Death of innovative hair cutter
One of Luton’s best loved characters has died.
Arnold Barnett – better known to legions of well-coiffed women as ‘Mr Arnold’ at Cresta Ladies Hairdressers, later The Cutting Corner – passed away suddenly on October 13. He was 83.
His son Jez, who’s followed in his hairdressing footsteps, said: “My Dad was such an innovator.
“When he started everyone was using massive shears but he swapped to smaller scissors for the precision cutting that became the rage in the 1960s.
“He was also one of the first to use a hand-held hairdrier and he introduced unisex salons to Luton.”
Arnold was responsible for perming the hair of Nottingham pop group Paper Lace. The cover of their hit Billy Don’t be a Hero shows the quartet sporting Arnold-style Afros.
Jez said: “Dad loved everything about the business. He loved his clients, his team and the work.
“He used to do wig parties and demos for Women’s Institutes after hours. He often stayed at the salon until 11pm on a Friday night. His philosophy was ‘If you’re busy you work longer hours – just be grateful you can earn a living.”
Arnold stayed on as consultant when Jez took over Cutting Corner in 1985.
In later life he took to taxi driving for Five Twos where he was known as a genial joker.
“If you got in his cab, he always wanted you to smile,” Jez recalled.
“His proudest moment was winning the Luton Table Tennis Singles championship as a young man.”
Arnold is survived by his widow Daphne and sons Jez and Lee, 48, an accountant. Another son, Michael, died in 1998.
He also leaves five grandchildren.
Jez said: “We will all miss his support. He lived for his family.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Luton
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South west