AFTER having trouble finding young boys to train as gents hairdressers, a barber decided to hire a girl for the job instead.

Mr Geoff Smalley was struggling to find any boys for the trainee role for his Mincing Lane shop in Blackburn. To get some trainees he decided to put out an ad in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

A few days later, he received a flurry of responses, but none were from boys. 17 applications were sent through to him, all girls.

Mr Smalley said: "This happens about every 10 years. For some unknown reason we find that boys decide they don't want to be hairdressers and can't get trainees any-where, but this is the first time we have had such a tremendous response from the girls."

The lucky girl who eventually got the trainee's job was 16-year-old former telephonist Virginia Parkinson, of Alma Street. She said she had taken the job because it looked like being interesting and unusual.

Girls did not typically take up jobs as gents hairdressers, but in a time where there was a shortage of boys taking up the positions, girls often had desires to do things the boys did not.