Yeovil Trades & Traders

Francis W Gaylard

Hairdresser of Hendford and Princes Street


Francis W Gaylard, known as Frank, was born in 1852 in Yeovil. By the late 1870's he had established himself as a hairdresser, initially in premises opposite the Three Choughs in Hendford.

In this Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser advertisement of 1888 at left, while at his premises in Hendford, he also advertised himself as a perfumer and tobacconist but, more interestingly, he advertised his use of "Hair Brushing Machinery Driven by Bailey's Patent Hydraulic Engine". It is illustrated in use in his advertisement below with, presumably, Francis Gaylard himself using it.

In the 1891 census Frank Gaylard was listed as living in Hendford with his wife Julia and their five children and a domestic servant. Frank was listed as a hairdresser and all the children were listed as scholars.

Frank was a Freemason, initiated into the Lodge of Brotherly Love in Yeovil in 1887. He served as Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1895.

By the 1901 census Francis Gaylard was living in Princes Street with Julia and their children; 25-year old draper's assistant Mabel, 21-year old Lilian, Ethel aged 15, 19-year old William. and a general domestic servant. William was listed as a hairdresser's assistant and Lilian was listed as a hairdresser's shop assistant. Their eldest son, Stanley, had left home by this time.


In the 1891 edition of 'Where to Buy' Frank Gaylard's business was given the following description -

Mr F W Gaylard,
Hairdresser, Perfumer, and Importer of Tobacconists' Fancy Goods,
Hendford, opposite the "Choughs" Hotel

The hair is a most important subject, being an index to the health of the brain and to a person's general character. When kept in good order it acts as a powerful aid to the general health of the organs of the head, each hair being like a reed attracting vitality from the atmosphere and supplying a means of escape for many of the subcutaneous humours which, if allowed to accumulate beneath the skin, would produce many symptoms of decreased vitality and loss of that vigorous, mental power which is necessary for the full enjoyment of our faculties. [Did people really believe this twaddle?]

The care, therefore, of the hair and of the scalp is of grave importance, and great discrimination should be exercised in the use of pomades and washes, and also in
the character of the hairdresser to whom we resort. One of the best houses in this line in Yeovil is Mr F W Gaylard's. The proprietor has had a long experience, and has made a special study of his profession, the result of this being seen in the excellent character of his rooms and the fine selection of safe and effective preparations which he keeps for application to the hair and head.

The premises are situated in the Borough, near the Town Hall, the Banks, and the two leading hotels. The rooms are fitted up in modern style, with all the latest improvements. There are two rooms for gentlemen, one on the ground floor with four chairs, and one on the first landing with three chairs, so that seven gentlemen can be attended to simultaneously. A ladies' saloon, equipped with every convenience for shampooing and general toilet, is provided in an adjoining apartment. Special skill and care are given to the work of this branch, and also to the manufacture of ornamental hair. Throughout the saloons the furnishing is of a high class, the silver-plated mountings producing a handsome effect. The shampooing accommodation is simply luxurious; the hair-brushing machines are driven by a handy Ramsbottom's water engine, while all the rooms are fitted up with electric bells. Skillful assistants are employed, Mr Gaylard directing every department of the business.

A good assortment of preparations and toilet requisites is kept, but we have space to mention only a few of the leading specialties. The eucalyptus hair wash supplies a
valuable means of cleansing the scalp and stimulating the growth and healthy action of the hair, at the same time that it lubricates and refreshes the hair itself. It promotes the natural health of the hair follicles, and supplies the phosphoric element which is necessary to the vitality of the nerves. In addition to this we noticed a specially good shaving cream, which makes a most agreeable lather that will not dry on the face, and can be used with hot or cold water. We can speak of both of these from personal experience, and both the Eucalyptus and the Shaving Cream require only to be known to be appreciated. There is also a fine assortment of Knopp's hollow ground razors, for the sale of which Mr Gaylard is agent. The "House of Commons" hair brush is a speciality of a superior quality, and has been supplied by Mr Gaylard to several members. We are not in a position to say whether these brushes are kept in different kinds to suit the heads of Liberal and Conservative statesmen, but they are very fine and handsome goods, and ought to prove invaluable after an "all night sitting," either on the Government or Opposition side of the House.

The department devoted to tobacconists' goods contains a selection of pipes in wood and meerschaum, mounted in silver and other metals, as well as cigars of the best brands, cigarettes, cigar cases, &c, &c. The success which he has achieved is as well merited as it is substantial; the most constant care is taken to supply the most reliable goods, and in all ways to consult the interests of his customers.


Frank Gaylard died in Yeovil in 1922, aged 70.




One of Francis Gaylard's earliest advertisements, from the 1878 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser, and probably his most flowery prose.


Courtesy of Tony Rendell

A pot lid from Gaylard's Shaving Cream, prepared and sold by Frank Gaylard.


This advertisement features in my book "A-Z of Yeovil"

Francis Gaylard's advertisement in the 1881 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser, by which time he had moved to Hendford, opposite the Three Choughs. The advertisement features hair brushing machinery driven by Bailey's Patent Hydraulic Engine and the illustration shows it in use.

The Bailey Patent Hydraulic Engine was manufactured by W H Bailey & Co of Albion Works, Salford, Manchester; they were well-known hydraulic Engineers, making hydraulic lifts and hoists.

The engine used a double-acting cylinder to oscillate the rod at the bottom of the assembly. This rod would be connected to a bellows or other such device; a small lever connected to it operated the valve above the cylinder. The regulator lever was worked by the rise and fall of the air accumulator, controlling the water supply appropriately. The sphere at the top is an air-vessel to minimise water-hammer.


From the Cave Collection (colourised), Courtesy of South Somerset Heritage Collection

In this photograph, dating to the early 1890's, just above the cab diver's head is painted a sign "Gaylard's Hair Cutting Rooms" with an arrow pointing down. His earlier establishment in Hendford was just out of shot at extreme left in this photograph.


This photograph dates to after 1897 when the Capital and County Bank opened on the corner of Princes Street and High Street, just visible at extreme right behind the three-light Sugg lamp erected to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Gaylard's name is proudly displayed on his hairdressing saloon's awning.