We asked readers for their best tattoo pictures to celebrate National Tattoo Day

Tattoos from Karen Storey (left) and Denise Springthorpe
Tattoos from Karen Storey (left) and Denise Springthorpe
Promoted by National Museum Of The Royal Navy

WHEN Denise Springthorpe was very ill with ulcerated colitis, she didn't think she was going to pull through.

So when the mum-of-four survived her ordeal, she decided to get a tattoo to celebrate her life and her family.

She explained: 'This tattoo was designed by me to mean my four children, three girls and a  boy, as they are the closest thing to me.

'I didn't want names, just a heart. Then when I met my husband Paul, I had the letter P tattooed to complete it. When I look at the tattoo I see how lucky I am and how far I've come.'

Denise, of Gosport, was among readers who sent in pictures of their designs to mark National Tattoo Day today, when tattooing, tattoo culture and tattoo artists are in the spotlight.

Click on the link at the top of the article to see the rest of our amazing reader pictures!

One of the most complex and colourful designs is Phil Hilliker's Oriental sleeve. He said: 'The whole thing was done over a period of about seven months and includes koi carp, lotus flowers, Japanese maples, cherry blossom and a serpent.'

Meanwhile Darren Vicary had a portrait of musician Paul Weller inked on his leg. He revealed: 'About three months later I met him backstage at a gig and he signed the top of it, then I had that tattooed.'

Others who sent in photos of their designs included Donald Smith, 79, of Portchester, who got  tattoos done on his chest and back in Hong Kong while serving in the Royal Navy.

Christopher Hopkins has got an image of Spiderman spread right across his back, while Karen Storey from Waterlooville has a mermaid on her thigh.

Grandmother Julie Clay, also from Waterlooville, had blue and pink feather designs tattooed to always remind her of her six grandchildren.

She said: ‘This is my pride and joy.’

<blob>The largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK, featuring more than 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts, is now on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is running until January 6, 2019. This comprehensive history of British tattooing includes contributions from cutting-edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors.

Admission is free today.  For more information, go to historic dockyard.co.uk