Published: 13:35, 20 August 2019
| Updated: 13:41, 20 August 2019
A hairdresser has bid an emotional farewell to her beloved business after 38 years of trading.
Cynthia Wright, 65, shut the doors of Strands in Folkestone this month, waving goodbye to hundreds of loyal customers, and staff.
Although she is looking forward to retirement, the Seabrook resident has found the closure bittersweet after so many successful years in business.
Also retiring is Brenda Gallagher, who has been Mrs Wright since her first day, working as a receptionist and hairdresser.
Mrs Wright said: "We've had so many great times, so many memories. All the Christmases and parties and fun in the salon.
"All our clients were very happy and I know that to be the case because we've had so many cards and flowers and messages thanking us."
Mrs Wright left school at 15 and started an apprenticeship in hairdressing at Lionel Anthony in Tunbridge Wells.
She was there for nine years before moving to Folkestone in 1979 and joining the Andrea Antonio salon - where she met Brenda.
After 18 months she decided to branch out on her own, doing mobile hairdressing.
But in 1981, her husband George, who has since passed away following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, found a salon where she could set up on her own.
Mrs Wright remembers: "It was called Bouverie Hair Stylist and had cubicles in it, which were knocked down and the space opened up.
"I opened on December 1, 1981 and Brenda came to work for me. She's been with me ever since.
"I remember sitting at home and thinking about what to call it with George.
"I knew I didn't want my name up there. We were looking through magazines and I think George came up with Strands."
Over the years more and more staff joined the salon, including juniors and apprentices.
Mrs Wright's longest customer is Marilyn Miller - having first done her hair in 1971 in Tunbridge Wells. Despite moving to Lewes in East Sussex she would still visit the salon in Folkestone.
"She still came to us, right up to us closing," Mrs Wright said. "I had other customers from the beginning of Strands too, the whole 38 years.
"It's been very emotional.
"I'd like to say a special thank you to all our clients throughout the years, and all my staff, past and present, especially to my last seven members of the team."