A family-run hairdressers in Bideford is celebrating 50 years of business.

Tony’s hairdressers opened in Mill Street on March 19, 1970, and has been there ever since.

The business was started by Tony Luongo, who moved to Somerset from the Italian town of Oliveto Citra in 1958.

After marrying wife Vera, they moved to Bideford in 1965 where Tony worked as a hairdresser in town before going self-employed.

Tony died at the age of 54 in 1995 – two weeks before the 25th anniversary of the hairdressers. His sons Don and Lino were already working in the salon and carried on the business, later joined by Lino’s twin sister Dora Tramonte.

Tony's in Mill Street.Tony's in Mill Street.

Don and Lino now have a collective 73 years in the business, and after living in London, Dora has been back in the Mill Street salon for three years.

The trio said it was ‘an achievement’ to be reaching 50 years of business.

Don said: “Dad was by himself first of all, and it just grew as we all came in.

“It’s an achievement in today’s age that the business has survived, because it’s a very cut-throat trade.”

Don, Lino and Dora all learned their trades at the salon helping their father.

Dora said: “We used to come in here and sweep the floor as children for our pocket money, and we would take it in turns on a Saturday to help dad out.

“As we all went off to college, we used to stand next to him and he would let us start clients’ cuts, coming over to check our work before he finished off.

“We all went to North Devon College to get our City and Guilds, but it was dad who taught us how to cut hair.

“It used to be a smaller salon for walk-ins only, then it gradually expanded as the family grew.

“I love my job and we all do. We can have a good laugh with our clients and they carry your work around.

“It’s not very often you get a business that sticks around for this long.”

Lino added: “It’s an achievement that we are still here and still going strong, and hopefully we will be going for a few more years yet.”