His love of music is such that Sid Bryant from Falmouth always manages to snatch a quick hymn on an organ wherever he goes whether it is an island in the middle of a lake in Slovenia, a small church in Germany or a cathedral in Scotland.

Sid, a father of three and grandfather of seven, began playing music as a young child is Somerset. Having been raised by an aunt following the death of his mother when he was just a baby, his musical talent was soon spotted and as well as being in the church choir, Sid began piano lessons under the deanery organist and choir master Mr W R Oram in the local village.

“When the new vicar Rev James arrived he suggested I start learning the organ and so I began lessons with him. I was only about eight. He was a lovely Welshman and he went out of his way to teach me to play.”

Sid, now 83, was called up for two years of national service with the Army in 1950 but he took his music with him and used to play for the young children on the base although Sid says he did get a lot of stick for it from his comrades.

Within two weeks of completing his Army national service, Sid was back playing the organ full time in his local church in Portbury in North Somerset. Sid also took up bell ringing and he led a choir. “I got the boys playing table tennis and cricket and we formed a good team. We joined with another team and founded a cricket club which is still going. I kept all these children off the streets and on the straight and narrow. If they didn’t come to choir practise then there were no clubs! We all had such a wonderful time.”

Sid’s propensity for stealing a quick moment on an organ started early with a successful attempt to play all of the “Crucifixion” on the organ at Eastern-In-Gordano alongside a friend.

Sid and his wife Pauline moved to Cornwall in 1972 and they realised there were many churches in need of an organist. Sid was quick to take up the opportunity of playing different instruments and had soon played in most of the churches in Falmouth and the surrounding villages.

“My children were servers at Budock Church but they already had two organists so I moved to Mylor church in 1973 and I’m still there!”

Sid’s love of singing has also flourished and he has spent almost 40 years with Nankersey Male Voice Choir. “I’ve had so much pleasure out of it.”

Sid, who was a motor mechanic and MOT inspector for 51 years and had also had the privilege to play Trelawney on the organ at Bristol Cathedral, at a church in Eastern Germany where he and Pauline spent four months with his son’s family, and in a monastery on an island in the middle of Lake Bled in Slovenia.

“We were on holiday and you could only get on to this island by gondola. There’s this tradition where if you can ring the bell then you can get whatever you wish. Well, I rang the bell and I got to play the organ there!”

This year is a big year for Sid as not only has he received the St Piran Cross award but he and Pauline will also be marking their Diamond anniversary with a cruise up to Russia. Pauline said: “I’m very proud. He’s put in so many years and it’s a great commitment with one Sunday off a month.”

Sid says: “I’ve had such pleasure from it. I even went to look at the church where they perform the St Piran Cross service and I’ve already sneaked a little play on the organ in there! Playing the organ has given me a lot of good experiences. It’s been a wonderful life although we have had our share of troubles.”