JIM PHILLIPS has tap danced and laughed his way through a decades-long career as a barber. Why? Because he loves his work and he loves his customers.
Mr Phillips has shut up shop after 38 years at his Denison Street store, and more than six decades cutting hair.
He's had kids grow up in his barber's chair, and a 104-year-old customer who's been a regular since 1963. He's heard lots of stories and made some 'great mates'.
"What am I going to miss? The customers," Mr Phillips said. "I have good, terrific company all the time, and I've got the best service in NSW because they make me laugh, make me tap dance, clap hands, it brings a tear to my eye."
When Mr Phillips was just a teen back in 1955, his barber in Warialda told him he was always dressed smartly with a tie and had his hair trimmed every three weeks, and offered him an apprenticeship.
Mr Phillips took on the trade and didn't look back.
The Jim Phillips Barber Shop is old school - it's had a flat rate of $10 for a men's cut for years and Mr Phillips doesn't muck around with styles, he "keeps to the basics".
An ornate 80-year-old cutting chair, the soul of the shop, will go to his grandson.
Mr Phillips has seen a lot of change in Tamworth through half a century of life in the city, and he has no plans to leave.
"I was born in the bush and I'm stopping in the bush," he said. "I've been in the same house in Tamworth for 50 years."
Mr Phillips - who is also known as the Tamworth's biggest Parramatta Eels fan - hopes to catch more games in his retirement.
The 80-year-old said COVID-19 played a big part in his decision to close the doors.
"I was closed down for two months and that really took it out of me," he said.
When he's finished cutting the hair of his last customer on Saturday and closes the barber shop doors, it will be the end of an era.