A HAIRDRESSER from Shrewsbury is offering a special discount to blind and partially-sighted people from across Shropshire in memory of his late father, a Wem brewer who lost his sight after an accident.

Eric Minton worked at the famous Wem brewery in the years after the Second World War and now his son Philip, originally from Wem, is backing countywide charity Sight Loss Shropshire (SLS) with special offers at his Kameo Salon in Castle Street for the more than 10,000 people in the county with sight loss.

Philip, who is celebrating being in business in Shrewsbury for 50 years, said he wanted to launch the fundraiser to help support people with the same issues his father did.

"Just like anyone else people with sight loss take pride in their appearance and if we can help them and give them confidence then we're delighted to be able to do so," said Philip

"Just as for all our clients we can advise them as to what will suit them and how it can fall into shape after cutting so it will be easy to style at home."

Philip added: "My father was a very skilled man who worked for the Wem Brewery, starting off cleaning barrels and working his way up to engineer, in charge of the brewing machinery and boilers.

"He always had sight problems and couldn't go into the services during the war but he did join the volunteer fire brigade.

"His eyesight was so poor he once cycled into a parked lorry on his way to a call out but they were made worse in an accident at work when a heavy door was closed on him and struck his head.

"It caused both his retinas to detach.

"He was 40 and he underwent one of the first detached retina operations – it was done under local anaesthetic and at the end the nurse whose arms he was holding was black and blue so he must have been in pain.

"At first when they took the bandages off he could see much better than ever but after a couple of weeks his sight was so bad he could hardly see at all."

His father retrained, learning how to make the big baskets used by the post office and then to make coffins before moving to the Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool where they were taught to work on telephone handsets.

The family had moved to Birkenhead from Shropshire and Philip said: "He actually used his engineering skills to make different shaped dies to help other blind people to work on different parts of the phones."

It was then that Philip became an apprentice, first at a hair salon in Bold Street, Liverpool, and then in London at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

He said: "I was watching and Vidal Sassoon came on with a lovely girl on each arm. These two women just stood there and shook the beautiful bobs he had created for them and I thought to myself, I would like to do that."

He worked in a leading salon in Bond Street when London was the fashion capital of the world, gaining management experience, before returning to Shropshire to open his first salon, near his current premises, in Castle Street and has been in the town ever since.

He also plans to sell Sight Loss Shrewsbury Christmas cards and have a collection box for the charity at the Kameo Salon which includes a stylish coffee shop.

For more information about Kameo go to http://kameosalon.co.uk/ and for more about Sight Loss Shropshire go to http://www.sightlossshropshire.org.uk/