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Tattooist made mark on world

PUBLISHED: 15:31 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 03 July 2010

TATTOOIST: George Mitchell, who was still carrying on his trade last summer on the Britannia Pier, has died at the age of 85

TATTOOIST: George Mitchell, who was still carrying on his trade last summer on the Britannia Pier, has died at the age of 85

Alan Thompson

GREAT Yarmouth tattooist George Mitchell has died at the age of 85.

He was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital on December 18 with a stomach complaint and died on Thursday last week.

GREAT Yarmouth tattooist George Mitchell has died at the age of 85.

He was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital on December 18 with a stomach complaint and died on Thursday last week.

George was affectionately known as one of the “Mitchell boys” and had been a tattooist for 45 years - still carrying on his trade last summer at his regular pitch on the Britannia Pier.

He was a craftsman and according to daughter Susan, who he lived with in King Street, he did not reckon much to modern tattooists.

She said: “He preferred to take his time using colours and still had a steady hand. Dad could draw anything to order but it was largely eagles, ships, hearts and crosses. His own father started tattooing during the first word world war and so Dad took an active interest in it, along with his brothers Arthur and Jimmy.”

George was born and bred in Yarmouth and attended Greenacre School. During the second world war he was an able seaman in the Royal Navy laying mines in enemy territory. He later served in the army where he saw out his time in the forces.

He married long-time girlfriend Sylvia at St Peter's Church in November 1946. They had two children Billy in 1948, who died in 2001, and Susan.

After 25 years of marriage the couple divorced and were apart for two years before being reconciled but they never remarried.

Before taking up the tattooing business full time, he had a variety of jobs.

His daughter said: “He worked in the sugar beet factory, did herring fishing and at one time worked as a coalman. He would do anything honest for a crust.

“Dad was also interested in gardening and very often you find him over his allotment, as he loved being out in the open. He also he enjoyed working on the pier with his tattoos and he also loved meeting people. I will remember him as a good father, if he told you off, you knew it!

“But he was very generous and would give you his last penny. I will miss him.”

George is survived by his daughter Susan and eight sisters.

His funeral is at Gorleston Crematorium on Tuesday .

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