Aaron Biber, Barber

By Mareka Carter

IIn the London Riots of August 2011, I met an amazing man - 90 year old barber, Aaron Biber. Working with scissors and clippers his entire life, since 12 years old (with a spell protecting Tower Bridge in WW2), Aaron's Tottenham shop had been ransacked, his livelihood threatened.

Moved by this, we decided to try and "Keep Aaron Cutting" and created a blog for his story, asking for donations. In 72 hours, we raised over £35,000 from the internet response and were able to refurbish his shop and get him back on his feet again. A lifelong 'Lilywhites' fan, one of Aaron's first customers in for a trim was Peter Crouch, and Boris Johnson visited too (although not for a haircut, despite Aaron suggesting it needed singeing!)

I made a great friend during those dark days in London, and was encouraged by the community spirit that I always believed lives in this town. That we all care enough about our fellow man, even a complete stranger, to help them in their time of need. And Aaron would be the first man to do that - he's generous to a fault.

He's generous with his chat too - "Aaron's a nation of storytelling on his own, and there's always news to be heard in the barber shop over a cuppa or a tot of whisky." He's been through a lot, seen it all from the Jewish East End to the Battle of Cable Street, world war and beyond, and is definitely a precious thread in the fabric of the nation. So drop by Scotland Green for a trim, he's got the steadiest hands I've ever seen on an old fella. What a gem.

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