The hair and beauty team from Manchester College in Wythenshawe treated their most loyal client to a surprise celebration to mark her 97th birthday.
Elsie Oates, from Baguley, has enjoyed a cut and colour at the college salon for almost 50 years, helping countless students over the years gain their hairdressing qualifications.
The much loved grandmother-of-three still travels by public transport to the Northenden campus every few weeks for her regular hair appointment.
So when staff and students realised Elsie’s birthday was nearing, they surprised her with gifts to mark the special day.
Elsie, who enjoys a conditioning and colour treatment, said: “I first started coming to what was then called City College because it was conveniently close to my house and the college has always had a good reputation.
“I was a bit overcome when the girls surprised me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and chocolates.
“They’re a lovely team, they check on me regularly and make sure that I’m ok.
“I always say that I go into the salon as Miss World and leave as Miss Universe thanks to my crowning glory.”
Shereen Wilkinson-Rennicks, Hair and Beauty Technician, said: “I trained at The Manchester College when it was based at the Wythenshawe Forum in 2003, and I worked on Elsie’s hair back then.
“She’s so vibrant and independent, and is always telling us stories about her experiences in World War II.
“We wanted to do something special for her so bought her flowers and chocolates, and made a real fuss on the day.”
Jane Theaker, Senior Technician – Service and Retail Industries, said: “Elsie is our longest visiting hairdressing client.
“I started at the College in 1985 and Elsie was a client there.
“She has continued to visit regularly and, in fact, both Shereen and I have had Elsie as a client but 20 years apart!”
Michaela Cole, Hair and Beauty Technician, said: “Elsie has been a lovely client at the college for almost 50 years.
“If we have new students, she loves getting to know them and she has helped so many with their training – I think every student has done her hair.
“She’s like our nanna and we all love her.”
To learn more about The Manchester College hairdressing courses visit