THE great tradition of weaving is making a comeback in Inverclyde thanks to a 90-year-old craftsman.

Greenock pensioner Alex Murphy, who is also an assistant church minister, is passionate about passing on the tricks of the trade.

He recently ran a workshop in the Mount Kirk and is also part of the grassroots community project Wevolution, where a team works to develop arts and crafts.

Former priest, engineer and inventor Alex is now turning his attention to a skill he learned growing up in the Highlands.

The widower, who lives in Belville Street, said: "I am really enjoying the weaving class.

"I grew up in Banavie near Fort William and it was something my mum did, and her mum before her.

"I make my own looms and it has always been a hobby of mine.

"I am an engineer and I love to make things - I had an aerial patented in 1978.

"I love getting out and about in Greenock, it is great to pass on the skills and keeps me going."

The well-travelled senior citizen moved to Greenock to be closer to his family.

His son Francis is the minister of both the Mount Kirk and the Greenock East End.

Alex is also an assistant, helping his son carry out many of the parish duties.

Alexander, who speaks five languages including Gaelic and Russian, actually joined the priesthood as a young man, training at St Edmund's College, the oldest Catholic school in England.

He then moved to Edinburgh but took the decision to leave, later meeting and marrying his wife Magdalene.

They had two children Francis, 48, and then Marie, 46.

This followed on from his National Service which began immediately after the Second World War.

His daughter-in-law Sheila Murphy, who plays a big role in the church and local community, was delighted when he agreed to run some weaving workshops.

She said: "He is incredible.

"The weaving class we ran at the Mount Kirk was very popular and I already have interest in the next one.

"We want to pass on these skills."

Every week Alexander goes to the Wevolution hub, where people are encouraged to learn new skills and make their own crafts.

The 90-year-old plays the piano, entertains and helps with the crafts.

Wevolution member and mum-of-two Ashley Fox, 40, of Iona Road in Port Glasgow, said: "Weaving is something that I have always wanted to have a go at and I loved Alex's class."