VETERAN Ledbury barber, Colin Thorne has set down his memories in a book, to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice and cancer research.

The charities were chosen because Mr Thorne’s mother died of cancer back in 1967, when the Hospice did not exist.

But the book, suitably enough entitled “A Slice of Life” is also a fascinating record of one of Ledbury’s most enduring businesses.

And copies are flying out of Mr Thorne’s shop, in The Homend, with 325 sold so far.

Mr Thorne said: “This story was never written as a commercial proposition, but more as a document to enable members of my family and close friends to look into the past and present, hopefully to gain a better understanding of some of the events involved over the last sixty years or so.

“Any money left after publishing costs will be given to cancer research and the hospice, in memory of my mother.”

In putting together the book, Mr Thorne took good advice from his good friend, David Hemsley, who has also published books.

A Slice of Life begins with an account of Mr Thorne’s father, Emrys, who was indentured as a barber in 1932, at the then princely sum of £100.

Emrys Thorne ran his successful business from the very same shop where his son is now based.

As a result, the book carries many interesting accounts of old Ledbury.

For instance, Mr Thorne writes: “The street scene around my father’s shop (1953) was very busy. I was allowed to ride my bike up as far as the old Cottage Hospital, bordering Belle Orchard.

"This has now been turned into flats and offices.

“I could go down the street as far as the Plough Hotel, which is also flats and houses now.

“I remember that most of The Homend was still cobbled.”