2010. He changed the name to Vince’s in 2013.

Vince said: "Joe gave me the chance to qualify and I'll always be thankful for him and his hard work and patience.

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"All I wanted to do was go and watch the Poppies but he said to me 'if you want to be a barber forget about football'."

Vince has hairdressing in his blood with his cousins, uncle and godfather all working in the trade, and said he has seen styles come and go in the past four decades.

He remembers everyone having short back and sides with a fringe but said people are a lot more fussy now – wanting lines, skin fades or showing a picture of something from Google.

Some of those he first gave trims to are still among his customers – and he now cuts not only their hair but their children's, grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's.

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Vince currently has six employees and is set to take on a seventh. The only long break he’s had was because of Covid restrictions – and he thinks it made many recognise how difficult a skill it is.

But will he ever retire?

Vince said: "I'll never give up – I think I will always work.

"I would be bored at home, I'm crap at DIY and I don't play golf.

"They'll have to carry me out of here in a box."