Trophy History

Cup presented by the Carlisle Cathedral Choirs Association (Class 244)

The five choirs at Carlisle Cathedral maintain the English choral tradition and take choral music into the wider community.

The Cathedral Choirs’ Association aims to provide support and encouragement to these choirs, particularly young people, and to expand their horizons and advance their education by expanding their musical knowledge and training through singing services in the Cathedral, performing concerts, recording CDs and undertaking choir visits and tours both locally and abroad. 

Isabel Wybergh Bursaries and Silver Cup (Classes 232, 233 & 241)

Presented by Mrs I. Wybergh. Bel Wybergh was a singing teacher who was on the Festival Committee.

Silver Cup presented by John Abba

John first taught piano for the Peter Evans’ School of Music and continued to teach privately throughout his life. Since 2021 his grand piano has been in St. Cuthbert’s Church. He played with the Skyliners Dance Band and was resident pianist at a hotel on Kingstown Road.

The Ackworth Trophy (Class 10)

Given by Sally Tears in memory of her mother.

The Alan Branstone Trophy (Class 553 & 560)

Music was Alan’s life. He was a highly respected musician and encouraged many young people to enjoy music. Growing up in Beverley, East Yorkshire, Alan learned to play the violin from the age of 7, before joining the National Youth Orchestra at 14. Besides the violin, he was a self taught trumpeter and joined the Band of the Grenadier Guards as a Band Sergeant Major after serving for 23 years.

On his return to Cumbria Alan joined several bands, playing with them for over 20 years. He was the bandmaster of the Border Concert Band for 15 years and regularly played with Cliff Eland Big Band, City of Carlisle Orchestra and Heidi and the Soul Merchants. He joined the music department of William Howard School, Brampton, where he taught students String and Brass instruments, running may ensembles as well as lessons. Alan encouraged his pupils to take part in the Festival and conducted and played in it himself many times.

The Alice Palmer Memorial Trophy (Class 90)

Presented by Mrs K Lishman in memory of her good friend who was very keen on speech and drama, and a founder member of Appleby Jubilee Players.

The Bells of Lazonby Shield (Class 112)

Given by a local business.

The Blencathra Shield (Class 3a)

Donated by Mr John Lishman, a keen supporter of this Festival and whose wife, Kate has been involved with the Festival since 1979 when she first entered pupils from Eden School. In 1980 she began to help Mrs Knowles with Speech and Drama classes and has been involved ever since, eventually becoming the Festival’s Speech and Drama Coordinator.

The Border City Probus Club Cup (Class 8)

This Club was founded for former Rotarians and provides a social gathering for retired gentlemen in Carlisle and the surrounding areas.

The Bowman Medal and Scholarship - Robert Bowman OBE

For thirty-five years, Bob Bowman was Chairman of Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival. 

In 1951 Bob attended the Sunderland School of Pharmacy, returning to Carlisle in 1953 as a qualified pharmacist to join the family business. 

Bob’s father was a successful pharmacist, businessman and choral conductor. When Bob rejoined his father in 1958, the family firm was well known and prosperous, but after his father’s retirement, Bob developed the pharmacy business much further, eventually opening branches in Scotland, throughout North Cumbria and in Northumberland. 

Bob had inherited his father’s love of music and in his late twenties he began to train as a singer with the distinguished soprano and teacher, Ena Mitchell. He competed in the Carlisle Festival, winning the coveted Dr. F. Wadley Cup for the best all-round male vocalist 1967. 

Eventually, Bob became a much sought-after tenor, singing as guest soloist for choirs and as a recitalist for music societies. At the same time he involved himself in many of Carlisle’s local music activities and in 1980 he was invited to become chairman of the Carlisle and District Music and Drama Festival.

Bob’s great enthusiasm and boundless generosity was rewarded in 2012 when, at Buckingham Palace, the Queen awarded him the OBE for Philanthropy and Services to Music and the Arts.

In 2018, in recognition of his outstanding commitment to the CDMDF the committee created for him the position of Honorary Life President. 

The Canon Rawnsley Shield (Class 214)

Hardwicke Rawnsley (1851) was an Oxford scholar; among his friends were John Ruskin and, later in life, Beatrix Potter. He was vicar at St. Kentigern’s, Crosthwaite and whist there he and his wife founded the School of Industrial Art in Keswick; he was also instrumental in establishing Newton Rigg Farm School in Penrith, the Westmorland Nursing Association and Keswick High School.

