Great Britain

National TV exposure for Ray Lister, 82, of IK Collections

AN 82-year-old tailor in Bradford says he is busier than ever after coming out of retirement.

Ray Lister has swapped retirement for making suits at IK Collections' shop in Westgate, where he works every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Since he returned to work, Mr Lister has helped make suits for the late Captain Sir Tom Moore and entertainer John Barrowman, who wore his for the final of this year's Dancing on Ice, live on ITV.

Mr Lister was initially persuaded to come out of retirement by Imran Khan, owner of IK Collections.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

After leaving school and doing his national service and a spell working in Leeds and Nottingham, Mr Lister moved to Bradford and had his own shop in the city.

During his first spell working in the city, he owned his own tailoring business for more than 50 years.

He has worked as a tailor for a total of 60 years and Mr Lister says the shop, which reopened last month when lockdown restrictions eased, is busy with orders.

He joked he may have to increase his working days, but added he will ask his wife first.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ray Lister working as a tailor before he initially retired Ray Lister working as a tailor before he initially retired

He said: "I love going in and talking to the customers, a lot of them are old friends.

"I do a bit of cutting and a bit of tailoring.

"I retired about 10 years ago, I kept in touch with Imran and three years ago he asked if I wanted to come in for the odd day.

"I think we make just as good a suits as Savile Row in London, if not better.

I don't have any hobbies. I just got bored sitting at home. I got fed up. I never particularly enjoyed retirement

"When we were in lockdown, I only left the house to go to the doctors, it's good to be back in the shop. I was so fed up.

"I left school at 15, my mother was a vesthand and skirthand. I went to nightschool to do a City and Guilds in cutting."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Meanwhile, Mr Lister, who lives in Cleckheaton, has also had to adjust to new-found fame after appearing on the national ITV News earlier this week.

He says he has since received messages on social media from people all over the world, including Canada and India, wishing him well.

The IK Collections shop has also been inundated with messages from well wishers.

Mr Khan paid tribute to 'inspirational' Mr Lister. He said: "I'm learning a lot from Ray, how to cut and sow. We're really, really busy.

"He is always dressed really smart. He has inspired me a lot.

"I'm thrilled and honoured to have him here.

"I first met him 20 years ago. The shop we're in now was his first shop."

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