There were tears, laughter and loud applause as hundreds of people gathered for a glitzy ceremony celebrate the businesses who give the best customer service in Trowbridge and Westbury.

A winner from each town took a prize of £100, plus £500 worth of advertising in the Wiltshire Times.

Two runners-up were also given £500 each at the Service Excellence Awards, organised by the towns’ Chambers of Commerce, which are now in their fifth year.

Rose’s Gardening Services won the top prize for Westbury, while the Just Learning children’s nursery took the honours for Trowbridge.

Runners-up were the Mad Hatters cafe in Westbury and the Poplars Inn, Trowbridge.

Ellen Scudamore, of Rose’s Gardening Services, burst into tears as she discovered the firm had won.

She was joined on stage by her fiance, Rupert Rose. They set up the business together a year ago, after working for 25 years in a sawmill.

Ms Scudamore said: “It was a big thing for me to go to an event like that and accept an award, after all the hard work we have put in over the past year to make the business work.

“We are so delighted, because it means all our efforts have paid off.”

There had been competition from eight other Trowbridge businesses and seven more Westbury traders, selected by a panel of four judges.

However, none of the ceremony’s finalists left the Trowbridge Civic Centre empty-handed.

Guests at the event, on Thursday last week, were treated to surprise entertainment from the Wiltshire Youth Marching Band.

They also heard a short talk by Simon Brown, the rower who narrowly escaped death in January when his boat overturned during an attempt to row the Atlantic in 30 days.

The ceremony was hosted by Trowbridge town crier Trevor Heeks and David Baker, the president of the Trowbridge Chambers of Commerce, who amused the audience by donning sunglasses and doing a comedy duo dance routine.

Rob Perks, the newly-appointed president of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, congratulated businesses that had gone the extra mile when it came to customer service.

He said: “There are many people who are genuinely dedicated to providing good customer service, but increasingly good service is exceptionally difficult to find these days.

“You don’t find many companies saying they provide bad service, but there are many. When we do get good customer service, I think it is very important that we celebrate that.”

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott presented awards to the winners.

She said: “I have been left inspired by the stories I’ve heard about good customer service. It is one thing we can be proud of in our market towns here in Wiltshire.

“It is all down to the people and the difference they make.”