My Yorkshire childhood - Gary Taylor
PUBLISHED: 19:56 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:17 05 April 2013
Award-winning hairdresser Gary Taylor recalls growing up around the family toupee making business in Brighouse.
I am born and bred in Brighouse, West Yorkshire where the family business Taylor and Co was established in 1919 by my great-grandfather, Edward Taylor. Today my brother runs the business since my father retired and I went on to open my own salon Edward and Co around the corner in 1995.
My early memories revolve very much around our family and from the young age of about seven or eight I was helping out in my dads salon and I got my first glimpse into what it would be like to work in hairdressing. At the time, mum and dad provided toupees for balding gentlemen.
My earliest memory of the business was when I was helping out one day. I was about nine years old and found an old mannequin. I decided to practice my cutting skills and started on it with a pair of scissors only it wasnt an old mannequin, it was brand new and a finished toupee for a client to collect later that day. My parents were not best pleased with me as he looked like Worzel Gummidge!
I went to Carr Green School in Rastrick and when I was young I loved it there. As soon as I was old enough to understand the family business I was only driven by one thing my career.
Our family has always been very close. Our parents lives were very much characterised by whatever I or my brother were doing. Theyd trek all over Yorkshire so that I could play water polo. I played for Halifax and later on for the county. We used to swim whenever we could and go on bike rides around Huddersfield, Brighouse and Rastrick.
Brighouse is a fabulous little town with so much going on. Growing up, there was always something to do and down the road only four or five miles youre surrounded by some of the most beautiful places youve ever seen. The Pennines were fantastic for bike rides wed go for miles and my brother and I would also love to play in the woods. Wed play in Shipton Valley and Bradley Woods going on new adventures and finding new dens to play in constantly.
I loved the East Coast too and to this day I still do. My grandfather used to take us on daytrips to Filey and the family would holiday in Scarborough and Whitby. Obviously as little boys we were fascinated by the Dracula trail and always pestered my dad to take us to Whitby so that we could visit it again and again.
In the summer my dad would take us fishing in Bridlington wed enjoy long summer days sitting on the bank waiting for a bite. Even though we couldnt chat in case we scared away the fish, it was nice just to be together; to spend the time in silence in each others company was enough.
Im proud of my Yorkshire roots and the childhood my family gave me. Now settled in Brighouse, I cant imagine living anywhere else.
It is my family who have made me who I am today and brought me into the industry which I love so very much. I have seen the world thanks to hairdressing and have now broken into the fashion side as North Western Hairdresser of the Year 2012.
Keep your childhood memories coming in. They make fascinating reading. Just email the editor at email@example.com to find out more and be ready to share some of your childhood photographs with us too.