'Grandfather of Kensal Rise': Barber Gee Artrey dies at 86

Clevent Artrey died at the age of 86.

Clevent Artrey died at the age of 86. - Credit: Submitted by family

Barber and “true legend of NW10”, Clevent Artrey, affectionately known as Gee, has died at the age of 86.

Gee, who lived in Kensal Rise, moved to England from Jamaica in 1955.
He trained as a hairdresser in the late 1960s at The Hairdressing Academy in the Strand, opening his first shop on Great Western Road, Westbourne Park.

Gee was dedicated to his work, often working seven days a week at his barbershop, Gee’s Barbers, at 7 Keslake Mansions, Kensal Rise, which he opened in 1970.

Gee trained more than 40 hairdressers throughout his career, and he was an example of “what others could achieve if they applied themselves to their work”, according to his family.

His barbershop has been described by his family as “iconic” and “a cherished landmark for those who were raised or worked in the local area”.

Gee often worked seven days a week and was a well-liked figure in Brent. 

Gee often worked seven days a week and was a well-liked figure in Brent. - Credit: Submitted by family

Whilst engaging in lively conversations inside the shop with colleagues and customers, Gee would always take a moment to greet a familiar face as they passed by the window.

Gee served as a compassionate and caring guardian of the local community, referred to as the “Grandfather of Kensal Rise”.

Michael Kennedy, a close friend of Gee, recalls him offering a young boy from Africa, with no place to stay, shelter in his shop. “Today that young boy has finished university”, Mr Kennedy said.

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Gee raised two children with his first wife, Elva Joyce Henry, and four with his second wife, Edna May Johnson, whom he married after Elva’s death in 1975.

Gee’s family described him as “a quiet-natured individual, who was a hard worker and had a great love for people, his work and his local community”.
Gee died of liver cancer, diabetes and pneumonia on December 3.

His funeral will take place on January 13 at 10.30am. There will be limited capacity at the church due to the pandemic, so the ceremony will be live-streamed and can be followed at this link.

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