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Rab The Barber

Do You Remember Rab The Barber

Rab Maguire The Barber (on the right, in picture) with his brother Paddy in his King Street shop, about twenty odd years ago...judging by remarks people make today, he more aptly was Rab “The Gentleman Barber”.

It is just over twenty years since Rab Maguire the barber passed away and still you will hear his name come up in conversation for Rab has left a legacy of humour and stories galore of his famous exploits in the Belfast barber world,
As far back in the late 50’s Rab was on the cutting edge of the men’s hairdressing trade as it’s called today. He was much sought after for the most modern and up to date hair styles of the day, the “Crew Cut ”, which was an American Marines style, then there was the ‘Teddy Boys’ style with it’s famous “D.A” affect on the back of the head where the hair on both sides of the head would be merged giving the appearance of (excuse me ) .. a Duck’s Arse.
The Crew Cut was particularly liked because of its short length was popular among sportsmen, boxers, footballers etc and of course by mothers for their boys because it mean less visits to the barbers.
A story Rab himself used to like telling went like this...a young lad came into his shop one day and sat in the chair, “How would you like it son ”? asked Rab. “Well” said the lad. “cud you take a wee bit too much off the front, an inchabove my left ear, two inches above my right ear and leave it all stickin’ out on this side of my head and nice and flat on the other side”.
Rab was amazed, smiling and shaking his head he replied, “Ah son I couldn’t do that, it would look terrible!”
The lad answered, “I don’t know why you cudn’t...you done it to my brother’s hair yesterday .“
The great local comedian, Gerry Millar, (pictured left) dandered into Rab’s Falls Road shop where he had it at the time, took a seat and with a grumpy face said to Rab, “ Short back and sides .. and I don’t like Barbers”. As Rab put the cloth around him he asked, “Why’s that Gerry”.?
Said Gerry, “Because they always talk behind your back.. Boom boom.”
Rab sadly passed away 14th October 1992 aged 62 and on his headstone at St. Joseph’s Cemetery it is inscribed “Rab The Barber “.
Rab’s shop at 68 Falls Road was famous , they came from every part of town to have the latest hair styles and have a bit of craic with Rab.