AFTER nearly 60 years of cutting and trimming, a Lyneham barber hung up his scissors and shut up shop for good on Friday.

Brian's Barber shop owner Brian Yates, 73, has decided to retire from the business that was set up by his father Sam in 1948 and was originally called Marie's Barber shop after his mother.

Much to the disappointment of many local customers, some of whom have come to his shop in Church End for decades, Mr Yates, who lives in Calne, made the decision with a heavy heart but said the time was right for him to move on.

"I have loved my time here, meeting people, getting to know them, making friends and hearing some good customer stories over the years. It has been a blast," said Mr Yates, who took over the shop from his father in 1965.

"My dad set it up in 1948 and I joined him at the age of 15. He taught me all the tricks of the trade. I always liked the job and it is hard to believe that it has finally come to a close.

"I did think about reaching the big 60th year milestone but it just feels right. I made my decision last summer and I am sticking by that.

"I want to thank everyone who came through my door and stayed loyal to me. Some people have been coming here nearly as long as I have and I will miss them.

"It has been an emotional farewell. A lot of people have said they do not know where they will go now which made me laugh."

Mr Yates has a lot of memories from his time at the barber shop, but one in particular stands out.

"One moment that sticks out for me was cutting the hair of former RAF pilot Jackie Mann in 1991, who was held hostage in Beirut for two years. Some of the hostages were flown to Lyneham and I was told by police to cut his hair, which was surreal," he said.

"But after many years of working, me and my wife Edwina are looking forward to some gardening and some cruise holidays which will be lovely."