Peter's Hair dressers

Comments and memories of when some of us visited the Hairdresser to have our hair styled not just cut

Richard Haines started this on the Community Message Board and then Paul Gibson wrote an article. In order to tidy this up I have collected the comments made and put them together with Paul’s article to tell the story. 

I have an old photograph giving the general location of his first shop, but no photograph of the actual shop.

Comments from message board

Does anyone recall the first Peters Hairdressers shop just over the railway bridge near the station. I used to go there for a short while before Peter moved to a new shop in The Knares about 1962. The new shop had a ladies section at the front as I recall. Peter always had head shots on the wall of dudes with DA styles much favoured in those times. About 7s/6d for a cool haircut then.  

by Richard Haines on 16/12/2011 at 22:17

I remember it well. I spent many a Friday evening waiting in the crowded shop for my hair to be styled only to have to go back on Saturday morning for it to be done, as Peter and his Brother Ivan ran out of time to fit us all in.

by Ian Mott on 17/12/2011 at 07:35

Ian thats right the shop was so popular and the word got around how good they were. It was a trek to get to The Knares when they moved as well. They had two little wooden signs saying Peter and Ivan hanging over the chairs. I always thought Ivan was a bit grumpy so never had him. One day Peter let one of the girls from the front of the shop shampoo me – my first teenage treat.

by Richard Haines on 17/12/2011 at 15:52

Yes Chris, my other half remembers the shop very well. He then had one of those cool dudes hair styles, beautiful Brylcreem-slick, black, Tony Curtis style (where’s it gone now?). Chris says Ivan was in the Air Force or Fleet Air Arm and when on leave, would help out in the shop on Saturdays. First of all everyone wanted to wait for Peter until Ivan proved he was as good a hairdresser as his brother. Chris says he also remembers the Teddy Boys Brigade (himself included) who swaggered about Laindon with their padded shoulders and drainpipe trousers and then in Peter’s on a Saturday, while having their hair done, were quite content to sit under hairdryers with hairnets on! He says only Nick the Greek didn’t have to because he had the right type of hair to take the style. 

by Andrea Ash (Née Pinnell) on 17/12/2011 at 20:14

Both Peter and Ivan were if my memory serves me right in the Paras or Commandos. I remember Ivan visiting on his last leave before his discharge when he became a full time member of the team. 

by Ian Mott on 17/12/2011 at 20:32

I went in early one morning in the week before school in the 4th year and had a full style with Peter, hair net, blow dry the lot complete Eddie Cochran blond look. Got really told off by Mr Rees so I limited my future visits to Saturdays like the rest of the lads. I think I blew all my spare cash either in Peters or in Stanwood’s record shop back in the day.

by Richard Haines on 17/12/2011 at 22:28

Chris says Peter was definitely in the Parachute Regiment because he showed photos but he seems to think Ivan was attached to the airborne forces for some reason, but not 100% sure. 

by Andrea Ash (née Pinnell) on 18/12/2011 at 22:41

It was great to read all the messages regarding Peters the hairdressers. I have the permission of one of his stylists to pst this message. I went to Peters when he had a shop at the Jolly Friars in Whitmore Way in 1961 and his stylist Diane Lockwood (good old Laindon girl) looked after my locks, I followed Diane when she moved to Peters in Ballards Walk and when she moved to the little shop in Laindon High Road – yes, I followed her there. All in all Diane looked after my hair for over 15 years. I am still in touch with her which is lovely as our friendship is now over 50 years old.  

by Ann Merrison on 16/01/2012 at 16:32

Correction, Correction, Correction. I apologise for an error posted by me yesterday concerning Peters Hairdressers, it was NOT Peters Hairdressers in Whitmore Way where I first met Diane, the name of the hair dressers was Gerard, apologises all round and thanks Diane for putting me right – I have still known you for over 50 years.

