Grandmother Doreen Avery, 80, became the first customer at Devizes’ new tattoo shop.

Mrs Avery of Longcroft Avenue, Devizes, had a seahorse inked on her left arm by tattoo artist Tom Swift at his shop Mr Swift Tattoos in Northgate Street on Friday last week.

Mr Swift opened to paying customers on Saturday after being given a licence by Wiltshire Council.

Mrs Avery said: “I love seahorses and when I saw Tom working on his shop I told him I wanted one. He thought I was joking but I really meant it. The tattooing doesn’t hurt at all.”

Mr Swift, 30, of Ferozeshah Road, Devizes, said: “Doreen came by every day in her wheelchair while I was doing up the shop and said about getting a tattoo. Her design took an hour to complete.”

It is not Mrs Avery’s first tattoo. She had one of a rose done on her right arm after the death of Princess Diana.

Mrs Avery, a widow who has two children and two grandchildren, said she was encouraged to have the latest tattoo by her grandson, who has a number himself.

She said: “I told him about it and he was in favour of it.”

Mrs Avery, who was one of the original staff of Safeways supermarket when it opened in Devizes in 1991, said: “I still like to look good. I love jewellery and clothes but I don’t buy expensive things.”

Mr Swift, a former pupil of Devizes School, did not find it easy to get permission for his shop and had to complete a 200-page book full of photographs and technical details before he persuaded Wiltshire Council he should have a licence. He received full approval on Friday morning just before he started the design on Mrs Avery.

Mr Swift, who has an art background, has decorated the shop himself with big artwork and comfy sofas.

He said: “We won’t be doing piercings and we want it to be a friendly and not intimidating in any way.”

Mr Swift, who will be helped in the business by his wife Kelly, will be taking on commissions for large intricate designs but will also offer a drop in service for small tattoos. He hopes to introduce laser removal as well.