Tribute leaves its mark on Louis

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A Grantham man and tattoo-fanatic who decided he wanted to commemorate the life of Lady Thatcher with a piece of body art has done so using a little known link between the ex-PM and ice cream.

Legend has it that during her younger days Lady Thatcher was part of a chemical research team which discovered a method of increasing the air in ice cream to cut costs.

Margaret Thatcher Tattoo, Lewis Maier, Darren Paddison. 116D

Margaret Thatcher Tattoo, Lewis Maier, Darren Paddison. 116D

The result was the “Mr Whippy” style ice cream sold from ice cream vans the length and breadth of the country.

Granthamian and tattooist Louis Maier decided he wanted a special tattoo to mark the death of the Grantham-born former Prime Minister so spoke to his boss at The Tattoo Shop in Commercial Road in Grantham, Darren Paddison.

Together the pair came up with the idea for an ice cream-themed Thatcher tattoo.

Darren, who created the tattoo himself, said it was a group decision to go ahead with the tattoo.

Margaret Thatcher juxtaposed with a "Mr Whippy" ice cream on Louis Maier's leg.

Margaret Thatcher juxtaposed with a "Mr Whippy" ice cream on Louis Maier's leg.

He said: “It was a community decision because everyone is split on her - they either love her or hate her.”

Darren came up with the idea thanks to his previous career in ice cream.

He said: “I used to be an ice cream man and that’s when I heard she used to put the air in ice cream. People used to tell me I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for her!”

Louis added: “Not a lot of people know about the ice cream connection. A lot of people don’t like her but everyone likes a bit of Mr Whippy, don’t they! And if it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t be having any of it!”

Louis, 31, had the tattoo done on Tuesday night. He told the Journal he is a big fan of The Iron Lady.

He said: “I thought she was quality. It was a man’s world in them days. Some of her views were not appreciated but at least she stood up and spoke out.”

Louis’ favourite types of tattoo are portraits and Lady Thatcher now joins Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Ludwig van Beethoven as people depicted on Louis’ body.

When asked if he will regret the tattoo in 20 years time, Louis pointed to a tattoo on his arm which reads: “No regrets in life, just lessons well learned.”

Tattooist Darren Paddison said he thoroughly enjoyed creating the piece.

He said: “I don’t mind her either way but she is good to caricature.

“It’s been brilliant for me to do it. I loved it. We just found two or three pictures from the internet and that was it.”

Work on the tattoo is not yet complete but Darren and Louis hope it will be by next Wednesday.

Darren said: “It’s going to be coloured in too but Louis said it was too painful to do all in one go. We want to get it all done before the funeral on Wednesday if we can. We want it to be brightly coloured, like an ice cream.”

- Visit the Grantham Journal’s tribute website for more on her time in Grantham and her political career