A FORMER Elland firefighter is to attempt a massive memory challenge.

David Thomas, 35, an International Grandmaster of Memory, is attempting to smash all the records by memorising and reciting 100 packs of individually shuffled cards.

The massive feat of memory and concentration takes place on Monday and Tuesday at the Royal Armouries, in Leeds.

But David claims having a powerful memory is not just about beating Guinness World Records.

"When you increase the power of your memory you get better at lots of different things," he said.

"Nobody has a job for life anymore and our jobs are constantly getting more high-tech and complicated.

"People who only have to be told once stick out."

David, from Shelf, near Halifax, discovered his incredible skill after reading a book about memory 10 years ago.

In 1998 he quit the fire service and started coaching other people to use their memories better.

Now the father of three does public speaking and has written a book titled Essential Life Skills: Improving Your Memory.

He said: "I will do some training for the challenge right up until I start.

"The brain does not get tired so the more you use it the better it will get and the more chance I have to complete the task.

"In many ways I consider myself a mental athlete.

"I can keep my mind focused and concentrate because I fear failure. That is very motivational."

1 Remember things by thinking about the visual rather than the word. So, if you want to remember apple imagine the image and not the word.

2 Organise information into smaller, easier manageable chunks. For example, to remember the colours of the rainbow the rhyme Richard of York gave battle in vain takes the first letters of all the colours.

3 When someone introduces themselves concentrate on their name and not their appearance. People forget names because they are more concerned with how someone looks than what someone is called.