Sheffield's glamorous hairdresser and her 'Dalton girls'

Marjorie Dalton's shop on West Street, Sheffield
Marjorie Dalton's shop on West Street, Sheffield

Diane Sharp, from Dronfield Woodhouse, has written a fascinating tribute to her boss at an upmarket Sheffield hairdressing salon.


Former ‘Dalton girls’, who worked for Marjorie Dalton Hairdressing and Beauty Culture on West Street, are having a reunion lunch at Baldwin’s Omega at 12.30pm on August 1.
Diane has written this tribute, partly to alert other ex-staff to the event.
She wrote: This is a tribute to Miss D from ‘Les Girls’ (as we were called).
In those days we had to pay for our indentures which cost 40 guineas for a three-year apprenticeship and that was a fair amount of money.
When we had completed our time we were sent to London to take hairdressing exams and to receive our diplomas.
Miss D also visited Paris for all the hairdressing exhibitions for the latest hair styles, colouring etc, which was very upmarket for the time, as she brought new styles back to Sheffield.
This was a great start for our future careers. In many ways it could be compared to a finishing school. She created a name for herself and all of ‘Les Girls’.
We had to work hard and called all the clients Madame. She was very strict and had high standards which benefited us later in life.
Marjorie Dalton started work at Cole Brothers and received high-class training.
In the furniture department worked a handsome young man, called Norman Mooke. They fell in love and married.
He joined the RAF during the war. He was shot down at sea but was rescued a few days later – a very lucky man.
Later in 1945, Miss Dalton joined Harrison’s Hairdressers in Church Street and many clients followed her from Cole Brothers.
Pauline, her junior in those days, has kindly talked to me about those times. Marjorie and Pauline always had a great respect for each other.
Miss D, who was a good business lady, then opened her own shop in West Street. She acquired a TV/radio shop which had to be refurbished and altered.
She had to leave Harrison’s as the boss knew she was taking her customers with her.
Miss D had no transport so she relied on her customers, who had chauffeurs and sometimes taxis or trams etc.
After the war, slowly Sheffield people were finding their feet.
Miss D had a flair for hair and for taking on board and advising clients who included shopkeepers and business people etc.
They enjoyed her attention and interest.
In 1957 she had an extension built to the West Street shop called Open Service. The cubicles were considered to be old-fashioned, so the shop was completely refurbished with the hair dryers and dressing out tables all together.
Servente’s from London designed a very large extension overlooking Division Street, which is still there to this day.
Barlow’s Shop Fitters did a wonderful job – everything was quality.
Cole Brothers, Walsh’s, Cockayne’s, Marshall and Snelgrove, Proctors, Roberts Brothers and many more shops had models walking round their stores. It was a clever way of displaying their clothes and advertising. And we had many girls from these stores who had a shampoo and set in their lunch break.
Also we had many celebrities from the Empire, Lyceum and Playhouse when they were climbing the ladder of success. Some are on TV now.
The Grand Hotel was a popular venue, the cocktail bar being very busy.
Miss D loved her Saturday dinner and dance with friends, with Winston Lee playing her favourite songs.
This was her special time as she had worked hard and deserved the rewards.

Hairdresser Marjorie Dalton at a retirement party in 1988 with Jean Haslam, who worked with her for many years

Hairdresser Marjorie Dalton at a retirement party in 1988 with Jean Haslam, who worked with her for many years