Bamboo Tattooing by Help for Heros Veteran

A new tattoo parlour in Durham is home to a British Army veteran who has mastered a very special skill.

Forces Radio BFBS Catterick's Danny Parkinson met Martin Lowther, formally of the Royal Horse Artillery, who is breaking the mould by bamboo tattooing to raise money for Help For Heroes.

Surrounded by his army pals, Martin gives Mark, a pal he served with, a Help for Heroes tattoo across the top of his back.

There is no loud buzzing from the common electric method, this is all done by hand, dot by dot.

Martin has always had a passion for tattooing and is giving something back to the charity which helped him set up his own shop in the North East.

Now he practises the rare skill which, while travelling in Thailand, he learned from a Buddhist monk.

Just after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Martin helped out a tattooist who had lost his shop in the tidal wave disaster.

"He'd lost all his gear in Phuket. He had a tattoo shop and the Tsunami had wiped him out.

"So he was sat on this little beach that didn't get much tourism and he was paying the guy who had the huts... 50% of what he earned and he was struggling a bit."

In return, Martin became skilled in bamboo tattooing spending several weeks learning his trade.

Help for Hero's logo tattoo
The finished Help For Heroes tattoo

Mark, who served with Martin, says the idea came about when they all went for a beer together as they do every year.

The banter is flying around the parlour with his mates who he served with filling up the room.

“We are like a band of brothers”.

Martin & Mark have raised more than £380 for the charity but you can also donate here > www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-ford21

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