In 1891 he became an Honorary Canon of Carlisle Cathedral and Chaplain to the King in 1912.

Rawnsley was a great champion of the Lake District, and crusaded for the formation of the National Trust, for which he worked unceasingly as Hon. Secretary for 26 years. 

As the writer of more than 30,000 sonnets he was one of their most prolific writers ever; he also wrote many books on the Lake District.

He retired to Grasmere in 1917, where he bought Allan Bank, now a National Trust property and Wordsworth’s previous abode. He died there in 1920 and is buried in Crosthwaite. A plaque to his memory is set into a wall beside the Friars’ Crag path.

The Cranston Shield (Class 55)

Donated by a local business.

The Cumberland Building Society Cup

Donated by a local society.

The Cyril Lowes Memorial Trophy for the Brampton Silver Band Trophy (Class 575)

A versatile musician, Cyril Lowes originally played trombone in the Salvation Army Band, eventually becoming conductor or St Stephen’s Silver Band, a position he held for 42 years. Under him the band won many local and national awards, twice winning the 1,000 guinea trophy at Crystal Adare.
Throughout his life Cyril played a huge part in the musical life of Carlisle: leader (violin) of orchestra for Musical and Choral Society, Musical Director at HM Theatre and MD of the Operatic Society

Eventually he had both his own piano/organ tuning business and a musical instrument dealing business. 

William Lowes (son) was also a talented musician, playing piano, clarinet, trombone and saxophone. When his father died, he took over his father’s businesses and also became MD of St Stephen’s band. William also ran the Cyril Lowes Dance Band which for many years played regularly at the County Ballroom. Father and son were keen supporters of CDMDF 

The Doreen Smith Trophy

Given by Doreen’s daughter. Doreen entered pupils in Speech & Drama classes and was a committee member for many years.

The Dr F W Wadely Cup

Doctor Frederick Wadely OBE, FRCO (1882-1970) was an English organist and composer. He trained at the Royal College of Music and was then an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

After taking up posts as organist at St Andrew’s, Uxbridge and then at Malvern Priory, he became organist at Carlisle Cathedral, a post he held for 50 years (1910-1960). 

He taught both piano and organ and was a well respected and prolific composer, whose works include a number of large scale works; church music; songs and part-songs; organ music.

The Dr. Kenneth Pickering Memorial Trophy

Donated by Louise Lewis in memory of her tutor and friend, Dr Pickering, a well known writer.

The Eden School Memorial Trophy (Classes 81 & 91)

Given to the Festival when Eden School closed in 1993.

The Ellen Wilson Shield (Classes 1 & 11)

Presented by Mrs K Lishman in memory of her mother who took a great interest in her work for the Festival.

The Ena Knowles Memorial Cup (Class 85)

Presented to the Festival by her friends. She was a teacher at St Gabriel’s school and also taught privately; she was on the Festival committee.

The Ena Mitchell Memorial Cup presented by Elizabeth Lamb (Class 265)

Ena Mitchell, who lived in Howard Place in Carlisle, died in June 1979. Carlisle was the base for all her professional journeys, to sing the soprano arias in many performances of The Messiah, Elijah, The Creation and the Passions and Cantatas by Bach.

In addition to this busy career, she was also much sought after as a teacher of singing, both at home and at the Royal Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow (now the Royal Scottish Conservatoire) and at the Royal Manchester/Northern College of Music, travelling to and fro by train from Carlisle. 

She was half in great respect by her many pupils and was greatly loved for her sense of humour and the warmth of her personality.

The F Ruth Pickles Memorial (Class 670)

Ruth Pickles grew up in Carlisle and was a regular competitor in the Festival during the sixties: her name can be found on some of the piano trophies.
A one-time pupil of Dr F W Wadely, she went on to study piano and ‘cello at the Royal Academy of Music. After graduating, she chose to specialize in the ‘cello and, having first taught at Wyndham School in Egremont, she became a well known and respected music teacher throughout West Cumbria. Ruth played ‘cello and double bass in the City of Carlisle Orchestra for many years. 

