A much-loved Leighton Buzzard hairdresser who is retiring after 46 years is sending her heartfelt thanks to her clients, friends and family.
Angela Licheri, 68, of Hollingdon, will be celebrating her last day at her Lake Street salon ‘Angela Hair and Beauty’ on December 23, as she says goodbye to the world of scissors, curling irons, and brides’ hair do’s.
The ambitious businesswoman opened the salon in April 1971, making many friends and loyal clients.
Angela said: “I’ve had an amazing journey, the customers have been so special to me.
“I was with a customer last week when I told her I was retiring. She was very emotional, and she said: ‘I used to sit under the hair dryer and read to your children.’”
Angela’s family moved to Linslade from Italy when Angela was 12, before they settled in Dudley Street in 1963.
A childhood ambition to run her own salon, Angela had an apprenticeship at Paul Gregory’s, Leighton Buzzard. She married her husband, Giacomo, in 1968 and they moved to Leagrave where she worked at ‘Caspers’ hairdressers.
Angela said: “We wanted to move back to Leighton Buzzard when I was pregnant, my mother being in Dudley Street to look after the baby. We went into Connells and instead of buying a house we bought the premises!
“It was a little sweet and grocery shop on the market owned by Mr and Mrs Brown.
“My husband was very supportive. Our son Simon was born in November 1970 and we got the key in December.
“I was only 21 at the time – my dream was coming true.”
Angela’s sons Simon and Adrian (born in 1975) had a playroom upstairs, the clients “adoring” the young pair, and when the boys were older, Angela turned the upstairs into beauty rooms in 1984.
Angela said: “My biggest challenge was when I lost my husband six years ago. We had planned to build a holiday home in the village where I was born, Roseto.
“My sons encouraged me to continue and now we have two apartments where we can spend more time together on holiday– both my sons have three beautiful children.
“I have sold the business to my colleague, Leanne Smith; I hope my customers carry on to support Leanne’s salon: ‘Top to Toe Hair and Beauty’.”