A TRADITIONAL Italian barber who has cut the hair of thousands of people is hanging up his clippers and scissors.

Ernesto Ceraldi has run his traditional barber shop for 37 years in Richmond Terrace, Blackburn.

Before moving to his current shop, the 74-year-old was just a stone’s throw away along the same street and he has spent 14 years at the new premises.

Trained in Italy as a young boy, the barber moved to London from Italy in 1963. After working in various places in London, he finally moved to Darwen, and started his own business in Blackburn in 1982.

On leaving all his loyal customers, Mr Ceraldi said: “I’m really going to miss them. I want to thank them for letting me cut their hair and say sorry I have to leave.

“I don’t know where they will go now, but I hope they all find a nice place.

“It’s time for me to retire now, I’m old and want to spend more time with my grandchildren.”

His shop is well-known for the walls featuring postcards from customers who have been on holiday. He said: “Customers send me postcards from all over the world.

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“They go on holiday, and always write back to me. I even had one recently about my retirement. They tell me about the places they go, and wish me all the best.

“I go away myself sometimes, to Italy with my family. I think after a break, I will go back to Italy for a while.”

Despite being a traditional barber, Mr Ceraldi can also use modern ways to cut hair, but most of his customers prefer the older method.

He said: “The older generation, people my age, they prefer the old way. They come here for that.

“Many of my customers are sons of the fathers and grandfathers that used to come and bring them too. They have been coming here for years, that’s why my prices are still the same.”

The customers in the shop also noted that Mr Ceraldi’s prices remain unchanged, which is another reason they come back.

Mr Ceraldi added: “But, I still have new and younger customers coming in too.

“It is also a place they can come and talk to someone. I would also like to thank the people that have helped me through all the difficult times.”

Mr Ceraldi will be officially retiring on April 17.