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Freedom award for Beccles

PUBLISHED: 12:16 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 01 August 2010

SHE has played the organ for countless pivotal church ceremonies in the lives of the people of Loddon.

And now Beryl Carver, the town church organist, has been honoured with the Freedom of Loddon award for her dedicated work within the community.

SHE has played the organ for countless pivotal church ceremonies in the lives of the people of Loddon.

And now Beryl Carver, the town church organist, has been honoured with the Freedom of Loddon award for her dedicated work within the community.

Mrs Carver is also the Loddon Singers' accompanist and was presented with the award during the interval of their concert Moving On, which took place on Friday.

Mrs Carver, 77, has been the Singers' accompanist for the 20 years of their existence and was also the musical accompanist for the Loddon Players' pantomimes from their beginning in 1976 until two years ago when she decided it was time to retire.

She has also carried out valuable voluntary work with terminally ill patients at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and Ditchingham's All Hallows Hospital.

She was called last week by Loddon Parish Council to tell her she was to be given the award. “I couldn't believe it, I thought it was a friend playing a joke,” she said. “I've never thought about getting rewards because it's been a tremendous privilege and joy. It's been such a pleasure.”

Mrs Carver started doing voluntary work in the early 1950s when there were floods on the east coast, and she joined the Women's Royal Voluntary Service to help out people in seaside towns such as Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.

As a church organist, she is hired to play at weddings and funerals, and has played in 43 different churches in the area.

She was initially a piano player, but taught herself to play the organ so that she could play in churches. “I never thought of charging because it's been such a pleasure,” she said.

The annual Freedom of Loddon award is given to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the community. Mrs Carver was nominated by the Loddon Singers.

The last winner was the Rev Joan Evans.

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