Grandad Paul’s Tommy tattoo is monumental

SKIN DEEP: Tattoo artist Barry Crake works on the first of four stages of the Tommy tattoo on Paul Nicholson. Below, the photograph that inspired the tattoo.
SKIN DEEP: Tattoo artist Barry Crake works on the first of four stages of the Tommy tattoo on Paul Nicholson. Below, the photograph that inspired the tattoo.
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A GRANDFATHER is having a statuesque tattoo inked on his side.

Paul Nicholson is having Seaham’s Tommy statue inked on to him, with the image taken from a photograph which features his 18-month-old grandson Beau wrapped in a Union Flag.

The Tommy statue in Seaham

The Tommy statue in Seaham

He decided to have the permanent tribute to both added to his collection of tattoos after Sunderland-based photographer Angy Ellis took the shot.

The 38-year-old, from South Hylton, will undergo almost 20 hours of work as Barry Crake, of the Cosmetic Tattoo Studio, in Boldon, creates the design.

Paul, who works for Unipress in Washington, said: “I’ve already got tattoos of my children’s footprints when they were born and I wanted one for Beau. I’ve always wanted something a bit different and when I saw the photograph by Angy, I wanted it done.

“I love my tattoos and this is what I was looking for.

“It’s coming along amazing. I’ve got about 40 or 50 across my body and I was looking for something realistic and that’s why I wanted it done.

“We’re a family who likes tattoos.

“I’ve been to view the statue in Seaham and it’s a fantastic place to go.”

Paul, who is married to Toni, 49, dad to Sol, nine, and Corey 10, and stepdad to Samantha Kelsey, 30, said the piece is also inspired by his grandfather George Gardner, who fought in World War Two.

The statue on the Terrace Green was bought by the town after the campaign group Mission 1101 raised £85,000 with the support of residents, businesses and councils.

The artwork by South Hetton artist Ray Lonsdale was 
first loaned to Seaham, but captured the hearts of visitors and locals who wanted to make the tribute to First World War soldiers and those who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in the aftermath of the conflict permanent.

* Have you an unusual tattoo? Ring Sunderland Echo newsdesk on 501 7208.

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