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Community / A cut above: fundraiser set for first haircut in nearly 30 years

George Manson at home in Aith. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

IT HAS been a long time coming – 27 years in fact.

But at the end of the month George Manson’s lengthy hair will finally get cut – all in the aid of charities close to his heart. The beard, however, will stay on.

The 55-year-old, from Aith, is raising money in memory of Katrina Lockyer, who was the mother of his children, and who he had known for the last 27 years.

She sadly was diagnosed with cancer in July last year and passed away in March.

The money will go towards the Eric Gray Centre, where Katrina had worked for many years, Shetland Link Up, where she had volunteered, Friends of Anchor and the RNLI Aith lifeboat, where George did his first stint of fundraising 27 years ago.

George will undergo the cut in two stages, with one half chopped off in Shetland at the tail end of the month.

The second half will be cut off a week later in Orkney, when the ashes of Katrina will be scattered near Westness, in Rousay, where she grew up.

George explained that growing his hair started off as a fundraiser for the Aith lifeboat.

It is now styled dreadlocks which reach well down his back.

“It was going to be a five year plan til I got it cut off again, then it became a 10 year plan, then we got to 15 years,” he said.

“Then it became ‘I know when the moment is right’ – and the moment now seems right.”

George, who works on a local mussel farm, said the hair can be a bit of a nuisance some days, “but on the whole there’s no real issues with the keeping of it”.

When working on the mussel site, the hair simply disappears inside his boiler suit and there is no problem with his dreadlocks getting in the way, he added.

People can donate to the fundraiser here.