JENNIE Keele struggles to think of a time when Lockington was last without a hairdresser.
“It would have to have been a long time ago, I remember there always being a hairdresser here,” she said.
It was with a heavy heart that the town bid farewell to its last hairdresser just before Easter, leaving an empty shopfront in the main street.
But the loss of the important service for the small town extends beyond just getting a cut and colour.
Lockington residents are now concerned that older residents will struggle to find transport to Echuca or Rochester to get their hair cut and – if they do travel out of town – their spending money will go with them.
Ms Keele, president of the Lockington Business Centre, said it was crucial for a town like Lockington to keep local residents utilising local businesses as much as possible.
“Any service lost in town is important,” she said.
“If people have to leave town to get their hair cut, then it means they’ll probably spend even more money out of town.”
The township of Lockington might only have a population of just under 400, but it services a wide farming region that makes up thousands of people.
Many of those will now be forced to travel to other towns – Rochester is 20 minutes away, Echuca is 30.
The hairdresser also provided male and female service for Lockington’s annual debutante ball, and its location alongside the town’s cafe made it a popular meeting place.
Lockington resident Beryl Marshall said the town was eager for a new hairdresser to set up shop.
“The community want to ‘shop locally’, also some members have not the time, nor transport, to go to another town,” she said.
“Senior citizens with gophers have been able in the past to take themselves to hair appointments without the need of a car, and children go after school hours without inconveniencing farming families.
“Lockington would dearly love to see a hairdresser functioning in town as soon as possible.”
The push for a new hairdresser is just another example of Lockington banding together to solve a 21st century problem.
When the town’s bank closed, they were able to attract a community bank.
When the petrol station closed, they opened a volunteer-operated petrol station with three fuel pumps.
Not only did these provide crucial services, they kept that sense of community alive and made sure the town’s supermarket, ice creamery, cafe, op shop, post office, hotel and library did not follow suit.
Ms Marshall hopes that hairdressing can make a return as well.