95-year-old granddad sews clothes for his family from his care home

At the end of the war he returned to the trade and married wife Barbara, with whom he had three sons before she died in 1993.

Elwyn spent much of his long career making Burberry skirts and enjoyed many years tailoring men’s suits before retiring at the age of 80.

Since then the grandfather of eight has continued to sew and is still to this day making and altering clothes from his room in a care home in York.

It’s thought Elwyn could be the longest-serving tailor in Britain, with a total of 81 years under his belt.

Elwyn said: ‘I was expected to go into the mines as a lad but I’m glad I decided to go into tailoring instead.

‘Once upon a time I could walk into a bar, look at every man in there and say ‘I made that suit’ – we were the best dressed men in Leeds.

‘It was a great career and something that I still love doing to this day.

‘Tailoring keeps me active and occupied, it gives me a focus and provides challenges for me in day to day life.

‘Lots of people my age just sit watching television all day but that’s not me.

‘You have to keep your brain working, otherwise you’ll end up losing your marbles.’

Elwyn said he still smokes the odd cigar, enjoys a tipple of brandy and goes to the pub with one of his son’s once a week.

Recalling his service during the war, Elwyn said: ‘I learned everything about the machine gun and I was a good gunner.

‘But the army found out I was a tailor four weeks before D-Day and that’s what got me out of going.

‘All my friends went out and not many returned home.

‘I really owe my life to being a tailor, if it weren’t for that I’d be under a white cross.’

Between the ages of 75 and 80 Elwyn travelled around the world to countries including Russia, Egypt and China working for an American clothing company.

He was tasked with visiting their suit factories to ensure the quality of product was of appropriate standard.

Five years ago Elwyn moved to the Connaught Court care home in York and brought the tools of the trade with him, enabling him to work on anything and everything.

He relies on a steady stream of customers to keep him busy and donates all his earnings nowadays to charity.

Here’s hoping Elwyn continues his love of stitching in the years ahead of him.

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