by Ann Merrison on 17/01/2012 at 19:36

Hi Bert and Ann hope your both in better health now. Was Diane Lockwood any relation to Ronnie Lockwood? I remember Peter’s ,what a great story Ann 

by Keith Nock on 17/01/2012 at 21:17

If I remember rightly, this was the small Gents hairdressers at the Hiawatha, and between a sweet shop and Williamson’s the butchers? If so, it is where I very first had my hair ‘styled’ by and possibly Peter.

by Brian Baylis on 25/01/2012 at 00:45

Peter’s was just south east of the bridge over the railway. They moved from there to Lee Chapel. 

by Ian Mott on 25/01/2012 at 09:42

Brian, the shop you are thinking of is Barrett’s, not quite as stylish as Peters.

by Richard Haines on 25/01/2012 at 10:52

The Hairdressers between Williamson’s Buchers and the sweet shop was called Elliott’s. 

by Nina Humphrey(née Burton) on 25/01/2012 at 20:18

The hairdressers at the Hiawatha was Barrett’s? See the message board entry, Mr Barrett. Where was Elliott’s or was this later. 

by Richard Haines on 29/01/2012 at 20:16

Hi Richard. As William Diment says in his article, Mr Barrett’s, hairdressers shop was between The Memorial Hall and Somerset Road. That was on the west side of the High Road. I used to go there sometimes with my dad and my little brother and wait for them. Dad used to chat for ages with Mr Barrett. I remembered a very tiny, narrow gents hairdressers on the opposite site of the road almost squashed between two other shops, but couldn’t remember the name of it. There were a few pictures of fashionable men’s hairstyles on the outside (quiffs and that sort of thing) and the usual advertisement for Brylcreem (a little dab a do yah!). It was so narrow that I used to be curious as to what it was like inside.

I found it on the Basildon History Website where they have listed all the shops. Elliott’s was on the east side of Laindon High Road, between a sweet shop and a butchers, just a few yards along from The Hiawatha. I believe those shops were called St Nicholas Parade and included Greens Stores (where my mum worked part-time from late fifties until late sixties).

I also found it on a list of shops that an old neighbour once wrote out for me. That list goes like this. Hiawatha, Nicholas Lane, St Peters Hall, Greens Stores, butchers, Elliott hairdresser, sweet shop. Then there were a few other shops before reaching Ulster Road including Charsleys and Moorcrofts. I used to like window shopping at Charsleys. When I was 14, I saved for ages to buy my first pair of shoes with stiletto heels that I’d seen in the window. White they were. Oh dear! 

by Nina Humphrey(née Burton) on 01/02/2012 at 09:52

Nina it was the shop up from the Hiawatha with the quiff haircut photos where I used to go (age 10-13). Definitely narrow as well, the only thing is, on the listing Elliots is down as a residence and the hairdressers listed is next door, in St Nicholas Parade named as Douglas salon. I have always remembered it as a very busy shop, particularly after school which is when I used to go in. Suggest we bring in Miss Marple again… 

by Richard Haines on 02/02/2012 at 11:32

Richard. Yes, I noticed that too. I remember that little narrow shop so well. Pity I didn’t make a note of its name at the time. Some more investigations are in order me thinks. I’m becoming a regular customer of ERO. 

by Nina Humphrey(née Burton) on 04/02/2012 at 23:10

Was Peter and Ivan’s surname Grimwood ? and did they go on to own or manage the Windmill Pub at East Hanningfield ?

I remember they always played Frank Sinatra all the time !!

by Steve White on 15/02/2012 at 15:35

Yes Steve, their name was Grimwood

I met Ivan at the Windmill in the 80s. They also owned Orsett Hall

by Ian Mott on 15/02/2012 at 20:31

I hope Ivan had cheered up a bit by then :-).

by Richard Haines on 23/02/2012 at 13:30

Yes I remember Peter’s hairdresser, just over the railway bridge in Laindon, I used to go there regular around 1957/8, if I have my dates right, long time ago. I always managed to get Ivan, Peters brother, but he was ok. What I can remember though is he often used to make a bad smell after the night before and would sprayed something in the air, thank goodness, but wonderful memories. I had forgotten until I read your letters. 

by Brian Slaughter on 03/05/2012 at 08:05

I was a stylist at Peter’s in Ballards walk with Dianne. I lived in Roberts Road and when the salon moved to Laindon it was almost on my doorstep. I remember going to Dianne’s wedding. I left Peter’s in 1967 not long before I was married.

by Caroline Franklin née Brown on 28/05/2012 at 21:51

Laindon’s Mr Teasy Weasy.

