Whilst perambulating about the lovely city of Bristol the other day we stumbled past a reasonably fetching barber shop. Stumbled upon isn’t quite the right word. We weren’t really stumbling at that point of the evening, so it’s not like we were stumbling and then went past it… it was more just that we were walking along, noticed the shop, and I forced everybody to stop and look because I thought it might be cool.
If I’m honest about it, the thing which caught my attention was the yesteryear-stylee clock protruding above the door, bearing the fairly past-times temperance influenced warning “Remember time lost has gone for ever”. A businesslike eye-boob-triangle glance at the shopfront (can you even do that to a shop?) then spied window writing proclaiming “Master of the tonsorial arts”.
The next window quaintly announced “Hairdressing for Gentlemen and their Sons”. A peer in the window revealed a sign – amid the Victorian trappings – stating “No credit given to women”.
It wasn’t an opportunity for a politically correct rant, however I realised that all of the Equal Opportunities rhetoric that had been beaten into me during the 80’s in suburban Australia was bubbling suddenly and violently to the surface, and got me thinking “They can’t put that there, can they?”. On the other hand, the arrangement had a certain tongue-in-cheek charm: I’m sure they wouldn’t actually give anyone credit at all… we’ve moved on now to credit cards, which make that someone else’s problem.
The current mentality of reviving this sort of old worldyness is intriguing and a bit of fun – I enjoy the concept of The Chap magazine and its associated annual Chap Olympics, and also The Tweed Cycling Club – and it makes me wonder what’s causing this “movement”. I don’t recall a lot of it going on during the last 2 decades, which though they frequently saw different period fashion revivals would typically cycle between 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Ventures forth into Victoriana were generally the preserve of the sort of people who collected & rode penny-farthing bicycles, or were members of a moustache growing society.
The point is, I saw a barbershop which looked like it was nice, and am now diverting off into an essay of the origins of the nouveau-moustache community and how they’re trying to bring about the downfall of Movember by removing the once-a-year stigma of moustaches, and it’s all because I’m jealous that you can’t get enough tweed together to make me a suit of it.
That is all.