A MUCH-LOVED Stroud business has been celebrating fifty years in the town this month.

Owner Tim Sysum spoke to the Stroud News and Journal about Sysum Barbers in Gloucester Street which this month is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

He said: "I started working as a barber in Stroud in 1968.

"I was about 18 and I worked for Bob Trevitt in a small unit at the bottom of Bath Street.

"In 1974 he packed it in and I took over the business.

"I moved to the bigger shop in Gloucester Street in 2004.

"I have four shops now, Stroud, Stonehouse, Thornbury and Gloucester.

"My customers have changed over time.

"They are more interested in hair and know what they want, no more ‘short back and sides’.

"Hair products are better, clippers and other equipment are also much better than they were.

Stroud News and Journal: Tim cuts the hair of customer Clive Ingles 'Snowy' in the Tony Curtis style. Clive has been a customer for all of the  fifty years. Copyright Photographer Simon Pizzey "I love the job because I like chatting to people and meeting a variety of people.

"The secret of being a good barber is enjoying the job, having a sense of humour is also important.

"I’ve taken on several apprentices and they are better than ever, though they have to go to Cardiff to be trained.

"I’ve cut lots of different people’s hair including the sculptor Lynn Chadwick, a retired Daily Mail Editor, a former Governor of Fiji - it’s been fascinating learning about their lives.

"Stroud is a better place than it was, certainly much busier than it was, much more going on.

"Real Stroud people are interesting people, you know a real ‘Stroudie’

"A lot of my family are from Stroud though I’m from Gloucester and I live in Stonehouse.

"I’m not a proper ‘Stroudie’, I’m not a Green, but I admire them I was pleased when the High Street was saved by protestors.

"My son Craig is now manager and my grandson Daniel has joined the team, he even cuts my hair.

"Hopefully, the business will still be going in another 50 years, I can’t imagine a robot replacing a barber.

"I have no intention of retiring, I shall carry on working three days a week as I do now until they take me out in a box."

All images by photographer Simon Pizzey.