It’s not all cups and shields!
As Peter and I were the recipients of several trophies at the recent National show in Manchester, it made me think of all the different types of trophies that are presented at the NAWB show. There are currently 76 trophies in total. Four of them are shields, a surprisingly small number really.
Thirty-three of them are cups, of varying shapes and sizes; some of them have lids on them.
Nine of them are beer tankards. So, thirty trophies are different from the norm.
Of course, the ‘jewel in the crown’, so to speak, is the NAWB Master trophy. Surely a unique trophy amongst shows. As was so eloquently described by Al Procter at the Manchester show recently, it was made by the late Keith Simpson after he became NAWB Master, jointly with Al, in 1986. Keith was surprised to merely receive a certificate for this tremendous achievement. He therefore resolved to make a trophy from a piece of mahogany that he had. Once made, he found out who the previous winners were, and had their names, as well as his and Al’s, engraved on the plaque.
The next unusual trophy is the Hidalgo Trophy, presumably presented by Bodegas Hidalgo who are sherry producers in Andulsia in Spain. (Hidalgo sherry can be found in Waitrose.) This trophy ought to have the nick-name of ‘the Marmite trophy’! Love it (Kate and Pauline) or hate it (everyone else). At 32 inches high, it takes up a lot of room in your car and your house if you win it. In 2004 Keith Roberts was the recipient; at that time the smallest trophy – the Loftus trophy, approximately 9 inches high – was not awarded directly after the Hidalgo trophy, but as Keith also won the Loftus trophy, the presentation order was swiftly changed so that Keith was awarded with the largest and smallest trophies together! (The Loftus trophy was possibly pre- sented by W R Loftus Ltd of Tottenham Court Road.)
There are two trophies which really represent our hobby. They are the Boots trophy – a silver plate demi-john presented by Boots the Chemist and is awarded for the most points in the kit classes – and the Rankin trophy – a silver demi-john which has an airlock presented by Rankin Bros & Sons and is awarded for the best dry mead. These are surely unique trophies amongst all the shows in the country.
Two trophies represent the drinking of wine. The Eric Malin trophy is a large (in diameter) punch bowl together with a ladle and awarded for the highest points in the 8 table wine classes. The inside of the punch bowl looks as though it has been used in the past for punch! I wonder if Eric Malin (who presumably presented the trophy) had it made specially. The Ken Bilham Tastevin is a large tastevin at approximately 9” in diameter. It is awarded for the table dry red wine. I imagine it would take at least a bottle of wine to fill it, but I cannot see any evidence of it being used! In an old photograph album from the late Roy Ekins, I found a little booklet from Epsom Downs Winemakers; in it there is a description of a trip they made to Beaune in October 1969. Ken Bilham was apparently the 4000th visitor and was duly presented with the tastevin!
Two trophies are wine coolers for holding a bottle of wine to keep it chilled. The Yorkshire trophy is awarded for the best sparkling wine and would certainly be adequate for this. The Lady winemaker trophy – awarded to the lady with the highest points – is only about 3” high; a miniature bottle might just fit in it!
The Eddie Pinfold trophy – awarded for the best brown ale – is a clock that does actually work, and is therefore a nice trophy that can actually be used. A few years ago, it did not work, but a recipient of the trophy either mended it, or had it repaired, so many thanks to them.
The Herriff Trophy – a mermaid sitting on a rock (literally) – is another unusual trophy. It was presented by Heriff of Sdr Omme, which is a place in Denmark. I am not sure if the rock that the mermaid is sitting on is the orig- inal as it looks as though there is a broken metal structure on the wooden base. The trophy is awarded for the best fresh white grape wine.
The Stagg Trophy is a silver dish which looks as though vegetables could be served up in it. It is awarded for the most points in the four fortified classes.
There are four trays. The Nottingham trophy, presented by Nottingham Amateur winemakers – is awarded for the member circle gaining the second highest points at the show. The Atcherley trophy, presented by Messers Atcherley, has moved around the classes since it was presented, originally being awarded for novice classes. It is now awarded for the best blackberry wine. The Turner trophy – presented by B C A Turner – is awarded for the best 3 wines for dinner. The Dewsbury tray is awarded for the best white fruit wine excluding the named fruits and grape concentrate.
Another unusual trophy is the News and Views trophy, awarded for the best article over the year in News & Views. It is a ‘skinny’ pyramid on a wooden base.
The Burbage trophy, presented by Burbage Winemakers, is awarded for the best photograph, and is a wooden bowl on a wooden base. This is also a trophy that could be used if the recipient wished to.
There are eight glass trophies, varying from rose bowls (Joy Dinnage rose bowl awarded for the best dry elderberry, and the Doreen Barnes trophy awarded for the best table wine white / golden sweet), a glass decanter (Mendip Wine Circle Trophy awarded for the best liqueur), a vase (John Gorton trophy awarded for the best sweet elderberry, another trophy which could be used), an ice bucket (Judith Irwin trophy for the best in the members wine recipe class; this could also be used), and glass bowls (Hampshire Wine League awarded to the best in the fruit wine medley class, the B & B Gent trophy awarded to the best white / golden medium dry wine, and the Furness trophy awarded to the best fruit rosé). All of them lovely trophies.
So that leaves the cups, shields and tankards. It was never my intention to describe all the trophies awarded at the National show. But I will mention just two of the cups as they come from the same source. These are the Southern Vineyards Trophy (awarded for the best kit rosé wine) and the Southern Vineyards 1983 awarded for the best heavy lager). Searching on the internet I eventually found Southern Vineyards in Hove, Sussex. The company was started in 1959 and dissolved in 1996. They were generous in presenting trophies to wine-making clubs and federations. My own club – Ware Wine & Beer Circle – has a Southern Vineyards trophy and the Beds & Herts Federation has one; I believe there are at least a couple more around the country.
All of these trophies make for a glittering display for the trophy presentation on Saturday afternoon, having been arranged by the Trophy Secretary Jan Nangreave. If you are a recent attendee to the National, then do go and have a look at the trophies before the afternoon presentation at the next show.
This is not to say that other federations and clubs do not have some more unusual trophies as well. For example, the Middlesex Federation has two trophies of shire horses pulling carts with little barrels on. Needless to say, they are awarded for beer – best barley wine and best in the three-bottle beer class. The trophy for kit liqueur at the Central Counties Federation show is a hand-made wood trophy of a small liqueur decanter and a ‘glass’ on a wood- en base. The federation also has the G Rogers Perpetual Screw – awarded for the best gooseberry wine medium sweet – which is a corkscrew on a wooden stand, and the Peterborough trophy – awarded for the best white fruit dry wine – which is a clay plate (possibly hand-made) depicting apples and a stone jar.
As you can see, trophies are not always cups, shields and tankards. I am sure other federations and clubs have unusual trophies. Perhaps someone in the clubs and federations will write an article for News & Views in the future.