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You’re never too old to get inked and this lady proved it by getting her first tattoo of her late husband’s name at the grand age of 82.
Like the bee tattoos – which many people in Manchester have chosen to get as a mark of respect for the people lost in the concert terror attack- tattoos can be a fantastic way of marking a moment or acting as a memorial.
This is exactly what June Bright from Spalding, Lincolnshire thought anyway, when she decided to get her late husband Derrick’s name tattooed on her wrist in the ultimate act of remembrance.
UNILAD caught up with her granddaughter – 32-year-old Naomi Newell, also from Spalding – and 40-year-old tattoo artist Nicholas Sylvester from Boston, Lincolnshire, to find out how the inking came about and her thoughts behind it.
Apparently the 82-year-old has had her sights set on getting a permanent piece of body art for a while, as Naomi told us she’d been eyeing up her friend’s tattoo and wondering if she could get one too.
My Nan’s 79 year old close friend had a tattoo whilst on her holiday of some poppies on her wrist – which my Nan really liked and got her thinking.
June didn’t want to get any old thing tattooed on her forever more though, she wanted something special to remember her husband by.
Naomi’s nan and Derrick had been ‘childhood sweethearts,’ from the age of 13, having been together for 53 years – and married for 45 – before he sadly passed away in 2001.
After 16 years without her beloved husband and intent on finding a way to keep his memory close and alive, June started brainstorming tattoo ideas of what to have and where to place her tribute.
It seems all of it was down to June and once she’d decided on some potential designs, she was keen to get the ball rolling.
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It was her idea – she was very persistent and kept hassling me to take her.
At first, June quite fancied having her husband’s name inked around her wedding ring finger, but worrying there wouldn’t be enough space, she considered opting for his initials ‘D.B,’ instead.
Plans changed on the day though, as Naomi’s nan explained how she’d never actually taken her wedding ring off ‘since the day they got married and was not keen on taking it off to have the tattoo done – nor would it actually come off for that matter!’
Her granddaughter added:
She was still unsure about having just initials as she really wanted the full name.
It was then discussed about having the full name on her wrist like her friend’s tattoo. My Nan really liked this idea, Nick showed her Derrick in some delicate writing and she loved it.
Once this was decided upon, there was no stopping her and fearless June didn’t seem to bat an eyelid throughout the whole painful process.
She was so relaxed!!! Myself and my cousin Jess both commented how it was almost like she was just sat having a cup of tea with a friend.
She said afterwards she was very excited about having it done and that it didn’t hurt. We had even bought her some numbing cream, just in case but forgot to put it on before hand, so it was a good job she didn’t need it! She was very brave.
Naomi – who works in education – told us how made up her nan was with her new ink and how she couldn’t wait to show it off to all her friends.
Brilliant and very pleased – she was so excited to show people and on the phone straight away to friends and family to tell them about it.
This new addition to June’s wrist, means she can feel even closer to her late husband and means ‘he is with her all the time even more so now and she can see his name.’
Nicholas Sylvester – the tattoo artist behind the lady’s sophisticated design and owner of Sabotage Tattoo Studio in Boston, Lincolnshire – told us what he thought of June’s initiative to get a tattoo at 82 and why you’re ‘never too old’ to get inked.
I thought it was an awesome idea. I’ve always believed that tattooing is for everyone whether you’re young or old. There is – and should be – no age limit.
The 40-year-old told us how he thought ‘her idea was a great idea memorial tattoo,’ but how they faced difficulties when they realised they wouldn’t be able to get the ring off her wedding finger…
This is June, she is 82 years old. I tattoo'd her yesterday with her first tattoo, she had the name of her late husband…
I advised on the placement and was really pleased with.
It had to be right for her, especially because the tattoo was so meaningful, not to mention that it was her first tattoo.
The talented tattooist made the important point about embarking on a piece of body art and how you’re never too old to think about getting one.
Tattoos are with you for life, they can be a permanent reminder of one particular moment or person that you want to remember, so it’s all the more important that you get right tattoo, in the right place.
I think you’re never too old for a tattoo, and never to worry about whether other people may think you’re too old for a tattoo!
Could not agree with that sentiment more.
And at 82, it just goes to show you’re never too old to try something new and such a lovely way to remember her husband too. I think June may have just inspired a new wave of people to grab life by the horns and do the thing they’ve been meaning to do, or never had the nerve to do before.
After all, you only get the one life, so why the hell not?