Leamington barber Frank retires after more than four decades of cutting hair

Leamington barber Frank (Francesco) Episcopo has retired at the age of 70.
Leamington barber Frank (Francesco) Episcopo has retired at the age of 70.

He’s been a cut above for more than 40 years but Leamington barber Francesco Episcopo will now be putting his skilled hands to other use.

The 70-year-old , better known as Frank, was the owner of Francesco Hairdresser in High Street from 1982 until a few years ago and has now decided to retire from the business completely.

And the Sydenham resident is now trying his hand at other pursuits which require a high level of dexterity.

Frank said: “I started flat green bowling and I’m learning to play the accordion.

“I’m certainly not going to just sit down and fall asleep.”

Born in Sicily, Frank started cutting hair when he was seven years old.

At the age of 18 his friend Frank Passantino encouraged him to come to live in Leamington and Mr Passantino went on to set up Franks Gent’s Hairdresser in Regent Street while Frank opened Francesco having worked at the premises since 1974 .

Speaking in 2007, on the 25th anniversary of opening the business ,Frank described it as a “traditional barbers shop”.

He added: “We treat everyone the same and offer a good service.”

Five years after taking over the business Frank opened a women’s hair salon - run by his wife Hazel - called Tops Hair Studio, above the shop.

The premises has been used as a barbers for around 100 years and started off as T E Mayman’s in 1907.

Frank said: “I always loved the job and it was the friendships I built with regular customers is what really made it special.

“I still see a lot of them around and I want to thank all of the people who supported my business over the years.

He said: “I’ve been back to Sicily on holiday but this is definitely my home now.”

Frank has three children - Josephina, Anthony and John and four grandchildren Joshua, Millie, Frankie and Jasmine.

John said: “Dad loved chatting with his customers and we can’t go anywhere with him without him being recognised by them.

“He turned 70 this month and has decided it’s time to retire.

“I wanted his customers to know and to celebrate his hard work.”