DICKON Allen, the Visitor Experience Officer at Montacute House in south Somerset has won a gold award as the ‘Tourism Superstar’ for the South West of England.

The award, for customer service, was presented as part of the annual South West Tourism for Excellence Awards.

Dickon was up against 300 other entrants but his colleagues with the National Trust at Montacute House were confident he would do well.

"He’s a young man of exceptional natural warmth and friendliness which shines through his whole personality," said Grahame Meaden, Visitor Experience Manager.

"‘When it comes to giving great customer service Dickon doesn’t just go that extra mile; he’ll hike up the mountain with a smile on his face carrying your bags."

Many visitors to the National Trust’s Elizabethan mansion will have met Dickon giving one of his introductory talks or just welcoming visitors to Montacute and chatting with people as they explore the house and gardens.

"Once you have met him you will no doubt remember him but for all for the right reasons. When I first heard of the awards I knew instantly who to put forward as I had a pile of personal testaments to Dickon’s merits on my desk," continued Grahame.

"Our whole team are so proud of his achievement in winning this gold award."

Dickon has worked in various capacities for the National Trust at Montacute House over the past five years. He started off as a part time shop assistant and worked his way up to his current work as Visitor Experience Officer.