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Barber Enzo Casale to retire after 50 years of cutting hair in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:04 09 June 2019

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant

One of Norwich's longest-serving barbers is hanging up his scissors next month after 50 years of running his own shop.

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria PertusaAfter 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Enzo Casale, 76, started his hairdressing career at a salon on Church Lane in Gorleston-on-Sea in 1962, having moved to the UK from Italy that year.

Nine months later and he was cutting the hair of American servicemen at RAF Lakenheath, before arriving in Norwich and setting up his own business in 1969.

Having worked six-day weeks for the past five decades, Mr Casale, who owns Enzo The Barbers on St Vedast Street, is now planning to retire on July 20 - exactly 50 years after he opened the salon.

He said: "I enjoy the work and talking to my customers, but it does become monotonous and age doesn't help. You get problems with your back, legs an shoulders.

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria PertusaAfter 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

"I feel like I could carry on mentally, but I have done my 50 years. Ten shops have been opened up by people who have worked for me. I feel like I have done my bit."

Mr Casale emigrated to England to find work in 1962. After a brief stint on Norfolk's east coast, he moved to the airbase at Lakenheath, staying there until December 1965.

He said: "At one point we used to do a lot of shampoos and styling as hair was longer back then. You had to have precision when you cut it.

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"But on the American base you would always do short haircuts. There was no style."

At the end of 1965 Mr Casale moved to Norwich and found work at Roma's salon on St Benedict's Street.

Four years later on July 21, 1969, he took the decision to open up his own salon on St Vedast Street, off Prince of Wales Road.

The premises had been a betting office and he purchased the entire building for about £10,000.

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria PertusaAfter 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Despite changing names over the years, Mr Casale has always been at the helm of the business. At one point he was employing 11 hairdressers at his salon.

He opened a second shop in the 1980s on Aylsham Road, which is now run by his son Ottavio.

Mr Casale, who lives in Saxlingham, said while his salon will close when he retires, the name will continue through his son's shop.

Speaking about his retirement plans, he said: "I have invested a little bit of money into property and have now become a dreaded name, 'a landlord'.

After 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria PertusaAfter 50 years in the barbershop business in Norwich Enzo Cassale is retiring. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

"But I will focus on my garden more and go on holiday."

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