Suffolk honours: Long standing supporter of independent cinema recognised in New Year’s honours list

A LONG standing supporter of a town’s independent cinema has said she is “humbled” to have received recognition from The Queen.

Susan Harrison has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s honours list.

The 73-year-old has received the recognition for her services to independent community cinema in Aldeburgh.

Mrs Harrison was born and bred in the town and has been involved with the High Street’s cinema for 51 years - starting off as an usher in the box office.

“I could sit and cry,” she said. “I’m so humbled by it. I just couldn’t believe it. It came out of the blue, via a letter that was posted on my son’s birthday, November 23.

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“I have worked at the cinema a long while but you only work somewhere because of the staff. If I wasn’t working with a good team of people I wouldn’t have stayed all these years. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a good learning curve. I’ve done all the roles you can think of.”

Mrs Harrison, whose husband Cecil, known as Cyril, passed away 20 years ago, has two sons, Paul and Andrew, and four grandchildren.

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She worked for Aldeburgh Festival - now Aldeburgh Music - for 18 years and started a full time role at Aldeburgh Cinema in 1985.

She still works at the venue and is also a director of the company.

“The cinema has always been in my life,” Mrs Harrison continued. “I grew up with it and when I was seven, eight and nine I was always there. I’ve got no plans to stop yet - it’s lovely to come down here.”

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