A GIFT retailer from Audlem has won an 'Oscar' at a national awards show.

Williams of Audlem, won the award for best Independent Gift Retailer of the Year for the UK's North, and Northern Ireland region at the Greats Gift Retail Awards.

The shop was started in 1862 by Judy's great, great grandfather Eli Williams, and has been in her family ever since.

She took over the shop from her parents in 2013 and has been working hard to keep the character of the original shop, whilst developing the business to ensure it survives and thrives over the next 150 years.

Developing her card and gift range over the past 15 years has been her passion, and certainly one that has paid off, with recognition at the highest level, in the form of this prestigious national award.

She dedicated the award to her late father Derek McKelvey, who passed away earlier this year - he had formerly run the business with Judy's mother, Megan, for over 45 years.

"It was a complete surprise to even get shortlisted for the award," said Judy. "We went down to London feeling like we were already winners just by being a finalist.

"When our name was read out as the category winner I was completely shocked and could not believe it.

"It was the first time we had ever been entered for anything like this on a national scale, so we were super proud to have won it first time around, especially given the extremely high standard of the other entrants."

The award was presented at a ceremony at the glittering Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane on May 15.

"Developing a strong, and progressive gift and greetings offering in the past 20 years of the business has been key to our survival on the high street," added Judy.

"Unfortunately you cannot expect to survive and thrive if you don't move out of the nineteenth century, into the twentieth, then into this one without respecting consumer demands and influences. "We are so grateful for the support of both our fantastic customers, and our brilliant suppliers, who have ensured over the years that we have continued in the retail business for such a long time.

"We hope to keep serving the community of Audlem & District, and all the wonderful visitors that we get coming to the village, for many years to come."

Hundreds of guests made a beeline to see the winners crowned at the Greats Awards 2019, including the cream of gift retail, leading gift suppliers, trade show organisers and gift industry reps and agents.

The ceremony's theme was Taking A Walk On The Wild Side, with a lunch on offer, created by the chefs at the Grosvenor House, along with stand-up comedy from comedian and Greats compere Henry Paker.

Judy, and her shop, have also recently appeared on the BBC's 'The Repair Shop' which featured her great grandfather's cash register.