The Skuse Family Museum in the Temple Street shop contains a selection of various items found in Les's shop during the 1930s and 1970s.
Les Skuse started tattooing in Bristol in 1928. He worked with Professor Joseph Hartley, a well known tattooist and supplier of that time, in the Backfields area of St Pauls in Bristol.
Les tattooed during the war, inking the other gunners in his battery. On the museum wall are some of his signs that he put up in the barracks during World War II. There is also a selection of his business cards from the earliest in 1935 to his last in 1973.
Also featured in the museum is a selection of tattoo artists from the 1930s to 1960 who Les corresponded with, plus a collection of old flash sheets including one by Paul rogers dated 1960. There is a collection of various tattoo machines from 1920 to present day, Milton Zeis colour pots from the 1940s and 1950s, plus an Owen Jensen valise travelling tattoo outfit from the 1950s.
Les had two Sons who also took up the art of tattooing. Bill was the oldest Son who worked at Aldershot, while Danny (Les Skuse Jnr) worked in Brighton before returning to work at his Father's studio in Bristol. Jimmie Skuse started tattooing in 1973 and was taught by his Father Les Skuse Jnr (Danny). He has been a guest artist in many tattoo studios in the West Country.
The Skuse Family of tattoo artists is the oldest family still tattooing in the Western World. Les won the title of Champion Tattoo Artist of All England in 1955 and started the World-famous Bristol Tattoo Club in 1953.
Tattooing has not changed much since the 1890s when electrical tattoo machines were first used. Only the hygiene of the tattoo parlours has changed. The older readers among you will remember some of the items on display that were present in Les Skuse's studio in those far-off days.
If anybody has any old tattoo memorabilia that they would like to donate to the Skuse Family Museum, please feel free to get in touch, even if it is not directly connected to the Skuse Family.