Ian cuts loose after 40 years

Arbroath barber Ian Beatie retired on Saturday after 40 years in the trade. He was photographed with his staff at the retiral party on Saturday. Pictured with Ian . from left Katie Forbes, Sarah Swan, Venessa Campbell, Kelly Pratt.

Arbroath barber Ian Beatie retired on Saturday after 40 years in the trade. He was photographed with his staff at the retiral party on Saturday. Pictured with Ian . from left Katie Forbes, Sarah Swan, Venessa Campbell, Kelly Pratt.

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A MAINSTAY of the well-groomed Arbroath gentleman has changed hands following the retiral of its owner at the weekend.

On Saturday barber Ian Beattie retired after 40 years of short back and sides at his premises on Commerce Street.

Ian, who turned 64 in January explained the move. He said: “I’ve been there since 1973, the same place but several refurbishments later.

“My wife seems to think it’s the right time to retire. I’ve got four people there now and I started on my own. If there’s any legacy to be left it’s those four people in a job.”

Ian began his apprenticeship in Dundee in 1964 and worked for a firm in Broughty Ferry until 1968, for the next five years he worked in Lochee at the Hi Style salon.

Then in 1973 with the help of a £400 bank loan Ian opened Ian’s Gents Hairdressers at 14 Commerce Street with a haircut 35p for an adult and 25p for a junior.

One incident that sticks in his mind took place during the miners strike of 1974 and the three day working week that was instituted throughout the country.

He said: “A policeman instructed me to switch half my lights off, presumably to save fuel on the national grid, which prompted me to bring in car batteries hooked up to small strip lights to supplement the lighting.

“Although I was still allowed to use the electrical equipment such as the clippers and dryers, I was advised against using the hairdryers in the afternoon!”

The business has been bought over by Katie Forbes, one of Ian’s employees and he is looking forward to seeing what she does with the shop.

He said: “Katie is the same age as I was when I opened. I have no doubt that she will have her own fresh ideas but she says she will not change what doesn’t need to be!”

Ian will now have more time to enjoy his hobbies of cycling, photography, painting and travel.