A Gwent salon is celebrating 50 years of service.

Salon Phoebe, in Abertillery, was opened in 1968 and has been run by Gillian Morris ever since.

To mark the occasion, visitors to the business, at 15 High Street in the town, were given a complementary glass of champagne, a slice of cake and a small gift.

The half-century celebrations took place from Thursday to Saturday, December 6-8.

Ms Morris, 71, completed an apprenticeship at Trudy Wills’ salon in Ebbw Vale and then became the manager of Salon Flair in Abertillery.

She opened her salon, situated just down the High Street, when she was 21 after setting her sights on owning a salon from the age of 15.

She stayed at the original shop for six years before moving to new premises she occupies to this day.

“I have seen many changes since we opened 50 years ago,” she said.

“Abertillery was once a thriving mining town.

“Numerous large stores, Woolworths, Tom Evans the jewellers, Ashes the arcade and even four banks have all disappeared.”

Ms Morris said that given all the changes, she is grateful to be one of the longest standing businesses in the area and that it is down to the support of a few special individuals as well as the customers she had served down the years.

“Gail Ford, the manager at Salon Phoebe, joined us 42 years ago and has been conscientious and loyal ever since,” she said.

“I would also like to pay tribute to customers past and present.

“Pat Bowd deserves a special mention.

“She is the person who has been my longest standing customer of some 56 years, since back when I was an apprentice.”

During her 50 years of service, Ms Morris can still recall some of the most memorable moments such as when Prince Charles visited the town.

“He came and waved at us, but he didn’t need a haircut,” she said.

She is also proud of becoming the first unisex salon in Abertillery.

Ms Morris, who has now settled in Usk, hung up her scissors a number of years ago to concentrate on the administration side of the business. However, she maintains she has no intention of retiring just yet.

To book a trim at the oldest hairdresser’s in Abertillery, call 01495 212404.