A NORTH-East hairdresser of the year has celebrated 30 years of her Thirsk salon and a business which has grown to a group of five salons.

Jill Watkins-Wright celebrated with around 100 clients and staff and said she was overwhelmed by the loyalty her customers had shown her over the years.

She said: “I couldn’t believe how many clients had been with me since the beginning when I went through the books to invite them to the party. It was fantastic. We had prosecco and canapes, and everyone went home with a Watkins-Wright cupcake.”

What started as a small salon on a first floor and down an alleyway has grown to a flagship salon in Thirsk marketplace and four others in Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Kirkbymoorside and Great Ayton.

She said: “My passion has always been in hairdressing. Although I run the business I’m still on the salon floor four days a week and am the busiest stylist across the business."

Ms Watkins-Wright won British Hairdresser of the Year North East in 2015 after being a finalist for four years.