Clark's Yard hair salon celebrates anniversary
From apprentices to business owners – two women are celebrating over three decades at Winroths Hair Salon in Clark’s Yard, and 20 years in business together.
The salon owners, Michelle Vickers and Sarah Doudican, are toasting their success by handing out prosecco to customers, decorating the shop’s window and having a live band play in the yard on Saturday 16 October.
The pair started as apprentices at Winroths more than 30 years ago when the salon was owned by Barbara Winroth. Since then, hairstyles may have changed, but the businesswomen are familiar, friendly faces in one of Darlington’s most loved yards.
Michelle, 49, from Ingleton said: “The shop’s history as a hair salon can be dated back for over half a century. In the 60s, it was ran by two ladies who first worked at Binns. Then a gentleman called Gerrard owned it, followed by a lady called Mrs Lee. They approached Barbara who already had a salon in Court Arcade. She moved, and Barbara then had the salon for nearly thirty years.
“We started as apprentices for Barbara. We have loads of great memories of her and her husband Rolf. Rolf owned the barbers shop opposite where we also worked in the early days. The shops in Clarks Yard at the time were Dawson’s Locksmiths, Blends Café, Wrens Quickso, Renates gift shop, Phase One fabric shop and the Barbers. Later, Barbara and Rolf renovated the warehouse, which is now the cheese and wine shop and tattooists, and created a record shop and Renates clothing. Barbara decided the only way to get rid of us was to sell the shop and retire herself. We kept the name Winroths as we call ourselves The Winroth Girls.
“It is funny when we find ourselves doing the hair of daughter’s daughters that we did years ago. It makes us feel old. We can hardly believe it’s been twenty years. Time has flown by but we can honestly say we’ve loved it.”
The pair are also celebrating the salon’s recent makeover - a newly painted shopfront thanks to the Towns Fund – a pot of money aimed at regenerating the town, managed by Darlington Borough Council.
Sarah Doudican, 47, from Darlington, said: “We’re really pleased with it. It looks stylish. All the work happening in the yards is great, it’s miles better than it was before, and we can’t wait for it to all come together. We encourage the good folk of Darlington to drop by the yard on Saturday, listen to a great band, The Wayne’s, from 11-1pm, and visit all the great little independent shops we have here in the town.”
Michelle continued: “We consider ourselves very lucky to have survived the last few years and would like to thank our lovely, loyal stylists Sharon, Sarah and Sam, as well as all of our fantastic clients for their continued support.
Sarah added: “We wouldn’t be here without them.”
The hair salon has supported many charities over the years. Most recently, they sponsored Sarah’s daughter Emma Doudican, through Darlington F.C Women’s football team.