John Newman, with his wife Shirley, is the third generation to run the family hairdressing business in the town.
The business in Rothwell was started by Edward Newman in 1922. Ted, as he liked to be called, was born in 1894 and served in the London Irish Regiment during WW1.
Ted sustained shrapnel wounds in France, where he also suffered being gassed. After WW1 ended Ted opened up a Barbers and Tobacconists in Cranford in 1919 and joined the ‘Thrapston Thursday’s’ Football Team as their Goalkeeper.
However, one day he was robbed of his takings walking back home to Thrapston and was put out of business. Undeterred, he got on his bike and applied for a job at Pollards Barbers in Rothwell where he worked until 1922.
Ted then opened up ‘E. Newman Hairdressers & Tobacconists’ at No 1 High Street, Rothwell.
Ted's Barbers and Tobacconists in Cranford in 1919
Ted working at Pollards Barbers up until 1922
‘E. Newman Hairdressers & Tobacconists’ at No 1 High Street, Rothwell.
In June 1924 Ted married Hilda Skinner from Finedon. In 1927 Hilda found out she had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Dr. Gibbons from Rothwell afterwards told her it was the first mastectomy he had performed! Hilda recovered and went on to have their first and only son, Derek, in 1928.
Derek attended the Church School in Rothwell, followed by Central School in Kettering. He left school at the age of 15 and started his hairdressing apprenticeship with Frank Page in Kettering.
Unfortunately, Ted, Derek’s father died suddenly in December 1944 aged 50 years and Derek who was just 16 years old, joined the family business to take over following his father’s death.
Ted as goalkeeper for 'Thrapston Thursdays' 1919
Derek outside no.1 High Street
Hilda & Ted Newman around 1925
Derek with his father, Ted
It was just before Ted’s death that Derek met and started courting Vera Wiggins, whose parents were landlords of the Woolpack Inn in Rothwell.
In 1946 Derek joined the RAF and during this time Hilda, Derek’s mother, continued to run the business at No 1 High St, expanding into selling fancy goods and stationery.
In 1949 Derek returned and resumed his position of Barber in the business and in 1950 married Vera Wiggins.
Vera & Derek
Derek & Vera Wiggins in 1949
In 1952 Derek and Vera bought our current 19 Bridge Street, Rothwell premises and moved the business as ‘Derek Newman Hairdressers & Tobacconists’, living above the shop.
Hilda continued the ‘E Newman’ business for a few more years at No 1 High Street selling fancy good and later moved in with the family at 19 Bridge Street.
In 1956 Derek and Vera had their first son, John, followed by his brother David in 1961. Derek was passionate about music and played the accordion very well.
Derek fronted a band ‘Derek Newman and his Band’ and later in the early 1980’s was a co-founder of the well known ‘The Forties Band’.
Derek with his son, John
19 Bridge St, early 1950's
In 1972 John started college fulltime Hairdressing and after completing this he furthered his training at Vidal Sassoon in London.
In 1975 John joined Derek to ‘help him out for 6 months’ and never left! In 1977 John met Shirley McDaid from Kettering and they married in 1980.
In 1984 they had their first son, Edward Polmateer (named after Henry Polmateer, family friend and local Chemist), followed by William in 1985.
It was in 1985 that Derek and Vera moved out of ‘living above the shop’ and bought a house in Rothwell. The business therefore expanded the Salon to the first and second floors at this time.
John age 20
Derek at work in late 1950's
John's first 'ladies' salon 1978
1st floor salon late 1990's
In 1990 Derek retired from the business due to ill health. In 1992 Hilda Newman died aged 96 years old.
The hairdressing business continued to grow under John’s management, training and employing many young people over the following years.
Shirley, John’s wife also trained to be a hairdresser in 1998 while continuing to develop and run the business side of John Newman Hairdressing.
In 2006 John was recognised for his services to the hairdressing industry and training successes with Real Success Awards as Winner of the ‘East Midlands Apprenticeships Employer of the Year 2006’ in the 1-9 employee category as well as being voted ‘Regional Winner - Employer of the Year 2006’. John Newman was chosen for these awards from over 500 other entrants.
In 2008 John and Shirley expanded, completely refurbished and modernised the whole 3 storey building, plus basement, to include a contemporary ground floor salon, along with two further floors of hairdressing and introduced Beauty Services to the business.
The Salon now has 16 client chairs, which doubled their previous client chairs.
In 2011 Derek Newman died at the age of 83 years.
In 2012 John Newman Hairdressing & Beauty celebrated their 90th anniversary in business in Rothwell, over 3 generations.
In 2013 John suffered a life changing stroke and had to retire from the business, leaving Shirley, his wife, to run the business.
In 2014 Vera Newman died at the age of 87 years.
In 2017 we proudly celebrated our 95th Anniversary with a celebration at the salon with our clients and friends. This year in 2021, we celebrate 99 years in business and continue to grow from strength to strength with the support of our amazing clients, community, friends and family.
We look forward to our Centenary next year!
John hard at work
A haircut in 1922 cost 2d
A wet lather shave in 1922 cost 1d
In the 1920’s and 1930’s the salon would remain open on a Saturday night until Midnight, to catch customers leaving the pub and wanting a shave for Church on Sunday!
John charged £1.50 for a cut and blow dry in 1975 and was earning £14 per week
When John started working with his father Derek in 1977 they had one chair each and now the Salon has grown to 16 chairs and employs a team of 11
Since John’s illness in 2013 we are proud to say our amazing Team has charity fundraised more than £31,000 for the Stroke Unit and various departments at our local Kettering General Hospital