Tributes paid to legendary Sunderland barber Eddie Marriner following his death
Tributes have been paid to much-loved Sunderland barber Eddie Marriner following his death at the age of 77.
The owner of Eddie Marriner's barber shop, Paula Forth, has spoken fondly of the popular barber following his death on November 20 after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Eddie opened the shop on Derwent Street in 1969 after deciding that hairdressing would allow him to be his own boss and officially retired from barbering around seven years ago, handing over the ownership to Paula.
The shop still contains all of Eddie’s barbering certificates, old Sunderland Echo clippings about him, photos of him and even a trophy from 1970 when he took part in the National Hairdressers Federation North East area championships.
Paula has recalled what Eddie was like to work for and how his customers used to rush to the shop at the end of their work day to beat the crowds.
The 54-year-old said: “Eddie was fully booked from morning to night and a lot of his customers, which are my customers now, worked in the shipyards and they would run over at the end of their shift to try and get in before everyone else.
“He was just such a lovely guy, quietly spoken but also quietly confident in his abilities, he actually started hairdressing because he didn’t want to work for anybody else.”
"As a boss, he was probably the kindest boss that you’d ever meet, people came here to work and just never left."
Paula, who is from Ryhope, first met Eddie in 1985 when she was taking night classes at South Tyneside College where he was teaching male hairdressing at the time.
Despite thinking that he didn’t care too much for her at first, Eddie gave Paula the opportunity to come and work with them once her studies were complete.
"At first, I thought that he didn’t like me as he would always give me lots to do but it actually turned out that he did and he thought that I was quite good.
"When I finished college, he decided to offer me a job which was a bit intimidating coming to the shop because I was only 18 at the time.
"You used to have to stand beside him and hold the scissors while watching everything that he did.
"In the 1970’s, he was well known for blow-waving and he was just brilliant at razor cutting.
"He was really good at things like flat tops, it was amazing how he did it as he would just freehand it but it would still be perfect – it was like an art to him."