You could always recognize a barber's shop, because there was a red and white pole outside, about 18 inches high and 4 inches across. Barbers cut men's hair and did shaving.
A teacher told me that striped poles were common outside barbers' shops because the levels of literacy were so low that clear symbols were needed to encourage custom.
A man to be shaved would first have a towel put over his shoulders and under his chin. Then the barber would work up a lather with a small brush and soap, apply the lather with the brush and use the razor to scrape it off, along with the beard stubble. Finally the man would have a warm towel put round his face which was supposed to help the skin feel better.
A good barber was well sought after because being able to trust oneself to someone with an open razor was obviously important.
Women often cut their husbands' hair. It was all a matter of cost - but couldn't you tell!
It was usual practice to cut children's hair at home. Often a pudding basin was put on their heads to guide the scissors.
I have been unable to find a barber named Rawlinson in Silver Street in the 1911 census. So he probably arrived later.
Pat Cryer, webmaster
and daughter of the author
Our local barber in Edmonton was owned by the Rawlinson family.