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Inspirational hairdresser's celebration

PUBLISHED: 16:20 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:56 02 July 2010

Hairdresser Diane Goldsmith celebrates 30 years of trading from her Thorpe salon. She is pictured with staff (left to right) Ellen George, Julie Butcher, Sarah Wilkinson and her mum Amy Stimpson

Hairdresser Diane Goldsmith celebrates 30 years of trading from her Thorpe salon. She is pictured with staff (left to right) Ellen George, Julie Butcher, Sarah Wilkinson and her mum Amy Stimpson

Sam Emanuel

She may have a crippling condition which makes it painful to move, but Diane Goldsmith has not let it stop her working and is now celebrating the 30th birthday of her hairdressing salon by raising money for a charity close to her heart.

She may have a crippling condition which makes it painful to move, but Diane Goldsmith has not let it stop her working and is now celebrating the 30th birthday of her hairdressing salon by raising money for a charity close to her heart.

The 53-year-old from Hellesdon, who opened Hair by Diane in Thorpe St Andrew on January 9, 1980, with the help of her late father, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of just 29, and the inspirational hairdresser has been preening the public ever since, despite the agony caused by the swelling in her body.

On Saturday, she opened the doors for a celebration to raise money for the Arthritis Research Campaign, and scores of people flocked to take part in family activities including a tombola and a guess the name of the teddy competition.

She said: “When I was diagnosed I was very distressed, but the Arthritis Research Campaign were so supportive and helped me a great deal.

“It started in my feet and I was very badly affected - I couldn't stand up, but they helped me to buy a stylist's stool on wheels so I could sit down to do people's hair.

“It's in the rest of my body and my hands too, and so I had splints from the hospital which supported my hands, and I rely heavily on my staff, who are wonderful.

“I'm delighted that my salon is still open after 30 years. It has kept me active which has improved my condition a lot - if you sit still you stiffen up and then it can get very painful.”

But despite her inspiring example, she refuses to take any praise, adding: “I've just got on with it, and I really enjoy my job. I hope it will show other people with conditions like mine that they can carry on as normal.”

Mrs Goldsmith, who has a team of five hairdressers and is helped out in the shop by her mother Amy, said that both the area and the shop have changed dramatically since she opened her business.

She said: “I remember doing shampoos and sets for people every week and beehives and all the backcombing styles, whereas now we do a lot more straightening and foiling and things like that - there is a lot more emphasis on colour now.

“But they say the '80s perms are coming back in, and so we will be in our element because we have the experience from the time.

“The whole area was different when I opened the salon - it used to be a hub of community activity with a butcher, a bakery and a greengrocer, and although the community feel of the area has been lost, my customers are still very loyal.”

Are you or your business celebrating a special anniversary? If so, call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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