What did the Champions look like? – 50 years of National Brass Band Champions


The Thousand Guineas Trophy

Pictures of brass bands had been made since the early days of photography, with most being formal staged portraits of the band in formed rows. There were some more casual pictures taken as well as some of the bands “in action” at various events. The advent of the picture postcard and its growth in popularity during the 1890’s and early 1900’s led to many bands not only having their photograph taken to commemorate a particular event (usually a contest win), but also to have postcards produced which could be sold or given away as promotional or souvenir items.

The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain were established in 1900, and I have put together a collection of the formal photographs of the National Champions over the first 50 years of the contest. There are some gaps (even allowing for the years that the contest did not take place, during the world wars), and hopefully relevant and appropriate images can be found to fill them.

Here is a picture of the first champion band of the new era, Denton Original in 1900. The full paper can be found at



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