Deckchair Barbering and Hairdressing hides an unexpected secret.
Located below rows of hairdressing chairs, mountains of hair gel and an old school jukebox are caves! That’s right, beneath your feet as you’re getting your haircut lie caves that are opening to the public for the first time as part of Cave City 2019: Nottingham Underground Festival, a chance to visit the maze of caves beneath the city’s streets.
An unassuming door at the back of Deckchair Barbers on Derby Road in Nottingham is not your typical cellar or broom cupboard. Instead, you are greeted with a small set of stairs which lead down into the depths of the city and a labyrinth of limestone caves.
According to Dave Grant, the owner of Deckchair Barbers, the caves beneath the store used to be part of a pub called Ye Olde Milton’s Head, and were originally used to store beer.
“They had horses at the back of the store which used to bring the beer to the pub,” he says.
In the middle of the cave is a ladder, which used to lead outside of the store, and was how the barrels of beer were transported into the pub.
“Apparently the cave was absolutely full of debris when they moved in,” says Grant. “We haven’t had to do any restorations, but the landlord who owns the premises put some steps in which lead down to the caves and cleaned it out.”
The caves may be empty now but they still have their advantages, he adds.
“The benefit of having the cave underneath the store is that it’s always warm in the shop because they’re made of sandstone which means it breathes, and it stays at a constant temperature. So if you go down in the summer it’ll be the same temperature as what it is in the winter.
“We’ve also had local bands make videos down there in the past. We also had a whisky-tasting event down there.”
There can be a damp downside, though.
“We also get hell of a lot of condensation so that is a disadvantage because it acts like a greenhouse up here in the shop so the windows get very damp.”
The Nottingham Underground Festival celebrates Nottingham’s 800 caves, and invites people to explore the caves which have lain beneath the city for hundreds of years.
As a spokesperson for the Nottingham Tourism Centre said: “The Nottingham Underground Festival has been going for a couple of years and the main reason behind it is to open out some of Nottingham’s cave networks that wouldn’t normally be available to the public so they can actually experience them.”
As well as the caves located beneath Deckchair barbers, you can also enjoy a game of Pétanque in People’s Hall, and explore the caves located deep in the sandstone cliff at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the oldest pub in Britain.