WHO'S WHO: hairdresser Gary Ingham

PUBLISHED: 16:42 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 07 September 2010

Gary Ingham is a former director at Trevor Sorbie s in Covent Garden and now runs his own hairdressing salon in Perrin s Court, Hampstead HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED or WORKED IN HAMPSTEAD? My partner Sean and I bought the salon in December 2007, but we

Gary Ingham is a former director at Trevor Sorbie's in Covent Garden and now runs his own hairdressing salon

in Perrin's Court, Hampstead

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED or WORKED IN HAMPSTEAD?

My partner Sean and I bought the salon in December 2007, but we've gravitated around Hampstead for years.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

When I was at Trevor Sorbie in Covent Garden a lot of my customers were from Hampstead. A few suggested that should I ever open my own salon, Hampstead would be the place. We looked at a handful of other areas but were always drawn back to Hampstead. It's such a gentle, friendly place to be, and clients that aren't based here enjoy visiting.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE AREA?

The people. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I grew up in a Yorkshire village and Hampstead has the close, neighbourliness I love, and that's missing from most of London.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT THE AREA?

It's a close call between the dismal parking and the house prices. But the parking really is appalling, and the council don't seem to be in a hurry to do anything about it. As a small business, it's vital that shoppers can get to you, and without adequate parking, it's really difficult. The proliferation of phone shops and multiples on the High Street is a shame too.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST EYESORE AROUND HERE?

The High Street is really pretty but for a couple of really rotten teeth, the Post Office being the worst. The Royal Free is no beauty either! Whitestone Pond is a bit of a mess and could be a lovely amenity again if Camden would sort it out.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL BUILDING?

I love Modernism in architecture, and have always admired the Isokon Building - the gorgeously modern 1930s block of flats - in Lawn Road. An architect friend of mine was involved in the renovation back in the 90s. It's a wonderful building that represents how optimistic people were about the future back then.

WHich local shops ARE YOUR FAVOURITES?

There are still a lot of great independent retailers in Hampstead. I love Linea for their tastefully chosen menswear collections, and the new interiors store is a wonder. I take all my friends to the Antiques Emporium in Perrin's Court. What June and Alan of Recollections don't know about 18th Century country furniture isn't worth knowing. And I couldn't live without Andrew's on Heath Street - is there anything they don't sell?

WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK?

I love Louis the Hungarian Patisserie for breakfast or pastries. The Base Cafe is a great place for lunch meetings. Ping Pong is another regular and if we drink after work it tends to be in the Flask.

IF YOU WERE MAYOR FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I'd get my haircut! Actually, one of the things I like about Boris is his hair. You need to have a memorable image these days to stay in the public's consciousness. Then I'd scrap all the traffic cameras and put more police on the streets to cut the crime rate.


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