I found it very interesting reading the stories about Peter the Hairdresser. His name is Peter Grimwood and as far as I know he is still around and living in the Stock area. In those days he lived with his wife Avril at ‘Reedwood’ Vowler Road Langdon Hills. 

His first shop was a Gentlemen’s Barbers just over the bridge on the Langdon Hills side.  He was a young man in a hurry, within a few years he was to dominate the local hairdressing scene with several salons and radical ideas on how to build a business in the swinging 60s. His stylists were young and trendy. His salons were bright modern and appealed to the younger generation of the New Town. 

Some years later he and his brother Ivan changed direction and in the early 70s I had the pleasure of moving him and Avril from their home in The Knowle Basildon to his new venture which was the Whitmore’s old house, Orsett Hall. Peter then opened the Hall as a restaurant/pub with function rooms. He also with Ivan had the Old Windmill pub/restaurant out in South Hanningfield.

By Paul Gibson

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  • Yes I remember the Grimewood’s well, I did my apprenticeship with them at Laindon. My brother’s went to their shop where they had the hairnet treatment. I moved to the Knares, when they opened the Unisex Salon. My name then was Dawn Mathews. I was with them till September 1965.

    By Dawn F Pledger (26/10/2021)
  • I had the best haircuts at Peter’s but not by Peter or Ivan, I had my hair cut by the apprentice Michael who was by far the best hairdresser. He went on to open a ladies’ hairdressers just further up on the left hand side! I wonder whatever happened to him. I think his Mother worked in the Chemist in Laindon High Street.

    I remember all the girls from The Laindon Telephone Exchange which was situated in a large house opposite his salon, would go just to see him. I had a crush on him and would go for a shampoo and set once a week.

    I was invited to his house on several occasions, he lived in Kathleen Ferrier Crescent if my memory serves me well…

    Faye Brogan nèe Wiskin (ex Fryerns’ girl)
    Fond memories of Laindon.

    Happily divorced and still working as a Stewardess (Purser) for British Airways.

    By Faye Brogan (06/11/2019)
  • Brilliant to come across this page and a familiar name.
    Peter always insisted he was a Hairdresser and not a Barber.
    Photos on the wall and a packed saloon on Friday evening listening to Johnny Mathis “Look at me”.
    Initially Peter lived towards Tilbury, wore an F Spencer raincoat and carried a brief case.
    On Friday evening he would either run for the bus or a customer would volunteer to give him a lift home.
    Ivan enjoyed zits and had a little tool he would use when Peter was not looking.
    Happy days.

    By George White (15/02/2019)
  • My memories of having my hair cut at Peter’s was not that great. The hair clippers were manual, so more hair was pulled out rather than cut.

    The dentist was close by on the opposite side of road. Again not good memories as a filling was done without any pain killer.

    My favorite shop was Lucas’s, if that’s how you spell it. A bit like ‘Open all Hours’ had a bit of everything. I liked the Corgi Cars, I would drool over the free catalogue, save up, which took a long time, and was always surprised that he always had that model in stock.

    By Shaun Watts (20/02/2017)
  • I think I mentioned this somewhere else on the site. Whilst I was a boarder at Palmers, it was Peter’s who attended the boarding house to provide the haircutting service. I was at Palmers from 1951-1956 and I think it was the later of those years when he came there.

