DIDCOT Power Station’s iconic towers always divide opinion. You either love them or hate them.
But one woman likes them so much she had a permanent reminder tattooed on her body.
Kelly Green grew up in Didcot, and says the colossal structures are something special to those who have grown up in their shadow.
After convincing Heaven and Hell tattoo parlour in Cowley she was serious, she had a replica of the 325ft cooling towers and 650ft chimney inked onto her skin last Saturday.
And after three hours in the chair and £120 later, she is the proud owner of a new tattoo on her right shin.
Mrs Green, who now lives in Greater Leys, said: “If you’re from Didcot the towers are a massive part of your life, and people from outside are quite mean about it. When you tell people where you’re from they say “Oh you’ve got that horrid power station there. It looks a right dump” but it’s actually a really special place.
“I think the artist has taken something that can be seen as ugly and industrial and made it into something quite beautiful.
“I had been thinking about having a tattoo done, and I wanted to be a little different, but also to have something that would mean something special to me.
“It came up in a conversation I had with friends, and we thought it was such a shame that the power station is going. Why not have that done?”
Inspiration for the sketch came from a community page on Facebook called The Social Landscape of Didcot, that takes photos of local landmarks.
Mrs Green said: “At first I was really nervous, but as it took shape it got better and better before my eyes and I couldn't stop looking at it or wait for it to be finished. They did a wonderful job.”
The six cooling towers at the Didcot A plant have dominated the south Oxfordshire landscape for the past 42 years. The plant closes on March 31 and demolition will then follow.
The tattoo isn’t her first, as she also has images of swallows and pin-up girls etched on her shoulder, legs and ankles.
Mrs Green, a project manager, said her husband Matthew was also a fan of the new ink.
Lee Watkins, of Heaven and Hell, said Mrs Green was as “good as gold”.
He said: “It’s in a painful position there on her shin but she was great.
“She came in and we kicked a few ideas around, and when we sketched it up it was exactly what she wanted.
“We’ve used old school colours and tried to give it that dated look.
“There is no right or wrong tattoo, but hearing what some people want nothing surprises me any more.
“I remember a man who was having a sleeve tattoo done and he had a packet of maltesers on there. It makes our lives a little more interesting.”
Other unusual tattoos
DIDCOT Power Station may take some beating as an unusual tattoo but it has some colourful company.
Last year charity fundraiser Brian Adams, of Littlemore, had a My Little Pony character from the 1980s toy line tattooed on his backside.
Mr Adams asked Oxford Mail readers to donate money and nominate the character they would like to see endelibly marked on one of his buttocks. With each pound counting as one vote he raised more than £1,300.
In 2009 a grandmother had her first tattoo at the age of 60 to raise money for charity.
And in 2001 Ian Baker, a computer software programmer from South Africa was so enthralled with the origins of Oxfordshire’s White Horse he had the image tattooed on his right shoulder.