Janet 'Rusty' Skuse

Janet 'Rusty' Skuse

Janet 'Rusty' Skuse, born Janet Field (20 December 1943 – 12 July 2007), was renowned as the most tattooed woman in Britain.

Skuse, a driver in the Women's Royal Army Corps based at Aldershot in Hampshire, had her first tattoo aged 17 in 1961, which resulted in her being put on a charge.[1] By 1964 she had 62 tattoos and was becoming widely known.[2] Soon she was spending more than half her Army pay on getting more tattoos at the studio of her future husband, Bill Skuse, at his studio in the amusement arcade in Aldershot's High Street. She turned down an offer from a showman in Glasgow, Scotland to become a tattooed attraction; however, the offer decided her to get tattooed completely. Using £100 given to her by her mother as a 21st birthday present, Skuse spent the money on more tattoos, much to her mother's consternation.[1]

For over twenty years she appeared in the Guinness Book Of Records as Britain's most tattooed woman. At one time there was a life-sized waxwork of her displayed outside 'The Guinness World Of Records' exhibition at the Trocadero in Piccadilly, London. She trained under her husband to become a tattoo artist in her own right. On their retirement Bill and 'Rusty' Skuse opened a boarding kennel and stray dogs home in Norfolk. 'Rusty' Skuse returned to tattooing for a period, running a private tattooing studio in Dereham, Norfolk. In 1979 she was the subject of a documentary titled Second Skin.[3]

Janet 'Rusty' Skuse died in 2007, following a long battle with kidney disease.

Indelibly Stamped album cover

It is commonly believed that it is Skuse who appears on the cover of the second album Indelibly Stamped (1971), by progressive rock group Supertramp, largely due to a tattoo on the left arm which names "Bill" and "Rusty"; however, a comparison between the album cover and photographs of Skuse's tattoos show that this is not the case. According to Tattoo News, the model was Marion Hollier, who was extensively tattooed at the Les Skuse Tattoo Studio in the 1960s.[4]


  1. ^ a b [1] Skuse on tattoo.co.uk
  2. ^ ‘Tattooed Army Girl Gets Show Offers’, Daily Mail, 14 March 1964
  3. ^ [2] British Film Institute Record.
  4. ^ Sayce, Paul, Tattoo News, July 2009.

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