MORE THAN £1,200 has been raised for a Dunfermline woman battling cancer through the generosity of a tattoo parlour.

Pagan Ink Tattoo in St Andrews inked up 70 locals with cancer ribbon tattoos on Saturday, March 23.

On the day, owner Ian Stevens opened the shop at 9 am and finished his last tattoo at 12.45am as customers queued up to eight HOURS in the street to help Nicola and her family.

Ian, 55, who started Pagan Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing in 2001, explained: “One of my regulars, Claire Walsh, is Nicola’s best pal and told me what she was going through.

“They were having a bingo night on Sunday and asked if we would give a gift voucher for the raffle.

“I also lost my nephew last year, he died at the age of 34, so I told my partner about Nicola’s story and we decided we wanted to do more than a raffle prize so we came up with the cancer ribbons idea.

“It was totally through Facebook. We put a post out saying we were going to be doing it for £20 – I wish we’d made it £30 now as we’d have raised more money – and to like and share and it just exploded.

“The queue was from the tattoo room back out of the door and to the end of the block.

“I’ve been doing this job for 20 years and we’ve done a few charity things but nothing like that. It was incredible.”

Nicola, who has been fighting colon cancer for more than a year, writes an inspirational blog sharing her journey called ‘Thomas Chick’.

Pagan Ink Tattoo designed cancer ribbons with different colours and £20 was donated for each tattoo.

Each customer who walked through the door that day all had their own stories with cancer and shared a special moment with others in the community that had come face-to-face with the disease.

“It was meant to start at 10am but the queue was huge so I started at nine and from then I had two pee breaks, a steak bridie and that was me for, what, 16 hours?!” Ian added.

“I finished at 12.45am and I was absolutely shattered the next day. My hands and fingers were swollen and sore but it was all worth it!

“I totally loved it. Even though it was hard work, we were doing it to raise funds for Nicola and we made over £1,200.

“That’s for them. If Stevie (her partner) is taking time off work he’ll be losing money so this helps to pay the phone bills or the messages or whatever they need it for.

“Everyone that sat in the chair had a story as cancer had affected them in one way or another. They say that one in two will get it, which is scary stuff. A lot of the ribbons I did were lavender, as that’s for all cancers.

“Once we got a system, my apprentice was helping to strip and get the machine ready, I was averaging about seven an hour.

“It was non-stop and we had people waiting for eight hours but the atmosphere was great, everyone was so cheery.

“Many of them were complete strangers to each other to begin with but standing in a queue for that time, a lot of them became great friends and were even going to get chips and tea for people they didn’t even know.

“The whole day just showed me that humanity’s not totally gone. There’s hope yet.”