Haverhill salon launches charity calendar on 25th anniversary

Gerry Kiernan gets his hair cut by Sonia Humphrey, owner of Sonia's Hair and Beauty, 25 years after being her first ever customer. With them are Fiona Pilcher and the mayor of Haverhill, Cllr Betty McLatchy. Picture: David Doughty ANL-151117-162350001
Gerry Kiernan gets his hair cut by Sonia Humphrey, owner of Sonia's Hair and Beauty, 25 years after being her first ever customer. With them are Fiona Pilcher and the mayor of Haverhill, Cllr Betty McLatchy. Picture: David Doughty ANL-151117-162350001

One of Haverhill’s longest standing town centre businesses has celebrated its 25th anniversary – and its owner has used the opportunity to raise funds for charity.

Sonia’s Hair and Beauty in Queen Street marked the anniversary with a party, where owner Sonia Humphrey launched a calendar that will raise money for both Cancer Research UK and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Each month on the calendar, which sells for £5 and can be bought at the salon, is dedicated to someone who has died because of cancer. They include Sonia’s own brother, Mark Murphy, who died in 2010.

Sonia thanked everyone who was involved with the production of calendar, including David Doughty, Morris Armitage, Doffy’s Tea Room, Dejavu, Essential Nails, Feel Good Fitness, all of her team and all of their customers over the past 25 years.

She added: “I lost my own brother to cancer five years ago and my sister has had breast cancer.

“The whole point of the calendar is that we help research to help people live longer and survive and those that unfortunately can’t be helped.”

Sonia opened her business on September 6, 1990, originally in Withersfield Road.

She initially shared the shop, then called Perms and Posies, with florist Fiona Pilcher, with Sonia focusing on hair and Fiona on the floristry. After six months Fiona moved to another premises and Sonia continued alone, taking on her first member of staff in January 1991.

Eight years later, in 1998, Sonia moved to Queen Street and 12 months later expanded the businesses to include beauty treatments.

The building later underwent a conversion as the business grew.

The two shop units that comprised the building were knocked into one, with archways put in and the beauty salon was moved upstairs.

Many of the businesses that were in Queen Street when Sonia arrived there in 1998 have gone or changed hands and although some mainstays like MJ Pipe and STP Stationery have remained, Sonia says the street has changed a lot.

Last month the salon held a party to celebrate the anniversary, where former mayor of Haverhill, Gerry Kiernan, returned to have his hair cut, just as he did in 1990 when he officially opened the original salon.

He was joined by former mayors Elaine McManus and Aldine Horrigan and current mayor, Betty McLatchy.

Of the past 25 years, Sonia said: “It was what I wanted to do and I had my goals, but I think when you are young you don’t know what the future will hold.

“It is a long time and you don’t realise, because you just keep going from year to another.”