THE history of Burley’s, the Worcester Road hairdresser whose closure was announced last week, started in 1920 when Harry Burley took over Montague House.

His sons, Stanley and Dennis, were educated at the Lyttelton Grammar School and, with their father, sang in the Priory choir.

About 1935, his sons joined the business which also did hairdressing contracts for private schools.

In the late 30s, both brothers joined the RAF.

Stanley became a pilot and died, aged 23, when his aircraft was brought down on the Dutch/German border.

Dennis had a varied wartime. After training as a navigator, he spent some time as a rear gunner, then a spell of driving bomb-carrying lorries and lastly he became a despatch rider on a motorbike between Palestine and Egypt.

One day, near the Cairo fuel depot, a voice called out ‘Got your scissors with you Burley?’ This was a man who played in Billy Gammon’s band in Priory Park.

When it ended, he came back and married Eileen Winter, a school teacher, and they had three children.

The eldest, David, joined his grandfather and father in the family business and for a time all three of them worked together.

In earlier times Harry Burley had cut the hair of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and trimmed George Bernard Shaw’s beard.

Later Dennis used to cut the hair of Bernard Weatherill, former Speaker of the House of Commons, and David has cut the hair of Najib Razak, the disgraced Prime Minister of Malaysia, TV pundit Jeremy Paxman, and writers Dominic Sandbrook and James Delingpole, as well as Mark Pougatch, ITV’s football host.

Mr Burley said: “Burley’s has now completed 99 years of trading during which time we have seen many social changes as well as a fantastic expansion of things you can do with hair.”