THERE were queues down the street as people waited to be tattooed at a charity event inspired by a terminally ill North-East man.

The Heavy Duty tattoo studio raised £4,380.44 with a quirky fundraiser that saw around 70 people inked with designs chosen by artists who travelled from across the country to take part.

All proceeds will be donated to TrekStock, a cancer charity nominated by Darlington man Matt Hadden, a friend of the Heavy Duty team.

The resident ink-slingers at the Tubwell Row studio decided they had to act after watching Mr Hadden and another friend stricken by cancer.

On Sunday morning, they were astonished to see queues snaking along the road, with people queuing from early in the morning to be tattooed by the team and some of the UK’s best artists.

Heavy Duty’s Rachel Bell said: “We are overwhelmed and emotional and so proud of everybody who worked so hard throughout the day.

“We worked up until 9.30pm and still had to turn people away – we are so grateful for the support. It was months in the planning but it all went smoothly and the money will really make a difference.”

Mr Hadden, a 28-year-old who is fighting cancer for the second time, said he was overwhelmed by the event: “I am blown away by the amount of people who have agreed to get something permanent for charity – it’s amazing.

“By doing this, the message is going out to people about the work Trekstock do to help young adults with cancer, awareness is being raised and it means a lot to me.”

Customers paid between £30 and £60 to be tattooed, with many also buying raffle tickets throughout the day.

Caroline Carter queued for hours to add a new skull to her collection, saying: “It’s for a good cause and it’s been a brilliant idea, it’s the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening.”