Hairdresser Geoffrey Holmes dies aged 68
A TALENTED York salon owner whose career saw him style some of the most famous faces in showbusiness has died aged 68.
Geoffrey Holmes, a former partner at the Geoffrey Stuart salon in Swinegate, went from humble beginnings in South Yorkshire to the glamour of 1970s Tokyo and London, and eventually to a successful business in the centre of York.
He died on April 22 at his home in Naburn, following a short battle with cancer.
Geoffrey started his career in 1960 in the Doncaster branch of renowned hairstylist chain Andre Bernard. In 1968 he became manager of the company’s York branch, making it one of the most successful in the Andre Bernard group.
In 1972, when the company needed somebody to head its new Tokyo salon, Geoffrey was chosen. His former business partner, Stuart Cuthbert, said: “There were many stars visiting Tokyo at that time and one of his favourite pictures from then is with the singer Dionne Warwick.
“But he was involved with many fashion shows and fashion shoots, he dressed hair for the cast of the touring Rocky Horror Show and was part of the Royal Tour in May 1975 when the Queen visited Japan.”
The subsequent success of the Tokyo salon saw Geoffrey called back to the UK to Andre Bernard’s flagship Mayfair salon in the heart of London.
It was during this time Geoffrey met his life partner Jan Visser, and the pair eventually moved to York in 1977 to escape the hectic pace of London.
It was back in York that Geoffrey joined forces with Mr Cuthbert to form the Geoffrey Stuart salon in Swinegate, York, going on to open other branches in Blossom Street and Harrogate.
His partner Jan said: “They continued working and training right on to 2000, when Geoffrey, out of the blue, had a heart attack. He had been fit and enjoyed extensive travel, fell-walking, cycling and tennis.
“It came as a shock to all who knew him.”
After the health scare he stayed on at the Swinegate salon until 2004, when he retired and left the running of the business to Stuart and his daughter, Jessica.
A funeral date has yet to be announced.
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