She is a hairdresser who became a ‘great friend’ for many of her customers. 

But Jeanette Bush, 60, who has run a hair salon on Market Street in Shipdham for 42 years, is retiring. 

Her hairdressing career began when she was 18-years-old and fresh out of college in King’s Lynn.  

She started working at the salon in 1982 when it was known as Linda Hair Designs and owned by Linda Goodwin.  

After three years of working under Ms Goodwin, she purchased the salon in 1985 at the age of 21-years-old, renaming it Hair by Jeanette. 

“I’m very appreciative of the support I’ve received from my customers,” she said.  

“We’ve laughed, talked, cried together. The men and women who have come here have been fantastic.” 

Hair by Jeanette on Market Street in Shipdam. Hair by Jeanette on Market Street in Shipdam. (Image: Supplied)

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In the early 1980s, she won a regional award the L’Oreal Colour Student of the Year. 

Over the years, Ms Bush has witnessed many changes in the village. 

“There was a butcher’s when I first started, and a cake shop. There's not much left in the village now.” 

And yet, in other ways, life has also turned full circle. 

“The recession in the 80s was as bad as now,” Ms Bush said. “Mortgage rates were high. People had a hard time.” 

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Another challenge was the pandemic, especially the "catch-up" after lockdowns.

"That was horrendous because everybody needed a haircut. I had to prioritise cutting people’s hair over colouring and styling. 

"It took me weeks to get through the backlog of cuts that needed doing. By the time I got everybody sorted, we were back in lockdown again. And we did that three times.” 

The decision was not an easy one, and Ms Bush would have preferred to continue working for another couple of years. 

“It’s hard,” she said, “but I have to give up because I’m having both ankles operated on.” 

Her plans for her retirement include more gardening and walking. 

“I’ll miss the customers, the chats, the laughs,” she said.

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Jeanette Bush ran 'Hair by Jeanette' in Shipdam for 42 years. Jeanette Bush ran 'Hair by Jeanette' in Shipdam for 42 years. (Image: Supplied)

‘Far more than small talk’ 

Rachel Narkiewicz, of Shipdam, said: “Jeanette has been my hairdresser since I moved to Shipdham in 1994.   

“She has done my hair every five or six weeks throughout those thirty years which, give or take, I estimate to be three hundred times.   

“These hours have become far more than small talk.” 

She said they have shared the raising of their children, the births of grandchildren, illnesses, hopes, dreams and all of life’s ups and downs.   

“In addition to always being pleased with my hair, as it has gone from brunette to grey, I have come to value our friendship and I will miss her,” Ms Narkiewicz said. 

Another customer, Dave Kent, said: “Jeanette has been my hairdresser since about 1988.   

“She has cut my hair once a week, excepting holidays, ever since, which must be something like 1575 times.   

“We mardle about families, holidays, health, politics, roadworks, house renovations, and, very occasionally, we mardle about people in the village.   

“Jeanette is a great friend, and I will miss our weekly get-togethers.”