I used to live in Manchester, well Oldham to be precise, from 1987 to 1996 and having taught English in Shaw, Failsworth and Farnworth for 9 years, I’ve always felt a great affinity for the area.

Not so much the weather – but the people.

I’d say that Lancashire folk are generally the friendliest people I’ve met and Manchester still occasionally pulls me back on business and pleasure.

I was ecstatic recently then to be asked to build two websites for Sam Barber, the tattoo artist based in Mossley and Manchester Tattoo Trust, which was spearheaded by Sam, as well as many others, in the aftermath of the devastating terror attack on 22nd May 2017, when 22 people lost their lives.

I must come clean though and say when I first heard of the Bee motif, I was a bit non-plussed. In my 9 years there, I can’t say I’d noticed it except for the bus company Busy Bees (I think it was called) which I occasionally travelled on from Shaw to Failsworth (before I could afford a car); even though the symbol dates from the Industrial Revolution.

I also now recall Boddington’s beer, complete with bee branding.

It means more now though after designing the site and collaborating with both Sam and Adam Spencer Young.

By an odd symmetry, I can still recall the explosion from the IRA bomb in the city centre when I was driving my brand new Fiesta bought that day in June 1996.

Manchester always struck me as a warm, outward-looking, inclusive city with its own cosmopolitan grittiness and the news last year from the Ariana Grande concert shocked me, particularly given the loss of young lives, with children the same age as my son and daughter.

I like Manchester a lot, and I can see the strength of the Bee motif: industrious, energetic and with a fierce sense of community. In fact the more I think about it, I can appreciate the symbolism of the Bee tattoo.

I was chuffed then to be asked to design the new Manchester Tattoo Trust website – because it felt like I was connecting again with a place that was my home for almost ten years.

I do hope you like the new website, its information, links and design and if you’ve any questions, drop me an email or call.

Here is the new website, concilio et labore, “by assembly and work”.