94-year-old woman gets first tattoo in Kenilworth

A 94-year-old woman ticked an item on her bucket list when she got inked for the first time at a Kenilworth tattoo studio.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 11:10 am
Tattoo artist Matty Gardner inks the tattoo onto the wrist of Hilda West

Hilda West had her son, David, and husband, Ernest's initials inked onto her wrist Wednesday morning at the Ink on Skinz Tattoo Studio at the Oaks Precinct shopping centre in Kenilworth.

Hilda said: “I've always wanted a tattoo, and I thought it'd be very nice to have his initials put on, and also my son's. It's also my husband's birthday coming up on the 14th.”

Matty Gardner, the owner of the tattoo studio, said: “I came in especially, to tattoo her. It was my off day. It's not every day you tattoo a 94-year-old.”

Hilda West and Matty Gardner

One of Hilda's carers from the nearby Castle Brook care home where she lives called and set up the appointment.

He added: “I was more than happy to do it for her. She had two love hearts inked with her son and husband's initials inside. They're both deceased now. I think she's always wanted a tattoo. It was on her bucket list as well.”

Jaime Bennett, who serves as Hilda's lifestyle coach, said they discussed the tattoo over a meal out at the Kenilworth restaurant Pomeroys Bistro and Bar before going to the appointment.

Jaime added: “She said she'd like to go to the restaurant she and her husband went to regularly.

Matty Gardner outside his tattoo studio in the Oaks Precinct in Kenilworth

“Obviously she's a bit overwhelmed with people talking about it. She keeps looking at the tattoo. She loves it, and obviously it helps remind her of her husband and son too.”

Hilda liked the tattoo so much she's ready for another. This time either butterfly or peacock.

She said: “Well, it went very smoothly. I didn't feel any pain. He was very good. I'm very happy with it. I'm glad I had it done.

“I thought it'd be a nice thing to do as his birthday was coming up. He was a good man. We were married 70 years.”

Jamie said the experience has really helped Hilda.

He added: “I think things like this help. Even the simple things like going out to dinner. It made her feel young and free.”

Matty, who has worked a tattoo artist for eight years inked the tattoo free of charge.

He added: “It's nice to do something nice for somebody. I've tattooed people who quite old, but not that old. It was very out of the ordinary.

“It was all over in 20 minutes. She handled it better than some of the body builders I've tattooed.”