The Background Story of the Club Cups

Although the Banbury Camera Club was founded in 1946, it was not until 1964- 65 that cups for annual competitions appeared. At that time “colour” meant colour slides, and most developing and printing done by members was in black and white. Then, as now, regular competitions were held throughout the year, most with set subjects designed to stir members’ imaginations and encourage them to develop their skills.

 During the summer season members met at photographically interesting venues. In 1965 Mr. Bob Hutt, a Byfield farmer, feeling that nobody ever saw most of the photographs taken on these occasions, presented a cup to be competed for annually, and to be called the Beechcroft Cup after his farm, for the best colour slide taken at a club event or on a club outing. He laid down two conditions: that the cup winner could not compete the following year (the same names seemed to appear year after year then!) and that the competition could not be judged by a club member.

In order to bring black and white work into the picture, a local businessman, Mr. Jim Church, General Manager of Steele’s Carpets, Bloxham, presented the James Church Cup to be awarded for the best black and white print taken at a club event or on a club outing. At about this time the Mayoress of Banbury was a member, and the Mayor, Mr. Eric Wordsworth, because his wife enjoyed her membership so much, presented the Eric Wordsworth Cup to be awarded for “the black and white print of the year”. To complement this, the club bought the Club Colour Cup to be awarded for “the colour slide of the year”.

In the years that followed, between 1967 and 1981, colour prints became increasingly popular, and it was decided that “colour print of the year” should be added to the annual competitions. The club looked round for a donor, and Alcan Aluminium Company Limited was approached. After negotiations between Mr. G. Budd of Alcan and Michael Clifton, they agreed to give a donation and, as a change from the usual cup, a shield was bought, to be called, not surprisingly, The Alcan Shield. Unfortunately, through an error, it was actually engraved The Alcan Trophy!

By 1986 the only category not covered was that of a colour print taken at a club event, so Reg and Isabel Smith, to celebrate Isabel’s nearly 40 years of happy membership, presented the Brantwood Cup.

In 1989 two more cups were given to the club &endash; the F-Stop Trophy by Mr. Martin Dunning of F-Stop, and the Bodicote Trophy by Chris Hill, then Programme Secretary. These cups were intended to encourage members to continue taking photographs throughout the year. There are four categories – monochrome prints, colour prints, monochrome slides and colour slides. The F-Stop Trophy is awarded to the member scoring the highest number of points in any one class in the club competitions, and the Bodicote Trophy to the member scoring the highest total of points in all four classes. No member may hold both trophies in the same year.

In 1991 Mr. John Saunders, a retired lawyer and keen photojournalist, came to the club to judge our monochrome print competitions and, being impressed by the standard of the work, suggested a competition based on a panel of photographs suitable for illustrating a newspaper or magazine article. The John Saunders Cup for Photojournalism is awarded annually for the best panel of up to six prints (not more than 5″ x 7″) or slides, complete with captions, on a subject chosen by the committee, the “journalism” part of the competition being as important as the quality of the photographs.

The latest in our long list of cups and trophies is The Jack Keen Cup. Jack, a member for many years, was always concerned with encouraging photography among beginners and newcomers to the club and those with simple equipment, and his wife and daughter in 1995 presented this cup in his memory. Only 6″ x 4″ commercially processed enprints are eligible, untrimmed and unmounted, and the winner may not compete the following year.

In this selection of awards there is a wide range of opportunities for members’ varying interests and skills, the aim being, as always, to keep up standards and widen our horizons.

Isabel Smith


The notes above were taken from a circular in 1997. As far as possible the cups and trophies are still awarded for similar photography as they were originally. Inevitably with advances of technology, move to digital photography, use of projected digital images instead of slides and improvement in colour printing, this has not always been possible. 

  • The Beechcroft Cup for the best projected digital image (Bob Hutt 1965)
  • The James Church Cup (No longer awarded)
  • The Eric Wordsworth Cup for the best monochrome print. (1966)
  • The Club Colour Cup (No longer awarded)
  • The Alcan Shield for the best colour print. (1970’s)
  • The Brantwood Cup for the best colour or mono print taken at a club event or evening. (Reg and Isabel Smith 1986)
  • The F-Stop Trophy for the highest number of points over the year for colour prints. (1989)
  • The Bodicote Trophy for the highest number of points in the colour and monochrome prints combined. (1989)
  • The John Saunders Cup for a series of between three and seven prints common theme/tell a story etc. (1991 for photojournalism)
  • The Jack Keen Cup for a projected digital image – open to all members who have not achieved a first, second, or third place over the year.(1995)
  • The Photo Finish Impact Trophy for a print with impact
  • The Walford and Round Trophy for a print taken to illustrate a set subject.
  • The Tony Grice Trophy for the highest number of points over the year for monochrome prints. (new in 2014)