IT WAS with sadness on Hogmanay that Mrs Christine Southward wished her final hairstyling customer a Happy New Year and locked the door of Robertson’s Cairnie Street premises for the final time.
The business was founded 46 years ago by her mother, Noreen Robertson, who became Mrs Noreen McBay. Sadly she died nine years ago.
Christine, better known as Chris, who has not quite reached retirement age, joined her mum 44 years ago as the business moved from Howard Street to its home in Cairnie Street for the next 44 years.
She confessed that she will miss the chat with her clients, most of whom had become real friends as they recounted their day-to-day lives.
“It’s more of a life than a job,” she said.
“And believe it or not,” she added: “Some of my mother’s original customers were still coming to us to have their hair styled.”
Also retiring are Chris’s two loyal “girls”, Gillian Findlay (eight years with the business) and Sylvia Whitton (six years), both of whom are in the same age group as herself.
Chris’s husband, Ian, is an engineer. Their children are Jill, married to Ian Bowman and still living locally; and Kevin, married to Joan, who currently live in Edinburgh but who are planning to move to New Zealand.
While sad that she and her husband will be so far from their son, Chris did point out the bright side, that they will have a holiday destination in New Zealand!
She also paid tribute to her husband for his support for the business, and she is looking forward to having more time to spend with him.
With all her staff having retired at the same time, Chris has now put the property up for sale.