Hitchin businesses fund salon in memory of popular stylist

A HAIRDRESSER who died less than two weeks after finding out he had cancer will see his legacy live on, after town centre businesses clubbed together to keep his salon open.

Ivan Hardy owned and ran Hitchin hair salon Talents for 30 years and was a well-known and much loved stylist in the town.

The 59-year-old passed away last month, 13 days after learning he had cancer.

After his death, it was not known whether Mr Hardy’s salon would be kept open but, after several businesses and individuals in the town came forward to help with funding and offer their services, it was announced last week that it will continue to run indefinitely.

Kevin Morgan from Consilium has helped out with funding, while Foreman Laws and Pauline Clifford from Clifford Accountancy have offered their services free of charge.

It means all five staff will be kept on. They have vowed to operate the salon in their former boss’ memory.

Tracie Armstrong, who has worked at the salon for nine years, is the new co-owner.

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She said: “We thought we were going to have to close, but because other businesses have rallied round, we can stay open.

“We will keep it running, like we did the whole time since he passed away. He was so particular about cleanliness and the plants, things like that. We would like to carry on in his memory.”

Mr Hardy’s funeral saw more than 300 people, including former clients and colleagues, pay their respects.

Many have known him since he opened his salon, which is based in Bancroft, and some even before that.

“We miss him like mad,” added Ms Armstrong.

“It was a massive shock to everybody. Clients were in pieces when they heard. Some of them had been going to him for 38 years. He looked after whole families.”