The Pontins Brass Band Championships ran from 1974 to 2010 and at its peak saw hundreds of bands from all over the UK take part in annual qualification events as well as the Grand Finals, which were held at the company’s Prestatyn Resort in North Wales in late October.
Tredegar won the Championship title on four occasions - more than any other band.
The first victory came under the baton of Nigel Weeks in 1990, playing ‘Festival Music’, and was followed by further successes in 1997 on ‘Pageantry’ conducted by Nicholas Childs, again in 1998 on ‘Contest Music’ led by Philip Bailey, and finally, in 2002 on ‘Ballet for Band’ under Garry Cutt.
These three trophies were presented to mark the wins of 1990, 1997, when the contest became known as the Harry Mortimer Memorial Championship, and again in 1998, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the event.
In 1990, the first prize was £1,250, whilst the band had earlier in the year won the qualification competition at the Bream Sands Resort to pick up a prize of £600. In 1997 the band took home £2,200 for their victory, whilst in 1998 they won the same amount again. The last triumph in 2002 saw them win £2,500.
Tredegar first competed in the finals in 1977, coming third under the baton John Childs.
Subsequent appearances came in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991 (5th), 1997 (winners), 1998 (winners), 1999 (2nd), 2002 (winners), 2005 and 2006 (4th).
The Pontins Brass Band Championships were the brainchild of founder Sir Fred Pontin.
At the height of their popularity, and attracted by generous prize funds, bands competed at regional qualification events held resorts in Bream Sands, Hemsby and Southport each April, with qualifiers attending a Grand Finals weekend at Pretstayn in October. In 1977 the contest boasted that it paid out the first ever £1,000 top prize.
However, due to the financial difficulties of the parent company the final competition was held in Prestatyn in 2010.
Despite promises, the company did not pay out any of the promised prize fund money to the competing bands and the contest folded for good amid a great deal of acrimony.
The trophies can be found on display in the bandroom