A FORMER RAF gunner has taken up a new career path and launched his very own barber shop.

Wayne Marper, of Kirby Hall Road, Castle Hedingham has swapped flying thousands of metres above the sky for his new venture, which he launched earlier this week.

Mr Marper, 34, opened his new barber shop in Swan Street, Sible Hedingham, on Monday and has big plans to rival the fellow hairdressers in the village.

The shop will offer haircuts for both men and woman and be open to the public six days a week.

He said: “There are a few hairdressers and barbers shops in the village but I wanted to give it a go. When the opportunity came up to open my own shop, I just knew I had to take it and give it a go.

“It’ll be me and another member of staff running it. She’ll be the one in charge of the ladies cuts while I’ll do the men’s.

“I’m really excited to get started and looking forward to it. I am confident it’ll be a real success.”

Mr Marper’s new venture will be a far cry from his 14 years spent serving in the Royal Air Force.

He completed two tours of Iraq and a single tour in Afghanistan before calling it a day five years ago, which is when he began to train as a barber.

He added: “I didn’t really no what to do when I came out of the RAF. I wanted to be trained in a skill and this was perfect because you can’t buy a haircut on the internet.

"I found the transition surprisingly easy, and was lucky enough to find a job not long after leaving. However, learning to speak with the public in civilian language took some getting used to."

“It’s quite different to what I used to do but I’m hopeful it’ll really take off and maybe I’ll be able to get some more staff in at some point in the future."