Welsh Brewers Challenge Cup

The Welsh Brewers ‘Brass Band Challenge’ was a short lived, but lucrative domestic entertainment competition held between 1989 and 1993.

It rounded off the year-long Welsh contesting season, which started with the Regional Championship in Swansea in March, before incorporating contests that varied in location between Ebbw Vale, Ammanford, Abertillery, Burry Port, Neath and Treorchy.

The aim of the event was for invited bands, ‘...to show their skills as all-round performers’ - with their 40 minute entertainment sets having to include a test-piece chosen by the event’s musical advisor, as well as a set-test, chosen by the adjudicator for the day. Competitors also had to produce a script for the compere.

Marks were allocated for both ‘musical performance’ and ‘stage presentation & entertainment value’, with the winning band taking home with them £500 in 1989 and 1990, and £1,000 in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Tredegar won the title on three occasions – the first at the inaugural event at the Dolman Theatre in Newport in December 1989, again in 1991 (both under the baton of Nigel Weeks), as well as the final competition in Treorchy in 1993 (conducted by Nicholas Childs).  

To try and enhance the contest’s popularity the 1993 event saw invitations given to a number of English bands.

The cross border challenge saw 11 contenders compete at the Parc & Dare Hall in Treorchy, but a few weeks after the event, Welsh Brewers Ltd announced that they would not be extending their sponsorship and that the 1993 winners would therefore keep the trophy.

Welsh Brewers Ltd was founded in 1960 and produced the popular ‘Allbright’ beer, marketed as ‘The Most Popular Pint in Wales’. It was first brewed in 1963, but by the early 1990 sales dropped alarmingly. It is still produced today however and available in a number of limited outlets and pubs.

The trophy is now kept on display at the bandroom.   

Results: 

1989:
1. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks)
2. BTM (Melvin White)
3. Christie-Tyler Cory (Denzil Stephens) 

1990:
1. BTM (Melvin White)
2. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks)
3. Christie-Tyler Cory (Malcolm Brownbill)

1991:
1. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks)
2. BTM (Melvin White)
3. Christie-Tyler Cory (Denzil Stephens)

1992:
1. Christie-Tyler Cory (David Thomas)
2. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks)
3. NFD Parc & Dare (Laurence Harris)

1993:
1. Tredegar (Nicholas Childs)
2. Trafford (Paul Hindmarsh)
3. Aveley (Melvin White)