Andrew puts the tea into ‘tattoo’

Andrew Blamires has the Tetley Teafolk tattooed on his arm. (d23031115)
Andrew Blamires has the Tetley Teafolk tattooed on his arm. (d23031115)

A SCHOLES grandfather is brewing up a new tattoo inspired by the Tetley teafolk.

Andrew ‘Tetley’ Blamires, 50, will be returning to the tattooist’s chair on Monday to add to his collection of Tetley tea-inspired body art.

Mr Blamires, who enjoys several brews a day, was given the nickname Tetley as a nine-year-old playing with his sister’s CB radio and needed a call-sign to broadcast. The nickname stuck with him for the next 41 years.

“The advert had just come on television at the time, so I called myself Tetley and the name just stuck,” he said.

“It was about 18 years ago when I got the tattoos on my arm done. I just felt like getting one, but I didn’t know what to get. I just picked something that I liked and that meant something to me.

“I have no regrets at all. I don’t like it when I see tattoos on show, so in the winter mine are covered up. I’m not one of these people who have them all down their arms.”

Mr Blamires’ first tattoo was in homage to his wife Janet with a little heart next to her name.

His arm now includes a Tetley character ‘Gaffer’ enjoying a brew on his doorstep, a flaming lighter and another figure holding a short wave radio – a nod to the origins of his nickname.

On Monday he is planning to complete the set when he will have seven of the figures etched across his back, courtesy of Cleckheaton tattoo parlour Somewhere Else, in Westgate.

Mr Blamires added: “The design is for the seven Tetley figures having a cup of tea, standing in front of a medieval castle. There will also be a tea pot with a cup and spoon on there as well.

“It’s all been drawn up and I’m just waiting to get it started.

“It’s probably going to take two sittings to complete it, but it depends on my pain threshold. It’s different than having one on your arm because it can be a bit more sensitive.

“This all came about after I saw a man’s tattoo was posted on Tetley’s Facebook group. I thought it looked a bit wonky so I posted a picture of mine. It just started from there really.

“Everyone knows me by my nickname and because of my tattoos.”

A Tetley’s spokesman said: “We have some major tea fans working here at Tetley but certainly anyone willing to tattoo themselves in honour of the Tea Folk is quite simply one of Britain’s undisputed tea fans who’s gone the extra mile to show that his admiration of the Tea Folk is definitely skin deep.

“As a thank you for his ‘Tet-too’, we’re happy to offer him three years supply of tea and a goody bag.”