When I turned 60 this year I thought it was now or never to do something I’ve always wanted to – get a tattoo!

Now I know it’s not a big thing nowadays but it felt like something significant to do to mark the event – but could I pluck up the courage?

Falmouth Packet: The Stories and Ink tattoo parlour is bright clean and airyThe Stories and Ink tattoo parlour is bright clean and airy (Image: Newsquest)

Well when Stories & Ink announced they were opening a new parlour on Events Square by the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge and ask. They said they’d love to, so there was no going back now!

But what to have? I didn’t want a massive statement tattoo but wanted something simple and meaningful.

Falmouth Packet: The fun begins!The fun begins! (Image: Newsquest)

Anyone who knows me knows I am a massive collector of vinyl. First from the 70s to the early 90s and then again from 2008.

Years ago my wife found a miniature 70s music centre for a doll’s house in the charity vintage shop in Commercial Road in Penryn.

I got my son, who’s just graduated from Falmouth University with a degree in illustration, to do me a simple design based on that and he came up with the perfect drawing within minutes.

So perfect, something based on an item bought for me by my wife, designed by my son and to do with something I am passionate about.

Falmouth Packet: Frances gets to work!Frances gets to work! (Image: Newsquest)

Stories & Ink is an independent brand and the brainchild of two friends, Simon and Stu. After a decade building surf, skate and lifestyle brands, Simon started his own creative agency, which has gone on to work with some of the most credible global brands.

Stu’s passion lies in skincare, with a background in developing consumer-first products that use only the best natural active ingredients and botanical blends. Together, they founded Stories & Ink.

Falmouth Packet: The company sells its own range of after tattoo care products using only the best natural active ingredients and botanical blendsThe company sells its own range of after tattoo care products using only the best natural active ingredients and botanical blends (Image: Stories & Ink)

I was actually pretty nervous when I arrived but the staff soon put me at my ease. The studio is bright, airy, cool and, most importantly, clean.

Also there was a mother and daughter with the mother getting her first ever tattoo, so I wasn’t alone!

Falmouth Packet: I wasn't the only one getting their first tattoo with tattooist Megan StaceyI wasn't the only one getting their first tattoo with tattooist Megan Stacey (Image: Paul Armstrong)

My tattooist was Frances ‘Fran’ Barton, who originally came down to Falmouth to do an illustration degree at Falmouth University before moving back to Manchester.

She has been tattooing for about five years after doing her apprenticeship and set up her own studio, however when the job at Stories and Ink came up, the chance to come back to Falmouth was too tempting.

“I was tiring of living in the city and jumped at the chance,” she said.

For those of you who have never had a tattoo, initially the design is printed onto a transfer and then you are offered the chance to have it in small, medium or large. Once you have chosen your design and where to put it, and signed the consent form, it is transferred onto your body, in my case my inside lower right arm. It just felt right to put my first one there!

Once that was done you are invited to lie down and the tattooing can begin. All the equipment is squeaky clean and all the tattooist wear rubber gloves.

Falmouth Packet: The transfer designThe transfer design (Image: Newsquest)

Frances was great and we soon bonded over our love of the Netflix drama Top Boy.

I was worried about being a wuss but the needle just feels like a constant scratching at times more uncomfortable than others but once you got used to it, it's quite relaxing.

The actual tattoo didn’t take long at all, but I was blown away by the result, it was so much better than I thought it would be.

Afterwards Frances covered the tattoo with clingfilm which has to remain on for at least two hours to protect it from infection as the skin had obviously been pierced.


I was given Stories & Ink own brand skin products for new tattoos which includes a specially formulated wash and a specially formulated hypoallergenic Tattoo Aftercare Cream. These are specifically for new tattoos, to heal quickly keep them fresh looking and keep them clean which they sell at the salon.

I used them and I had absolutely no problems with my tattoo, there was even hardly any swelling.

Falmouth Packet: The end result!The end result! (Image: Paul Armstrong)

Overall I absolutely loved my experience at Stories & Ink, the staff were so friendly and very professional and it’s a lovely space right next to the maritime museum.

They say tattooing is addictive and I’m already thinking about what my next one could be and when I can go back. Who knows collecting tattoos may replace collecting vinyl records!

Falmouth Packet: Very pleased with the end result!Very pleased with the end result! (Image: Paul Armstrong)

You can book a tattoo at Stories and Ink Falmouth by going Stories and Ink Instagram page at www.instagram.com/storiesandinkfalmouth/ and sending them a DM.

To find out more about their skin care products go to www.storiesandink.com

To book an appointment with Frances go to her Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/franceslbarton/ and send her a DM or email her at franceslbarton.tattoos@gmail.com