Thursday 8 December 2016

Barber sets up shop on A6 lay-by

Published 17/05/2010 | 07:01

Ben Martin at his barber's shop inside a trailer parked in a lay-by alongside the A6 near Luton
Ben Martin at his barber's shop inside a trailer parked in a lay-by alongside the A6 near Luton

A barber who lost his business when the economy slumped has set up shop at the side of a major road.

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Father-of-two Ben Martin is cutting hair in a trailer parked in a lay-by off the A6 near Luton, Bedfordshire.

Mr Martin said he had a "eureka moment" while struggling to find work after his barber's shop in Caddington, Bedfordshire, closed a year ago.

"It was exactly that," said Mr Martin, 38, of Luton.

"I was in the pub chatting and saying I needed a place where there was no rent or overheads, where parking was easy and where men were passing all the time. My mate said I should get a burger van and it gave me the idea - and it's worked.

"I had to check it out with the highways authority and local council but there are no overheads. I drive my trailer there every day. I worked all hours at the start to work out what the best time to work was. Now I do 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Saturday was busy in my barber's shop but of course on Saturday the roads are quiet.

"I get all sorts of customers. Salesmen, lorry drivers, pensioners. One good thing is that parking's easy. There's a guy who runs a burger van in the lay-by opposite and I get on well with him. It's going well."

He added: "My business went down when the recession hit.

"Barbers are affected because people don't have haircuts as often. I just had to close because I couldn't afford the rent and rates any more. I've been a barber all my life but I couldn't find a job anywhere. But you either lie down and die or you fight back and I decided to try and fight back."

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