Bracey’s bunch bring in tattoo artist for Hitchin April Fool prank on teenage colleague

Braceys trainee accountant Ryan McLeay, 18.

Braceys trainee accountant Ryan McLeay, 18. - Credit: Archant

Pranksters at an accountancy firm figured that young colleague Ryan McLeay was ripe for some leg-pulling – and the teenager had every reason to get the needle when he found out he’d been fooled.

Braceys trainee accountant Ryan McLeay, 18.

Braceys trainee accountant Ryan McLeay, 18. - Credit: Archant

The April Fool stunt at Hitchin-based Bracey’s Accountants saw the 18-year-old informed that he was required as a condition of employment to get a tattoo as a ‘badge of loyalty’ to the Wilbury Way company.

His colleagues were all in on the joke – and things looked real enough when a tattoo artist arrived at the office to get to work on an assignment that aimed to take corporate branding to a whole new level.

Nervous Ryan began to pale as Steve Smith of the Ace of Hearts body art studio in nearby Grove Road started ‘inking up’ some of his work pals using temporary stencil tattoos.

To make it seem even more real, Ryan was told to turn up for his tattoo after one of his colleagues had supposedly gone through the ordeal and was wearing a bandage.


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Ryan said: “I really like my boss Pete, but I really hate tattoos.

“Faced with the prospect of vandalising my body in the name of company loyalty was petrifying.

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“I’m a committed team member so was getting ready to grit my teeth.

“I’ve only been with Bracey’s for five months, and when I sat in the chair I could feel my stomach turn and then the noise from the needle started.”

Bracey’s director Peter Bracey: “Working with Steve we created the stencils for our ‘Bracey Bunch badge of loyalty’.”

Tattooist Steve said: “I finished the images through a thermal stencilling machine, to make it look as realistic as possible.

“I was chuffed to get the call from Pete at Bracey’s to help make this prank happen.”

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