A living legend puts her feet up at last
It was an emotional moment when the dancing hairdresser of Norwich put away her scissors for the very last time. So many people will miss her.
They said it would never happen but it has and at last she can put her feet up, look out of her window on the best view of Norwich you are ever likely to see, and look back on an extraordinary life.
Her name is Beryl Vickers of Thorpe Hamlet. The dancing hairdresser and a true living legend.
And yes, she really has retired.
A woman who has given so much pleasure to others both on the dance floor and on the shop floor.
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It was the end of an era last week when Beryl walked away from her salon, Vickie's in Bishopgate for the last time.
'Yes it was emotional. I am going to miss everyone so much. My staff and my customers have become such close and good friends over the years,' said Beryl, who has lived in the same house all her life.
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Both she and her sister Bernice, a talented actress, were part of the entertainment scene in the city and county for many years.
Beryl was just a tot when she first joined one of the best-loved dancing troupes in Norwich run by Madam Osina.
She soon became a leading member of the group who put on spectacular and dazzling displays and were much sought after. 'I was fortunate to appear in several professional pantomines. They were lovely to do,' said Beryl.
'There were four Beryls when I joined. She called me Vickie because of my surname and the name stuck,' she said.
And when Beryl went on to run her own successful dancing school in Norwich it was called, what else, Vickie's.
Away from the dance floor Beryl because a hairdresser – training with Jessie Spinks and then with Olive Denny on Castle Meadow.
From there she went on to build her own small empire of six hairdressing shops in and around Norwich.
'It was a busy time. We had wonderful staff and regular customers. We saw the fashions come and go – and then come back again,' she said.
Vickie's of Bishopgate has been part of the community for many years but Beryl has reluctantly decided the time has come to put away her scissors.
I won't reveal how old she is – let's just say she has reached retirement age.