Barber’s unique wallpaper embraces history

Alexander Nicholas barber shop in Uppermill is turning heads thanks to its unique wallpaper design.Business owner Debra Milovanovic embraced the heritage of the modest establishment on High Street and worked in collaboration with the Saddleworth Museum to create the one-of-a-kind paper.

Debra and her husband Nicholas are huge history buffs and were inspired to give their business a local touch.

“We always wanted to create something within the business that payed homage to the history of Uppermill, like a mural, and for years we kept saying to ourselves that we’d do it,” Debra explained.

“Then on one occasion, Mike Fox, the brother of Saddleworth Museum curator Peter, came in to have his hair cut and he brought with him some images of the shop as it was in the Victorian times.

“Because we’re quite into our history, we wanted to find out more about it and so about three to four years ago we were out and about in Oldham and decided to dig a bit deeper into its background.

“We found quite a lot of photos that showed this particular building, as well as the business, to be over 100 years old and that really inspired us to pursue the creation of this wallpaper.”

The striking wall covering references three historic photographs and depicts the barber shop in its earliest form, with some of the imagery dating back as far as the mid 1890s.

Debra continued: “When we did the refurb of the shop in August last year, it made sense for us to make good on our threat to do this and we couldn’t have done it without the help of Peter Fox.

“Steven Walton from Pennine Painters (who decorated our shop) recommended Media Mill, based in Tanners Mill in Greenfield, to create the wallpaper and Peter was instrumental in ensuring they got the original images to work with.

“It took two men at a time to actually put it up because the paper was so wide, much wider than conventional wallpaper, but it looks fantastic and we couldn’t be happier with how it looks.

“Everyone wants to know about the people, the business and the local area as it was in those images and we are still in the process of researching them.

“We know they depict the business within a period between 1881 to 1910 and it’s a brilliant talking point for all our customers, from kids right up to pensioners.”

• Alexander Nicholas was established 21 years ago on Uppermill High Street and offers a wide range of hair dressing services for men, women and children.

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