Dave Sutheran and Patricia Murray are celebrating three decades of keeping Hartlepool looking good.
Their hairdressing business Towers celebrated its 30th anniversary with a free open house birthday party for customers and staff past and present.
Both originally from Hartlepool, Dave 54, and Pat, 56, have moved several times over the years – but have never left the street which first gave their business its name all those years ago.
“We have been in various premises in Tower Street for the full 30 years,” said Dave.
“We started off in Number Four in 1987, then went to Number One in 2001 and then we moved into Number Ten – the former Streamline Taxis office – in August last year.
“We have always been based in the street – that is where the name came from.”
Dave is delighed to have clocked up three decades in the town – but admits tbe couple initially did not think to make much of the anniversary.
In fact, it was not even Dave and Pat who first realised just how long they had been in business.
“It was a few weeks ago that we were reminded about it,” he said.
“It was one of the customers who mentioned he had been coming here since Day One and said ‘You opened at Easter 1987.’
“Initially, we just said ‘So it’s 30 years, so what?’ but then Pat said ‘Actually, there’s not a lot of businesses that get to 30 years,’ so we thought we would do something and make a bit of an effort to mark the occasion.
“And it has just snowballed from there really over the last three to four weeks.
“So we just decided to have a free house and just say ‘Come down, there’s plenty to drink and plenty to eat.’
Dave had been looking forward to catching up with some familiar faces.
“I’m guessing over the 30 years, we have probably had close to 40 or 50 members of staff through the doors,” he said.
That’s not to say the family-run business doesn’t inspire loyalty.
Stylist Gayle Barrett has been with Towers for 25 years, Stacey Swift has been there 23, Melanie Harris 16 and Tracey Lancaster for ten.
“There have been people who have come and gone and come back again,” said Dave.
Towers can cater for both male and female customers, and the genders have their own separate facilities within the premises.
“There is a barber’s shop and a ladies’ salon,” said Dave.
“It is two businesses within one – even though they are under one roof, we do run them as separate businesses.”