Trelystan Church organ player still hitting the right notes at 89

By Aimee Jones | Entertainment | Published:

He's turning 90 later this week but that doesn't stop organist Elvet Richards overseeing the music every Sunday at his local church.

Organist Elvet Richards, who turns 90 next week

Mr Richards, from Marton, has been playing the organ at Trelystan Church, near Welshpool, since he was 17-year-old.

And for his lifetime of service, Mr Richards has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours list.

"I started when I was 17," he said. "The woman who was the organist at the time was having difficulty keeping up so I was asked to fill in. I'm not a special player or anything but they kept me on.

Organist Elvet Richards, who turns 90 next week

"I've enjoyed the 73 years and have no plans on stopping anytime soon. I'll keep going as long as I can."

Mr Richards, a former farm worker, went to Sunday school at Trelystan, married his wife Lillia there and had all four of his children baptised at the church.

During his time, he has served alongside 10 vicars and played in church services for five Bishops of Hereford.

The 89-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on January 11, found out about the BEM in November and said it was a big surprise.


Organist Elvet Richards, who turns 90 next week

He added: "I had a letter from the Queen's office on November 17. It came as a huge surprise because I didn't expect anything like this.

"I've been told the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire will present me my medal in early spring and then I might even get invited to the Queen's garden party at Buckingham Palace. If my health is good, I would love to go."

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.


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