Broad Street Wrington ARCHIVE
Personal Quest -
Paul Hurley

Paul Hurley - Poole, Dorset, 26th November

Would anyone remember Stanley Hurley (my great grandfather) who lived at 8 Station road. I think he was a barber and local postman. I am looking for any information towards researching my family tree. Also would anyone remember my grandfather Vernon "Jack" Hurley ?

From Trevor Wedlake, Wrington, 29th November

"I remember Stanley very well because, like everyone else, I had my hair cut there.

Stanley died in 1953 aged 72, and his wife a year later, aged 65. He's buried off the south side of the path from the lych gate to the church.

Here's what I recall:

Stanley must have been born in the 1880s. He had spiky, white hair, and always wore his boots with the laces undone. He had 5 children - Mervyn, who was apprenticed at Kingcott's garage (now Wrington Motors), Vernon, who had an office job, so wore a suit, and went off to Bristol on the bus every day, Leonard, who was a gardener at The Grove (one of the 'big' houses) and rode a bicycle everywhere, Ivy, who married and went to live in Clevedon, and Howard, who, like me, was in the RAF and one of the first to complete a full tour of flying duty in Bomber Command. He married and went to live in Doncaster and never came back to Wrington.

Stanley's barber shop was the front room of his house. All the doors of Station Road then(photographs as they are these days on the website) were never locked, and, in Stanley's case, if the door was open, so was the business ! He had to do his postman round in the mornings before opening up.

He charged, for haircutting, 4d for men, 3d for boys, 2d for shaving. After 5pm on a Saturday, those wanting a shave were served before those just wanting a haircut, whatever order they arrived. He never raised his prices, and because of this, was featured in a two-page spread in the Daily Mirror (I think it was) after the war.

He had a sink but no water in the 'salon', and you could hear the women chatting in the next room. Every so often, Mrs Hurley would come in with boiling water for anyone having a shave. He would dry his razor on little squares of newspaper he'd cut up for the purpose. He also sold cigarettes and tobacco, and my father would send me down for a single or double Woodbine.

Stanley spoke very clearly and loud. One day he was cutting the hair of the live-in chef at Brackenhill (another 'big house') who was very deaf, but he said "Mr Hurley, there's no need to shout" !

On another occasion, before I went off to the RAF, I heard George Wardroper (who had a dog, Carlo, which he could send to the newspaper shop to collect his daily paper) telling Stanley the news that the German battleship Graf Spée was holed up in Montevideo. "Have you ever been to Montevideo, Stanley ?" "No, Mr Wardroper". "I think they should arrest that ship, Stanley". "What would they do, send a policeman on board ?"

Sylvia Millard tells me she and Mary Bond both had their hair cut by Stanley (which I didn't know). He had a little supplementary seat to bring youngsters up to working height, and you knew you were on the way to being 'grown-up' when you no longer needed that !"

[Anything to add, anyone ? - Ed]