LOCAL nans and grandads are popping along to the tattoo parlour for a spot of body art in increasing numbers.
Tattooists in Spalding and Holbeach report that women over 50 form an important and growing part of the clientele.
They’ve been surprised at the hoo-ha over 72-year-old Lady Judy Steel having a pink jaguar indelibly imprinted on her left shoulder.
“We don’t see many youngsters – most of our clients are women, between 30 and 50, and quite a few are over 50,” said Sarah Ivatt of the Tattoo Shack in Church Street, Holbeach.
“It’s something women tend to do at the start of a new life, like getting divorced from a husband who wouldn’t have approved, or the children leaving home so they’ve got more time to themselves.
“Getting a tattoo is on a lot of people’s ‘bucket’ lists.
“My favourite was our oldest client so far, in his 70s, who’d never had a tattoo before and wanted his wife’s name tattooed on his arm. It was such a nice thing to do.
“I must say I thought he’d come into the wrong shop at first, he was in a shirt, tie and cap.”
Phoenix Tattoo, in New Road, Spalding, is just entering its busiest time of year – the summer holidays – with up to 60 tattoos booked in each week.
One of the parlour’s two tattooists Lutero Mariano said: “The average age of our clients is 20 to 40, but we get quite a few now between 40 and 60, and once or twice a month someone over 60 will come in.
“Having a tattoo is very personal and it’s something many people do to make a statement about the way they feel at that time.
“It’s a permanent reminder of their state of mind.
“A lady of 77 asked for a small butterfly on the side of her neck. She said she’d wanted this all her life and never had the chance, but her husband had recently died and she decided to go ahead.
“Older people know what they want, which is good. Young people sometimes just want a big tattoo and haven’t thought what kind. We say come back when you know.”