“WE’RE going back to the 1980s when people actually spoke to each other!”

So says Ellesmere Port barber shop owner Steve Davenport who has just introduced ‘No Phone Fridays’ in a bid to encourage customers to get chatty.

Although he has one rule - no talk of Brexit!

Any customer spotted tapping away on their phone has two choices - sing a karaoke song or cough up double for their haircut with the extra cash going to help children with autism.

Chester and District Standard:

The Standard visited Steve’s Barbers on Vale Road on Friday to meet the man himself and see how his new policy was going down.

“It’s a laugh,” he said. “I hope more places start doing this so people talk again!”

Addressing a young man in the shop, he joked: “No disrespect to young people like you but you can’t talk anymore and your thumbs are worn out!”

Steve said the seed of an idea came watching BBC show Fleabag which features a café with ‘Chatty Wednesdays’.

This, combined with the move by pub chain Samuel Smith to ban phones, laptops and tablets, eventually gave rise to ‘No Phone Fridays’.

Chester and District Standard:

“I was looking around the shop one day and there were six lads all doing this,” said Steve, miming someone tapping away on a phone. “It drives me mad!”

He said he had also been in a Liverpool pub recently and observed two young women and their boyfriends not saying a word to each other for an hour as each was glued to their smartphone.

“They may as well have just gone home and saved themselves four or five quid for a pint!” said Steve.

He said people had mostly welcomed his new Friday policy.

“When you come to this shop it’s a laugh,” Steve said. “Nothing serious, and no talk of Brexit!”

Chester and District Standard: