HAIRDRESSER Jeff Stone had a shock when he received a note and £5 from a customer who failed to pay — 20 years ago.

Mr Stone, who has run his business in Fleming Square, Blackburn, since 1971, said he was astonished by the payment.

He said: “I was doing a job in the back of the shop when an Asian lad of about 30 odd came in. He asked me if I was Jeff Stone and I said, ‘What’s this about son?’

“He handed me an envelope with my name on it and said, ‘Just read it.’ “I saw there was some money in it and wanted to know why he was giving it to me but he had disappeared out of the shop and into his car.”

The note explained that in 1992, when he was 15, the man had his hair cut at the shop but did not have enough money to pay the full £8 for it.

Mr Stone allowed him to pay him £5 and told him to bring the remaining £3 back when he could.

“So he gave me too much back, but maybe with inflation it’s right!”, Mr Stone said. “It’s really quite strange. In 50 years in this job I would never have expected such a thing.

“But whoever he is, he is a credit to himself and to his family for doing that and I would love to know who he is and thank him for it.

“Often people come in and have forgotten their wallets and they will go home or to the bank or cash machine and bring the money back, but nothing like this.”

“I’m guessing he had a pang of conscience, or maybe he carried it with him all these years and finally plucked up the courage to bring it back.”

Mr Stone will donate the money to North West Child Action through the charity box in his shop. He said: “I don’t need the money and I would like to pass the goodwill on.

“We all tend to be quite negative about other folk, it’s a cynical world, and this sort of thing restores your faith a bit.”