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'We've lost a legend' - Business in Norfolk town closes after 36 years

PUBLISHED: 10:12 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:53 26 May 2019

Joe's Tattoo Shop on Gorleston High Street has closed down. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Joe's Tattoo Shop on Gorleston High Street has closed down. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

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A Norfolk high street has lost a legend.

Joe's Tattoo Shop on Gorleston High Street has closed down. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Joe's Tattoo Shop on Gorleston High Street has closed down. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Earlier this week, on Monday (May 20), Joe's Tattoo Studio in Gorleston closed its doors.

While the owner has not been available for comment, former customers have been praising his work and lamenting the closure.

The studio had opened in 1983 and many customers had returned year after year.

On social media people expressed their disappointment.

Gareth Burgess, 38, Bekki Moore, 28, and Kelly Moore, 48, the owners of Kracken Bodyart, a new tattoo, piercing and beauty parlour on Gorleston High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Gareth Burgess, 38, Bekki Moore, 28, and Kelly Moore, 48, the owners of Kracken Bodyart, a new tattoo, piercing and beauty parlour on Gorleston High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Dominic Austrin said: "Sad to see Joe's Tattoo have shut their doors.

"Must be one of the town's oldest businesses."

Stephen Baughan commented: "Joe did my first tattoo 20 years ago and it still looks pukka, unlike others I've had elsewhere."

"He did my first tattoo probably 30 years ago and still the little red devil looks great," Robert Sprunt said.

Kracken is a new tattoo, piercing and beauty parlour on Gorleston High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Kracken is a new tattoo, piercing and beauty parlour on Gorleston High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Another commenter said: "Joe's a legend."

While there is sadness over the closure, the opening of a new tattoo parlour, run by former staff at Joe's, has offered consolation to body art aficionados in the town.

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Kracken Bodyart opened on Monday (May 20) on the High Street in a premises across the road from Joe's.

The name, a play on words, describes a sea monster from Scandinavian folklore and is also an expression of appreciation for someone's tattoo.

The studio is run by mother and daughter, Kelly and Bekki Moore, and Gareth Burgess, who had all worked at Joe's.

Respectively they are a body piercer, beautician and tattooist.

Kelly Moore, 48, said that the fledgling business owners had only had three weeks to refurbish the premises, which is next to the William Adams Wetherspoon pub.

A shop called The Raven, selling toys and gifts, had formerly traded there until February.

Ms Moore said that although Joe's had closed they wanted to stay in Gorleston.

"All our trade is here," she said.

She also spoke about how the High Street has boomed since the opening of the William Adams pub.

Cards wishing the business good luck stood on the desk at reception.

Some of the rooms have not yet been fully furnished but the owners are keen to let people know they are still in business.

"We've had a lot of local support," Ms Moore said.

Joe's Tattoo Studio has been contacted for comment.

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