95-year-old Leeds man is the oldest working tailor in the UK

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A 95-year-old Leeds man is thought to be the oldest working tailor in the UK and is sill stitching from the comfort of his care home - over 80 years after he first picked up a needle and thread.

Great-grandfather Elwyn Hughes spends hours every day making waistcoats, skirts and lots more for family, friends and fellow elderly residents at the Connaught Court care home in York.

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

He moved to the care home five years ago after retiring at the age of 80.

These days he donates all of his profits to charity but before that, the proud Yorkshireman had a long and successful career in tailoring that spanned 81 years.

Elwyn was born in the West Yorkshire mining village of Bowers Row in 1923 to a hard-working father who expected his son to follow in the family footsteps.

Instead, after leaving school at the age of 14 in the 1930s, he worked at Leeds factory Montague Burton.

Elwyn Hughes is thought to be the oldest working tailor in the UK.

Elwyn Hughes is thought to be the oldest working tailor in the UK.

There began a life-long love affair with tailoring, despite boys his age labelling him a "sissy".

After qualifying, Elwyn spent his career working for various clothing manufacturers in Leeds and fondly remembers his years making luxurious Burberry skirts.

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."

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

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In the midst of the Second World War in 1942, 18-year-old Elwyn was conscripted to the British Army and trained as a machine gunner.

But when officers found out the fresh-faced recruit was a skilled tailor he was instead sent around Britain with his sewing kit attaching stripes to soldier's uniforms.

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.

Elwyn Hughes served in World War II.

Elwyn Hughes served in World War II.

"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."

At the end of the war, he returned to the trade and married wife Barbara.

They had three sons - John, Richard and Malcolm. Barbara died in 1993.

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.

Now retired, Elwyn is a grandfather of four and also a great-grandfather of four which keeps him on his toes.

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

Elwyn Hughes and wife Barbara.

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.

Alongside that, his room is packed full of machines and material so he can continue to enjoy his life-long passion.

He said: "Tailoring 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."

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