    By Gerald Jones (20/02/2017)
  • I only went to the old Peters shop near Laindon Station a few times and already he was well versed in how to get that combed back look sported by all the popular singers of the day including Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Eddie Cochran, Ricky Nelson and Bobby Vee. Peter used a hair net at the end of the hairdressing session to keep everything in place while he sculpted that look to perfection.

    His brother Ivan was not as outgoing and enthusiastic as Peter but some people liked him. Pretty soon Peter said he was getting a new shop in The Knares – I believe this was in 1962. A haircut then was 7/6 for a full style so it needed additional income to support these visits. I then got a job in Hatters Garage (Regent petrol) after school so I could keep up.

    The shop in Basildon was so much nicer than the Laindon one. There were wash basins in a separate area and the front of the shop was given over to ladies hairdressing, Peter had a team of young girls working in that section also. One day in August 1962 my hair looked so brilliant that Peter asked me to become one of the dudes in head shot photos on his wall. My mum said that was ridiculous as I was only 15 at the time.

    Another time I took my uncle Dennis who had come over from Barking for the day. Peter said, look there is no way your hair will look like Richard’s but we’ll do it anyway. We went home like two stars. Again my mum was not impressed at all (she hasn’t changed much even now). Peter had other shops in Basildon, one was in Ballards Walk and another one was in East Square. He was a real character and the nicest person you could ever meet.

    My funniest memory is when I took my friend Mart Brown and he had Ivan doing his hair. Mart’s face in the mirror was a picture, he scowled all the way through his haircut and vowed always to have Peter cutting from then on. Brilliant times from the last season at LHR 1962-1963, how I wish I could go back for one day.

    By Richard Haines (20/02/2017)
  • Isn’t it strange how we all remember different things about going to Peters’ original shop? My first memory was of having my hair shampooed; the chair was turned around and tilted so that your head fitted over the basin in a half round cut out and you looked to the ceiling where someone had affixed very tasteful pictures of glamorous ladies! Peter lived a few doors down from us in Vowler Road and I vividly recollect he  and Avril walking their boxer dogs. Also, I believe, before the children came along they had a Triumph Spitfire car. I suppose he was one of the original ‘entropeneurs’?

    By Malcolm Wilson (12/09/2015)
  • Yes, I too remember Peter’s hairdressers. I think his first shop was the other side of Laindon railway station. It was half a shop shared with the Basildon recorder. Can somebody confirm?

    By John Longstaff (13/05/2014)
  • I remember when Peter started the shop by the station and later his brother Ivan came back from the forces to join him there. we were living in Russell Rd then.

    By David Shearcroft (06/05/2014)
  • Ian a good compilation here of Peters Hairdressers memories. You mentioned that Peter is registered on the site so is there any way of jogging him into writing something, he must have loads of memories. I also remember one of my friends Ray Cranfield from LHR worked in one of his shops on Saturdays.

    Editor: When we catchup with the backlog we will try to encourage more contributions, but we will not pester anybody by sending unsolicited emails.

    By Richard Haines (14/07/2012)
  • Andrea. I am so pleased you were able to confirm ‘Elliotts’ for me. I had some self-doubt even though I do remember the little shop very well. It was just a few doors along from where my mother worked at Greene Stores in St Nicholas Parade. Unfortunately, I can’t recall seeing the dogs. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (12/07/2012)
  • Yes Nina, The Barber’s shop Elliotts was my Uncle Will’s. Uncle, aunt, their son Brian and daughter moved to Devon way back and only Barbara is around now – she is hoping to visit Laindon in the near future – I think she will get a shock.

    Do you remember the two little dogs (that lived at Uncle Will’s home behind the shop) a little white a terrier and a matching black one; they were seen out the front quite a lot.

    By Andrea (11/07/2012)
  • Paul; Peter is still around and is registered on the site, so perhaps he can provide some more up to date photographs. 

    He could also tell us some of the stories he used to relate when we were sitting in the salon, in the hope that we would not have to come back to have our hair styled.

    By Ian Mott (10/07/2012)

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