Lesley was born in Regent Street, in Tredworth, in the 1960s. Her mother, a hairdresser, owned a salon at 157 Barton Street and, as a baby, Lesley would sit in her pram while her mother worked.
When she was 16, Lesley began to work “officially” at her mother’s salon. In this interview, she remembers her mother’s salon and reflects on how hairdressing had been “engrained” in her from a young age to make her the “natural born hairdresser” she is today.
In the second clip, she remembers her husband, John Phelps, who won the World Hairdressing Championships in 1990. During his time working in John Phelps Hair Academy on Barton Street, the salon that he founded, she recalls how happy and popular he was with the locals.
In the final clip, Lesley explains some of the reasons why she has such a loyal group of customers and reflects on Barton’s strong community spirit: “We don’t make a lot of money anymore,” she says, “but we’re happy to be a little community.”
Lesley’s story is one of those represented by Gloucester Theatre Company in their play about the lives of Barton and Tredworth people. If you would like to see the theatre piece, performed at The Picturedrome on 25 February 2012, then click here.