My Nurse pin-up tattoo.
I’m actually loving writing these! This week, I talk about my first big tattoo my nurse pin-up tattoo by the one and only Tracy D.
So you may have read in last week’s tattoo tuesday blog that i first met Tracy in about 2010. The first tattoo I knew i wanted was a quirky and fun tribute to my late Granny who had died when I was 10 years old.
Florence Victoria Fleming (nee Whitehead), also known as Vicky, was a very warm, Yorkshire granny. Born in the 1920s. Along with her family consisting of husband George and her three young children, they moved round the Country from Plymouth to Portsmouth to Croydon before finally returning to West Yorkshire for her retirement in the 80s.
I remember trips to see Granny vividly, from the excitement of being bundled into the car with our duvets and pillows, driving for hours in the dark and arriving at Granny’s door in Sowerby Bridge (that I used to think was called Strawberry Bridge) in the dead of night with warm kisses and the same pastel striped bedsheets that I remember till this day. This would start a week long adventure of visiting the Yorkshire moors and having full Sunday roasts, to day trips to Howarth, or see our northern family who, at 5, I didn’t quite know but would happily eat their stale biscuits!
Don’t get me started on the strawberry bonbons from her local corner shop.
I remember these trips as extremely exciting as by the age of 7 or 8, my sister and I had made friends with the local neighbours’ kids who were just as excited to play with us Southern kids as we were to play with them northern lot.
Vicky Fleming trained as an SRN, State Registered Nurse in the 30s and by the time World War Two came round, Vicky was a midwife. She trained and worked her nursing career in Halifax, West Yorkshire having trained at the Halifax Royal Infirmary Hospital. The above photos are amongst my favourite of hers. She was beautiful and a wonderful gran.
She died when I was 10 years old, and I remember the loss like it was yesterday. More times than I like to count I have teared up when talking about her. My granny was the first big loss I experienced in my life, and it was a big loss for my family, having lost my Grandad George decades earlier.
I decided in my late teens that I wanted to get a personal and private tribute to my granny, but was completely stuck with ideas. At this point, I started my business Rockabetty Studios and in a late-night brain wave, decided to get a pin-up nurse tattoo on my right leg, she that she was always with me.
I did my research and found out her birthday flower so I have my nurse pin-up,on a big red rose. However, I would like to eventually get a white rose added, to represent Yorkshire!
The nurses uniform is very tongue-in-cheek as it’s clearly not Vicky’s actual uniform but a cheeky twist on the theme!
Having only met her when she was my white hair granny, I was shocked when my Dad told me that she was originally a ginger! So, I made sure my nurse had ginger victory rolls and a 1940’s nurse uniform.
For a long time, not many people knew I had got her, or knew that it was a nod to my Granny in my own, weird way. But I love her, and she’s started a trend of other pin-up tattoos on the same upper leg. She sits pride of place on my right side so I know she’s with me and beside me always.