AFTER a lifetime’s service at Trelystan’s St Mary The Virgin Church, Elvet Richards, 90, has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) that was announced in the New Year’s Honours list when he visited Buckingham Palace.

For 73 years Elvet has been seen behind the church organ, playing a myriad of hymns at services and celebrations.

He went to Sunday school, married his wife Lellia there and had all four of his children baptised at the church. He was also a church warden there.

Daughter Yvonne said: “It’s been a good year for Dad, he received the medal in May 4 and on May 15 visited Buckingham Palace, where he met Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who was representing his mother the Queen at the garden party.

“The Summer Fete is being held at Trelystan on Saturday, July 21, and he’s been given the honour of opening it at 2.30pm”

The date of August 26, 1945, had been noted in a family heirloom, his father’s diary as it’s the day he took over playing the organ at services in the picturesque church.

Elvet, who used to farm at Red House, said: “I had a few piano lessons and there was an organ at home.

“I was 17 years old when I first played the organ here, it was August 26, 1945. I was just supposed to fill in.

“I’ve enjoyed playing, there have been three different organs since I started here.”

“This last one sounds best.”