Friday, October 17, 2014

A farmer and barber

My grandmother wrote about her cousin "Roy was the barber at Winiam.  He cut everyone’s hair – male and female.  He only shaved when he went anywhere.  The rest of the time he ran the clippers over his face".

I assume that it was Roy who cut my grandmothers plaits off, which I wrote about here previously.


My grandmother's cousins: Roy Pilgrim and Ray Muller
October 1929

Ararat Chronicle
Friday 14 January 1916 - page 2
Source:  www.trove.nla.gov.au

Roy, like most of the men in his family, was a very successful farmer.

Roy's son told me proudly that his father was a life member of Davey's barber shop and never had to pay for a hair cut.

Friday was the day that everyone from Winiam went in town - Nhill - and when Mr Davey's son Max was away as a RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) pilot in the war, Roy helped out by cutting hair, which enabled Mr Davey to keep the business going until Max returned.  Roy's reward was the life membership and free haircuts.

Mr Davey's Barbers must have been  a long term institution in Nhill.  I found a newspaper article  that shows that the Barbers shop was destroyed by a large fire in 1916.  

However the Barbers shop must have been rebuilt as I found on the National Archives of Australia website that son Max was a fighter pilot in World War II from 1943 - 1946.  However the enlistment papers show his occupation as a Bank Clerk rather than Barber.
















This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.  Please click for more posts.



24 comments:

  1. Perhaps he was a bank clerk who helped out as a barber, it certainly seems a mystery. It’s wonderful to have a picture of an ancestor actually plying his trade (even if it wasn’t his main job).

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    1. His father probably didn't pay him enough for it to be his profession!

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  2. Unfortunately, back in those days there was no such thing as a "fire wall" between buildings butted against each other, or in the attics of businesses in the same building.

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    1. And they wouldn't have had the pressure or equipment to put it out quickly either!

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  3. Sometimes I long for a simpler age like that. Not saying it was an easier life, just different. Less complicated I think.

    Crystal's Blog

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    1. Yes I agree. Less complicated and busy........but good honest hard work!

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  4. I am wondering how a clipped face would differ from a shaved face. Would it look like the unshaven look that is popular now?

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    1. Great Minds think alike? I thought the same thing.

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  5. Postcardy echoed my thoughts about that unshaven look that is popular today.

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    1. And every time I see a 1/2 shaved young man, I think "Have a shave"

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  6. Replies
    1. It is very natural. Gran must have been next to get the hair cut?

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  7. Great photo of the two of them. It's so rare to see pictures in that era of people actually doing things and not posing. Imagine fighting a raging fire with a bucket brigade. I saw such a set-up recently in Myanmar....a little palapa with red buckets hanging from the roof. The buckets each held about a quart of water.

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    1. I am very lucky that my grandmother captured so many day to day scenes with her box brownie! I very often send out a silent thank you.

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  8. Snap! I wrote about a Roy this week too. And my post featured, amongst other things, a hairbrush and comb....so sort of double snap. Your story is a happier one though.

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    1. Your post was wonderful. How I would like to find Roy's notebook!

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  9. Not to forget that a barber's or hairdresser's was always a good place for keeping up on local gossip/news. Lovely photo. I wonder what they were talking about.

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  10. I haven't been to a barber/hairdresser for years but vividly remember the barber's shop in our village with Mr Faulks (Guy) in charge. He was a fearsome sight to behold advancing with a lighted taper to singe the hairs on the back of a customer's neck! Great photo.

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  11. I love that he only ran the clippers over his face when going out! What a superb photo of him at work with the scissors too. Your story shows how things change over time, the fire and the need for Roy to help during the war.

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    1. Ray is wearing the typical farming outfit but Roy seems to be in "town" clothes? The garden does appear to look very similar to my grandmothers childhood home so maybe Roy was doing the rounds?

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  12. It's interesting that the photo of the barber is OUTDOORS and not in his shop. Roy and Ray both seem to have had great hair.

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    1. Roy was a farmer and only helped out in the shop from time to time. He would have travelled from farm to farm cutting hair.

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