A 98-YEAR-OLD Newcastle Emlyn woman has finally received recognition for her success in an exam - more than 70 years ago after she first took it.

Back in 1948 Audrey Carlton (née Bailey) achieved the highest mark in The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Grade 6 elocution exam and was awarded ABRSM’s silver medal for outstanding achievement.

Unfortunately, due to munitions manufacturing during the Second World War, silver was not available to present the then 26-year-old with her medal and ABRSM gave Audrey a certificate instead.

But now, 71 years later, ABRSM have presented Audrey with a prize to recognise her achievement after being contacted by Audrey’s daughter, Zoë, and alerted to her lack of medal.

ABRSM first held elocution exams in 1922. Historically, ABRSM awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the highest performing candidates within an exam year and Audrey was chosen as ABRSM’s 1948 silver medallist.

These later became speech and drama exams, before ABRSM eventually decided to focus purely on music.

The medals no longer exist, and in place of a medal, ABRSM officials travelled to meet Audrey and presented her with an engraved, silver photograph frame and a letter of commendation.

ABRSM’s chief executive Michael Elliott said: “On behalf of ABRSM I would like to congratulate Audrey on her outstanding 1948 exam performance. It’s always wonderful to hear remarkable stories such as Audrey’s.

“I’m sorry that due to the impact of the Second World War, my ABRSM predecessors were unable to provide Audrey with the Silver Medal she was due.

“However, it is such a pleasure now, more than 70 years on, to be able to make amends and celebrate Audrey’s achievement. I hope the gift of a silver frame, containing a letter of congratulations, communicates our appreciation of her achievement all those years ago.”

We asked about the secret to her success and if she had any advice to today’s young learners, Audrey said: “Be passionate about it. I was quite dedicated – I really wanted to do it.

“I used to go out in the mornings so that I didn't wake the family up, take my dog for a walk about six o'clock, go to the local park and practise there while the dog raced around the park.

“I was always afraid somebody else might have the idea of an early walk, and what would I look like making those funny mouth exercises?”