IT IS a job that Lee Mayes will never forget, and he has made
sure of that by having a lasting reminder tattooed on his arm.
Experienced in conservation work for the builders Knox & Wells,
of Cardiff, he was appointed site manager for the £850,000
refurbishment of the Galilee Chapel at St Illtyd's, Llantwit Major,
in Llandaff diocese.
The 13th-century chapel was a roofless ruin that has now been
brought back to life, and has just been officially opened by the
Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, as a new visitor centre.
It houses Celtic crosses that are more than 1000 years old, and
it was the design on these that inspired Mr Mayes. "I am not a
religious person, but . . . as soon as I saw the Celtic designs
when I came down here, I knew I wanted to be involved in this
project," he says.
"I saw the Celtic designs on the stones, and thought to myself:
I'm going to have that on my arm. It took a couple of sittings, and
was pretty painful, but I really like it, and it's great to have a
lasting reminder of working here. It's been a great job: I love old
buildings, and you can't get much older than this one."
He already had an endless-knot tattoo on his arm, which he had
designed himself, but he had the head of the Samson Cross - taken
from the grave of Will the Giant, a 17-year-old man who was seven
feet seven inches tall - inked in above it by a tattoo artist, Matt
Faulkner (below), and the Latin inscriptions from another
cross added underneath.