on the button Issue 49 - Page 10

A day in Arlesey with . . . . . . Felix Camfield Walker Felix Camfield Walker, runs Farleys, possibly Hitchin’s coolest unisex hair salon. He has lived in Arlesey for three years with his wife Charlie and daughter Flora. His grandfather, Dick Walker was inventor of the Arlesey Bomb (an angling weight now used by fishing enthusiasts worldwide). Questions by Jodie Chillery I notice you are one of a minority of regular Dads to do the school run, what’s that like? I do it most days of the week, there are a little gang of us, we recognise that, occasionally we have breakfast together at the scout hut (the Wednesday pop up café) much to the amusement of our wives and partners. It’s a privilege to take Flora to school, I feel grateful that we’ve worked ourselves into a position where I’m able to do that most of the time. I make sure that my first appointment here is after the school run. I get to say hello to the teachers she talks about and her classmates and occasionally I get to go on a school outing because I’m there to hear about it, not on an email I get round to reading the day after its happened. She loves it too, especially if we go in one of the cars, that’s a real treat. The cars? I like old cars, I’m a bit of a petrol head. I like fixing them. I’ve got a VW Beetle and an old BMW convertible. I drive them around, we just had a weekend at the NSRA at Old Warden and then Ickle Dub at The George - (Ickleford’s first classic car and VW show). There were loads of split screen camper vans and about 40 Beetles and there’s only room for about 10 cars in the car park, it was more popular than they expected I think. This salon, is not just any old salon is it? It seems a lifestyle choice, how did you come to be running a business like this one? Ten years ago I got very ill (Felix suffered a life threatening brain haemorrhage) and I wasn’t able to work for a year and when I was able to work again we decided we weren’t going to work for anyone else we were going to do our own thing. It was very nerve wracking, I still had residual brain damage and so I was finding everything difficult. But the illness gave me an entirely new perspective and now I’m not prepared to do anything I don’t believe in or don’t want to - what’s the worst thing that can happen? I’ve already experienced that, so… Who are your customers? It’s a 50/50 split male female, straight down the middle. We’ve been quite conscious about keeping it mixed although it possibly looks a bit masculine. I think there are a lot of new people that have moved in to Hitchin and the area and this is a little bit of Fulham or Islington for them, so I get a lot of those people. We also get lots of kids as well the age range generally is 8 months to 80 years. We don’t alienate anyone, everyone is welcome. We’ve got old, young transgender, straight, everyone is welcome and they’re not really clients they’re friends. St Peter’s Old School 10 on the button issue 49 September 2016 | 01462 834265 | steve@onthebuttonarlesey.co.uk | www.on-the-button.co.uk