Denis set to hang up scissors after 43 years

Denis pictured with the former South Antrim UUP MP, Danny Kinahan.
Denis pictured with the former South Antrim UUP MP, Danny Kinahan.

A barber who has been cutting and styling hair for people in Ballyclare for over 40 years is set to retire this weekend.

Denis McCallum (67) will be hanging up his scissors for the final time on December 30.

Denis cutting Leo's hair.

Denis cutting Leo's hair.

The avid West Ham United supporter opened his first shop in Ballyclare on The Square in 1974, before relocating to a shop in the North End area of the town in 1992.

Denis continued to work here full-time until December 2015, before going into ‘semi retirement.’

He has made a lot of friends with people who started off as customers and has seen generations of families return to have their hair cut by him.

Frances Jones, who now runs the North End shop said: “Over the years he’s had staff who have stuck by him along with the abuse/banter towel fighting among the memories. His former colleagues Margaret, Andrea, Esther and Mabel still keep in contact and call over every Christmas.

“We’d some sad times too, with customers passing away. You really do take it badly because they’re like family.

“In 2015 he decided to semi retire and now in 2017 he’s decided it’s time to hang up his scissors. He plans to spend time with his wife Mary going on holiday, days away, gardening and generally being ‘husband of the year’ at home in Castle Park, Antrim.

“He looks after his grandson Leo and spends time with his daughter Wenda and going to football matches with his son David.”

Frances added: “Apart from West Ham, his other passion would be collecting for the RBL Poppy Appeal, which he’s done for years. Last year he collected £1,600 and for a small business it was amazing!

“He was awarded ‘rose bowl’ for 2016 for his efforts, although he says he would not have been able to do it without the support of his customers and his good friend, Ivan Higgins, selling badges for him.

“I’d like to wish him every happiness in his retirement and remind him if he keeps eating out like he has, we won’t recognise him- he could tell you where the best Ulster Frys are in the whole of NI!”