A 98 year old resident at Connaught Court, in Fulford, York, thought to be the oldest working tailor, is celebrating National Sewing Day on 13 June.
Elwyn Hughes is still stitching, making waistcoats, skirts and other clothing items for family, friends and for his fellow residents at the Home. He has been sewing for more than 80 years after he first picked up a needle and thread.
To mark the occasion, Elwyn is creating customised waistcoats for the residents and others in the local community. All earnings will be donated to charities.
After leaving school at the age of 14 in the 1930s, Elwyn was expected to follow his family into the mines. However, he was drawn to a nearby clothing factory and began a lifelong love affair with tailoring.
Four years later, during the Second World War in 1942, 18 year old Elwyn was conscripted to the Army and trained as a machine gunner.
Elwyn on leave from his posting to Orkney, aged 18 in 1941
But when officers noticed Elwyn’s sewing talent, they recruited him as a skilled tailor, and was instead sent around Britain with his sewing kit, attaching stripes to soldiers’ uniforms.
At the end of the war he returned to the trade and married his wife Barbara, and had three sons, John, Richard and Malcolm. Sadly, 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. He was tasked with visiting their suit factories to ensure the quality of their products were of appropriate standard.
Commenting on his talent, Elwyn said:
Tailoring keeps me active and occupied; it gives me a focus, provides challenges and keeps my brain working.
Marinda Aydinalp, Deputy Home Manager at Connaught Court, said:
Elwyn is a well-loved and sociable gentleman at Connaught Court The clothing he makes, such as his waistcoats, are always cheerful and colourful. He just brightens everyone’s day.
To this day, Elwyn has four grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and a great great grandson.
[Summary: A 98 year old resident at RMBI Care Co. Connaught Court, in Fulford, York, thought to be the oldest working tailor, is celebrating National Sewing Day on 13 June.]