Diary: Happy anniversary, I got a tattoo of you

Craig Hartley is shown with his grandparents Brian and Christine Stuchbery and his new tattoo.'Picture: Scott Bairstow PD40339
Craig Hartley is shown with his grandparents Brian and Christine Stuchbery and his new tattoo.'Picture: Scott Bairstow PD40339
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NOW tat’s a bit unusual!

A South Yorkshire lad has celebrated his grandparents 50 years of marriage - by having their wedding photo tattooed on his arm.

Barnsley boy Craig Hartley spent £180 immortalising Brian and Christine Stuchbery, of Mapplewell, to mark their golden anniversary.

But when he revealed the inky tribute at a family celebration, the reaction was somewhat moot to say the least.

“My nan burst into tears,” says the 27-years-old from Elsecar. “She then started giving me a lecture and said ‘you’re stupid - that’s for life’. She’s quite old-fashioned so she didn’t really appreciate it.

“But I said ‘Nana, you and granddad are for life too - I’m inspired by you. I hope I can be like you’. She was alright.”

Craig, a steel fixer and former Kirk Balk Community College pupil, spent two-and-half hours under the needle. He had the 10 inch work done instead of getting his grandparents, of Blacker Road, a present.

“Everyone else in the family loved it,” he explains from Hornsea where he now lives. “One of my uncles was saying everything is so impermanent these days. People store photos on computers, and if anything goes wrong they get lost forever. Well, I’m never losing this picture. I’m keeping it with me for good.”

It’s not his first such tattoo either. He has a similarly detailed one of his own wedding day - featuring himself, wife Charlotte and an unsuspecting vicar - etched on his lower arm. His two children, three-year-old Adam and nine month Iyla Rose appear on his biceps, meanwhile.

“I want my entire arm covered with pictures which are personal to me,” he says. “But the idea for my grandparents surprised even the artist. I think his exact words were ‘Jesus, I’ve never done anything like that before’.”

Grandparents Brian, 74, and Christine, 68, married at All Saints Church, Norwood, after meeting while working in Sainsbury’s in Croydon. They moved to South Yorkshire in 1976.

The pair - he a retired ambulance driver and she a cleaner - marked their anniversary with a party at Mapplewell Village Hall.

“I was aghast when I saw the tattoo,” says Christine. “I don’t really agree with them and said he was a silly boy. But never mind, it’s done now.”

What’s your most unusual tattoo? email colin.drury@thestar.co.uk