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Community / Cold head but warm heart for fundraiser after first haircut in 27 years

IT WAS quite literally the end of an era on Saturday night as George Manson said goodbye to his hair after growing it out for nearly three decades.

In doing so he has raised more than £5,000 for a number of charities close to his heart.

George, from Aith, was surrounded by family as his final dreadlock was cut off.

He raised money in memory of Katrina Lockyer, who was the mother of his children, and who he had known for the last 27 years – the same length of time his hair grew for.

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

The final cut took place in Orkney, where Katrina grew up, and it coincided with her ashes being scattered.

The haircut took place in two phases – the first half in Shetland, and the second in Orkney.

“It was an emotional night – and now my head is cold,” George said after the final cut.

“It feels strange, but it feels good.”

George, who works on a Shetland mussel farm, said he started growing his hair as a fundraiser for the Aith lifeboat, but kept it going longer than expected.

The money raised through the chop will go towards the Eric Gray Centre, where Katrina worked for many years, Shetland Link Up, where she had volunteered, Friends of Anchor and the RNLI Aith lifeboat.

“I will keep it short for a bit,” George reflected.

“After 27 years of long hair it will be a novelty to put my hand up run my hand through without catching things.”

After the dreadlocks were cut off George had his head tidied up properly by a “professional sheep shearer” on Sunday.

While he has kept his lengthy beard, his new hairdo should be far less maintenance than his old dreadlocks, which fell well down his back.

“You can just wash your hair when you wash your face in the morning – and no wait for two days for it to dry,” he laughed.

People can still donate to the fundraiser here.