2020’S successive lockdowns have been both a blessing and a curse for Tynedale businesswoman Beverley Ridley, owner of new hair salon Savannah, on Stocksfield's Main Road.

Having been a hair stylist in the district for almost 40 years, Beverley, of Prudhoe, had always aspired to own her own salon.

“During lockdown I had time to think, so I started to do some research", she said. "The more I looked into it, the more it became ‘doable’.

"When you’ve been in the industry as long as I have, your clients are friends. I’ve known many of them for more than 25 years, so I knew I would have a lot of support."

In August, Beverley signed the lease on the premises and set about creating her vintage-themed salon with the help of family and friends, including fellow stylists Sam Cheesman and Joanne Pearson, who upcycled many of the salon’s fixtures and fittings.

And Savannah, which is named after Beverley's two-year old granddaughter, officially opened for business at the end of September. However, after only a few weeks of welcoming clients, it was forced to close its doors again with the second national lockdown.

Beverley said: “It has been a challenge, but so many people and businesses are in the same situation.

"These are uncertain times, and I’m just really proud and happy to have the opportunity to help people feel better. Having your hair styled in a salon is a treat and it can make you feel better about yourself. It’s also one of the few opportunities a lot of people have for any sort of social contact, which is such an important part of our lives”.

Beverley is joined in the salon by experienced stylists Sam and Joanne, as well as her son Matthew’s partner Shannon, who is training to be a stylist.

Savannah reopened on December 2 and currently, the team are working longer hours to accommodate demand in the run up to Christmas. The salon is open Tuesday to Saturday.