What’s the betting there will be scarcely a dry eye in the house when Glen Jackson unveils his latest exhibition at the Ship Inn at Acaster Malbis next month.

It will be the first exhibition that Glen – one half of top York hairdressing duo Glen and Julio – has held since the death of his husband and soulmate Julio Garcia last year.

Glen had started working on the exhibition when Julio became ill – and then could not continue.

“I just couldn’t do it. Julio needed my attention,” he said, his voice still raw with grief.

Julio died of cancer at York Hospital in July last year, aged 70. Glen, his husband and partner of more than 40 years, was at his bedside.

It was standing room only in the chapel at York Crematorium a month later as friends came from far and wide to pay their final respects to a man remembered, with huge affection, as the fun, Spanish, flamenco half of the hairdressing duo.

In place of solemn music, there was a rousing rendition of 'Y Viva Espana', with which many in the congregation joined in.

York Press: Glen Jackson with some of the artworks he has painted for his exhibition at the Ship Inn in Acaster Malbis on July 2Glen Jackson with some of the artworks he has painted for his exhibition at the Ship Inn in Acaster Malbis on July 2 (Image: Glen Jackson)

Since then, Glen has thrown himself into his painting. At time of writing, he had almost 70 works ready – oils, pastels and watercolours, portraits and landscapes.

“Anything to keep my mind off it,” Glen said.

All will be on show and on sale at the Ship Inn on the afternoon of July 2.

One very special portrait, however, will NOT be for sale.

It’s a portrait of Glen and Julio together painted by a friend years ago.

It will hang in the exhibition room, a reminder of the larger than life character who is no longer with us.

“But it will not be for sale!” Glen said.

York Press: The portrait of Glen and Julio together which will NOT be for saleThe portrait of Glen and Julio together which will NOT be for sale (Image: Glen Jackson)

Glen, now 79, has been drawing and painting since he was a small boy growing up in Norton.

He had his first exhibition at the age of just 13 in a hotel in Malton.

He’s self taught – largely because when he expressed an interest in going to art college he was told he’d need to study maths as well.

“I said why do I have to do that? I just want to paint pictures!” he said.

Undeterred, he taught himself.

He became a hairdresser – and met Julio when he went to Spain for a holiday in the 1970s.

Eventually, Julio came to the UK to live with Glen, and they set up Glen and Julio’s salon in Bishopthorpe Road.


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They became York institutions- representing Great Britain in the World and European hairdressing championships, and winning gold medals in Holland, Germany, Italy and London, as well being named British, Scottish and Welsh champions.

Through it all, however, Glen kept up his painting – with Julio’s full support.

“Julio always used to say to me that he’d always wanted someone artistic at home,” Glen said. “He was the one that sat and watched me while I worked.”

In recent years, Glen has held regular exhibitions every four years or so – until Julio’s death last year.

This will be his first exhibition since then – and it is fair to say the spirit of Julio will be hovering over it.

“Everyone loved Julio,” he said.