Joey is happy to keep the history alive at the Yeppoon Barber Shop in Mary Street
Joey is happy to keep the history alive at the Yeppoon Barber Shop in Mary Street

‘Old time vibe’: New barber takes a walk down memory lane

WHILE many businesses modernise their facilities, Yeppoon Barber Shop has taken their business back down memory lane paying homage to days gone by and the original owner.

Arthur Lawn was the first and original owner in 1953.

Before the shop was in Mary St, Sheryl Gill bought it from Arthur before Angela Hill bought it from Sheryl.

New owner Joey Judge took the shop over in July 2019.

“I wanted to bring back some of the old-time vibe that is in keeping with the history of the business and of my youth,” Joey said.

“I have worked hard to renovate the shop while keeping the business operational aiming for a modern-day shearing shed with a classy barbershop appeal.

“I’m originally from the southwest of Queensland in Dirranbandi, which gave me the inspiration for the shearing shed appeal.

“In Dirranbandi, my father was a carrier, the bush mailman, he delivered groceries, petrol and would go out to the sheep stations to load up the truck with bales of wool and bring them into town to put on the train.

“He instilled a love of all things Australiana and the ways of our forefathers hence my determination for the shop to be a rustic, ‘classy shearing shed’ feel.

“We have 4 staff and we are offering a new range of services such as face shaves, head shaves and more.

“We have a focus on old fashioned manners and friendly customer service.”

While Joey takes the business to new heights, Yeppoon Barber Shop has its own tale to tell with the original owner, Arthur Lawn starting out his working career on a cyanide plant in Cawarral then going on to train as a mechanic and truck driver while serving in Borneo during World War Two.

In 1953 he opened his first barber Shop in Benny Kent’s shop on Tabone’s Corner in James Street, Yeppoon before moving it to Mary Street across the road from the current shop.

He moved twice more to James Street where Domino’s is currently situated then into a lane beside the now IGA until October 1986.

In November 1986 he moved back into Mary Street and continued trading until he sold the business in July 1988.

Arthur ran the business and even went mobile, cutting hair at St Brendan’s College at night when students were doing homework and study.

Back then, haircuts were priced between $1.40 to $1.60 right up until April 1974 when prices went up by a whole $1.

Arthur often be seen riding his bicycle all the way from Farnborough to Yeppoon to operate his business.

Arthurs daughter Nola Dunstan (nee Lawn) said she remembers back to 1971 while working in the ANZ bank her then Manager Don Peever foretold that something big was going to happen in Yeppoon.

And sure enough, the Iwasaki Resort began construction and business began to get busier, including her father’s barber/hairdressing shop.

For Arthur, his business was transient, wet weather in the cyclone season from December to April each year was a quiet time while holiday periods were great for business with visitors flocking to the region.

Nola said her father got to know many of the annual visitors as they travelled north each year and continued to come back for his haircuts and friendly banter.

Joey said she hopes to keep that spirit alive in the business that is remembered best as a place to relax and enjoy conversations with old friends.

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