STAMBERMILL just won't seem the same when hairdresser Alan Pearson hangs up his comb and scissors for the very last time next month.

Alan's Hairdressers has been a pivotal part of the Stambermill community for the past 49 years.

But at 70, he has decided to make the final cut, he said: "It is with great regret. I love my job and I still don't know whether I've made the right decision.

"However, I've sold the building now and a new barber will be taking over from me."

Alan ,who hails from Pensnett, embarked on his hairdressing career back in 1964 as a 15-year-old when he worked for Baxter's in Pensnett before opening up his own salon in Stambermill on June 16, 1970.

Since then, Alan has been a hairdresser and friend to generations of families throughout the area .

He added: "I only know of one family where I've cut the hair of four generations, but there are quite a few of three generations.

"It's quite an eye opener when I get out the plank for some youngster to sit on and then get told his grandad sat on the very same plank.

"I get customers who travel from all over. Some of them have moved away but still come back to have their hair cut.

"I've got one customer called Sid. I've been cutting his hair for the past 53 years.

"People confide in you. They've told me some most remarkable tales over the years and I sometimes think, why on earth have you told me that."

Hairdressing lives long in the family as he met his wife Jacqueline at college and she ended up working next door to him in Stambermill.

Daughter Catherine Skidmore recalled: "We could never go on holiday without meeting some of dad's customers. He's even been known to cut hair while on holiday.

"He never takes a break, he's always said when he open, he's open."

Alan, who now lives in Norton, will make his final snip on Saturday August 3 and revealed: "I don't know how I'll manage because I've lost count of the number of people who have come into the shop and said they want to be my last customer .

"It's like I've become something of a legend and it really means something to people to say they were my very last customer. I will miss them."