We are now on Episode 17 of the Rocket Rag.. there’s plenty more on the way though..
This time we grill Will ‘The Prospect’ Bartlett about his current barber status and why he chooses to sacrifice every Saturday of his life to hang around with the hoodlums down at Hackney Road..
ROCKET: Alright Big Will..
R: On the old Instagram you are still known as Will ‘The Prospect’.. Do you think that’s appropriate? We all see you as part of the Rocket crew.. and you were even with us at the Christmas Party.. a very limited guest list..
W: Well that’s not really for me to say and still got my education to finish off. Lot to learn yet..
R: The final decision will lie with Neil The Dragon.. but you are already cutting and literally just arrived from sorting out the mops of your brother and his mates before this chat..
W: Yeah yeah.. like a lot of things if you start something, like any skill, word spreads quickly so I do get requests from mates and that to give them a cut. But still got my school to finish.. my A-levels to do. 19th June is the big finish day!
R: Yeah it seems crazy you are still at school. You’re probably the tallest in the whole mob. So how old are you exactly for the readers?
W: 18 years young.
R: Nuts. So after you get straight A* results, what you planning to do?
W: Well I’ve got an unconditional offer from university but I don’t know if I’ll take it. I definitely want to take a gap year.. not to discover myself and all that stuff but mainly to cut hair. I’ve been doing this for two years now..
R: Well maybe you’ve already discovered what you want to do then pal..
R: What’s the big draw then with barbering? As a lot of people your age will think go uni or travelling or whatever. Why you thinking of choosing this trade? Want your own shop and that eventually?
W: Yeah of course. To have my own Rocket! That would be the dream of course. But not in Bromley. [Will’s hometown]
R: So we mainly see you here at the Hackney Road shop. Have you ever cut hair at any other Rockets?
W: Never. Actually I did do a Leyton one once.
R: Sneaked one in.
W: Yeah. That was a sneaky one with Vinny.
R: You’re usually here on a Saturday as you have to graft through the week..
W: Every Saturday.
R: So what kind of duties do you have? What do they get you to do? Hopefully nothing too intense.
W: It ranges. There’s always the usual for the Saturday Boy. If there’s any reading this now, they’ll know. Sweeping the floor and washing hair are main priorities. And 9:30am.. a weekly occurrence: coffees. 100%. They all need their coffees. Need their energy to get through the day. Erm. Making sure the shops clean. Saying hello to all the customers. That’s the main part. And a big shout out to Saturday Sarah at Hackney Coffee Company. Always sorts us out.
R: Gentleman. Fantastic. So what would you say is the most memorable moment from your time cutting so far?
W: Two years has seemed a long time for me. I’d say my first ever haircut.. on my brother. I’d never picked up clippers before and yeah, I had all the 7 barbers in the shop there helping me out but I was lost. And Kriss (Hackney Boss) has said how he has seen how far I’ve come along and he’s proud of what I’m doing so they’re quite big moments for me. The whole progression of it. Got some good teachers.
R: And the downsides? Some of the music played in here must offend you a bit..
W: There is quite a range. Due to the variety of characters that we have here at the shop. It depends who is working. And who is nearest the iPad.
R: Don’t need to name names. There are a few dodgy choices here and there. You’ve done your apprenticeship here and popped down to Leyton. Have you been to any of the other Rockets to show your mug?
W: Yeah man. Went to Stokey when we had a charity day last year. And it was great to be in a bigger shop that had a much bigger broom. Was pretty jealous to be honest with you. Went to Peckham once too. Not got to Walthamstow yet though.
R: But you met all of The Mob at the ‘2017 Xmas Bash’ of course. Anything to share from that night Will? Quite a few of us got a little bit too carried away to say the least.
W: I knew this was coming. Yeah I remember a great night. Great food. Great people. And yeah basically on my way home we stopped by the McDonald’s on Old Kent Road and I basically did a backflip on the ice in front of two ambulances full of paramedics munching on cheeseburgers. Pretty embarassing.
R: At least they could have helped you out if you’d done any damage. Make sure you look after those hands pal. Could be pretty important to you.
And that was our Will. You can follow his progress by checking out his Insta: @willthe_prospect
But he will be Will the Fully Fledged Barber in no time at all..