Staff at a butchers in Marlborough are on tenterhooks to see if they have reached the finals of a national contest.

Sumblers, in London Road, run by John Sumbler, has reached the Wessex finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards.

But Mr Sumbler and his staff of ten will have to wait until January to see if they have got into the national finals. They reached the finals four years ago but were pipped at the post for the national title.

If they reach the finals Mr Sumbler will have to go to the House of Lords in March when the results will be announced.

The Countryside Alliance runs its awards scheme each year with members nominating businesses which they believe act as flagships in rural communities.

The awards are given in four categories: local food suppliers, village shops and post offices, rural enterprise and butchers.

John Sumbler is a third generation butcher and he has more than 50 years’ experience following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

The Sumbler family took over the London Road butcher’s shop in 1948 from the Dunford family and has run it ever since. At one stage the family had a second shop in Avebury, where Mr Sumbler lives with his wife Pam.

He said he understood the London Road premises had been a butcher’s shop for at least 100 years.

“I took it over from my father 30 years ago,” said Mr Sumbler.

“We are proud to say we are still traditional butchers and we do things in the traditional way.

“We are grateful for the support of the families who have been coming here for many years.”

“We supply a lot of the local shops, pubs and restaurants including the Avebury Community Shop.”

The shop is well known not only for its meat but also for its homemade pies and faggots.