Letchworth couple shut salon after 50 years in business
A COUPLE who began their relationship after striking up a conversation over a pair of shoes are shutting their Letchworth GC hair salon at the end of this month, 50 years after it was opened.
Gerhard Wunsch, 71, moved from Germany to England in 1958 with just �3 in his pocket and no idea where he was heading.
After arriving in Kent and staying in a local police station for the night, he saw a hairdressing job advertised in Hitchin, and made the journey.
He later moved to a salon in Letchworth GC, where he met wife Wendy after she went to get her hair cut there.
“I originally went to the salon and they messed up my hair, so my dad said I should ring and complain to the manager, who was Gerhard,” said Wendy.
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“So I went back and he sorted out my hair. I was quite short, so was wearing a pair of high heels, and he said he liked my shoes.
“Then he asked me out to the cinema. I had to ring my dad to check, but I thought why not.”
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The couple opened up Salon Gerhard after deciding that they wanted to run their own business.
Gerhard is in charge of the hairdressing and Wendy helps out with other salon business.
They have proved to be a cut above the rest as far as customers are concerned, with some of their clients who were with them 50 years ago still visiting today.
Many of Gerhard’s clients have come from further afield, including London and Meldreth, and one former client who lived in Switzerland used to come to England especially for a hair appointment.
“It’s sad in a way, because we have been here for so long,” said Gerhard.
“But you can’t go on forever. We will miss our customers terribly.
“We have known some of them for a very long time, it feels like we have almost grown up together. They are very loyal.
“We have a mobile home on the coast, which we will visit more when the shop shuts, and we will try and enjoy ourselves.”
The couple, whose Golden Wedding Anniversary is this summer, are retiring at the end of February.