Community stalwarts in Royal Wootton Bassett have been recognised in a civic awards ceremony.

Peter Sheppard, Christopher Howard and the Rev Canon Thomas Woodhouse received awards recognising outstanding service to the community.

Many residents turned out at St Bartholomew’s and All Saints Church to see them receive the town’s most prestigious award.

The Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett, Coun Linda Frost, said: “They are presented to nominated individuals who have brought about honour or prestige to the town, so enhancing its reputation within the district, the country or the world, either by some single outstanding act or by voluntary work sustained over a long period of time.”

Mr Sheppard received the award in recognition of his 50 years’ service as a teacher in the town, and particularly for his work at the school that has become Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

While at the school he spent time as head of English, head of sixth form and finally deputy head.

In July last year the 71-year-old also scooped a trophy at the annual Times Education Supplement Schools awards.

He said: “There’s something special about the job of teaching.

“I think, like my father did, that it’s the most rewarding experience that you can have, to work with young people, helping them to achieve their full potential.

Christopher Howard also received the award in recognition of his work as voluntary chairman on the community magazine for 36 years.

Earlier this month Mr Howard retired from working on the magazine, which was founded in 1971.

Mr Woodhouse received the award to mark work as a leader and member of a number of community groups, acknowledging his role as parish vicar for the past eight years.