SINGER Ewart Rymer has clocked up 50 years in a church choir.

The 88-year-old first joined the choir at Whitechapel Church, Cleckheaton in 1926 and attended continuously, with a break for war service, until 1968, rejoining eight years ago after a break.

After 1968 he sang in the Leeds Guild of Singers and was a soloist at a Christian Science church in Bradford.

Mr Rymer said: "I have enjoyed singing all my life and the Whitechapel choir gave me such a good start.

"I believe that a community needs a thriving church."

Mr Rymer was a founder member of the 14th Spen Valley (Whitechapel) Scouts in 1931 and was a champion runner with Wibsey Park Harriers in Bradford.

He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and saw action on the aircraft carrier Trouncer when Rangoon was invaded in 1945.

During the last 25 years he has been a regular and successful competitor at music festivals in Yorkshire and Lancashire, including the Mrs Sunderland in Huddersfield.

Assistant priest Rev Rachel Cave said: "Ewart's voice continues to inspire us at Whitechapel and his solos have become a firm favourite at our new songs of praise services."