The Festival Cup (Class 53)

Purchased out of Festival funds 

The Frank Routledge Memorial Cup (Class 251)

Frank Routledge was a well known organist and choirmaster in Carlisle, and was Honorary Secretary of the Carlisle and District Music Festival for twenty years until his death in 1968. He was also Musical Director of the Carlisle Light Operatic Society, who performed theatrical productions of light opera works in Her Majesty’s Theatre during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The Geoffrey Hodgson Memorial Trophy (Class 279)

Geoffrey ('Geoff') Hodgson was a Lancashire lad, an accountant, a keen photographer and husband of Hilary Hodgson the Musical Director of Dalston Male Voice Choir.

Geoff was a founder member of the DMVC and remained in it for the rest of his life, as member and frequent soloist. His vibrant, deep bass voice is perhaps best remembered for his solo performances in "Stenka Razin"! 

The Helen Snowball Cup (Class 215)

Helen Snowball taught for many years in Newlaithes Primary School where she was the specialist music teacher. Her school choir was well known locally for its very high standard. Before moving out of the area, she made considerable contributions to the musical life of Carlisle, being the regular accompanist for the Abbey Singers and Cumbria Opera as well as an official accompanist at the Festival and for several local soloists. 

The Hilary Hodgson Trophy (Class 294)

Hilary Hodgson, originally from Darwen, Lancashire, lived in Dalston from 1981. She was a gifted mezzo soprano with perfect pitch, a music teacher, a member of  the Abbey Singers and the Wordsworth Singers and a former Music Coordinator on the Festival committee. She played piano and recorder and was a member of singing quartet Cantrix. She founded and ran the Dalston Ladies' Choir for ten years from 1988 but is best remembered for having founded the Dalston Male Voice Choir in 1985 and acted as its Musical Director for 27 fun-filled years.

The Hunter Hall School Shields (Class 86)

Given by the school for Duologue acting. 

The Ingrid Messenger Memorial Trophy (Class 89)

Given by Caldew School in memory of a pupil.

The Jeweller's Workshop Trophy (Class 31)

Presented by Mr M McClounie. Mike McClounie, a local jeweller, kindly presented this trophy on hearing that this Open Verse Speaking Class was without one.

The Joe Wallace Memorial Trophy (Class 277)

Joe Wallace lived in Denton Holme, Carlisle, and was a very popular comedian, actor and singer until his death in 1986.
He was a principal member of The Carlisle Choral Society and a true professional on the stage, always giving a highly polished performance of his characters roles in the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoy Operas, which were held annually in Her Majesty’s Theatre. Joe was also a good friend of the internationally renowned contralto, Kathleen Ferrier. 

The John Wilson Shield (Class 12)

Presented by Mrs K Lishman in memory of her father who took a great interest in her work for the Festival.

The Katherine Hopkins Salver presented by Lyn Young (Class 300)

When I first moved to Carlisle and advertised for pupils, Kath rang me to say, “HI,” and sent me my first pupil. My own children later attended Newlaithes Junior School, where she was their favourite class teacher. She also ran the choir, a recorder group and always made sure that quality concerts were a part of the school year.

Kath taught flute and piano to may children over the years, including my own, and was a kind and inspirational teacher. Her association with the festival has included being an official accompanist, as well as being sought after by other teachers to accompany their young instrumentalists.

I wanted to contribute a fitting tribute in memory of Kath, to remember her massive contribution to the musical life in Carlisle and the warmth of her friendship to those who knew her.

The Lady Mabel Howard Trophy (Class 261)

Lady Howard was married to Henry Howard, who was the MP for Penrith in 1885 and a member of the influential Howard family headed by the Duke of Norfolk. Lady Mabel, who was appointed a CBE in 1920, lived in Greystoke and died in December 1942

The Lancelyn Green Trophy

Given by Mrs Lancelyn Green when she came to adjudicate. She asked for it to be awarded by the  adjudicator for any memorable performance which need not have been a winning performance.

The Lanercost Festival Trophy presented by Marilynne Davies.

After studying voice, ‘cello and piano at the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama, Marilynne has spent her working life in education. Her experience ranges from Nursery to Postgraduate levels and has embraced a range of the arts from Music to Drama, Film and Television.

As an adjudicator for the British and International federation of Festivals she has adjudicated  across the UK and abroad. In 2011 she was honoured to be created one of the first Fellows of the Federation and has also served as Chair of the Fellows.

The results of Marilynne’s research into the Practice of Performance have been disseminated across a European Consortium of Conservatoires.

The Lime House School Cup (Class 54)

Donated by Lime House School, Dalston.

The Malcolm Duthie Trophy (Class 269)

Malcolm Duthie was an exceptionally talented pianist, organist and accompanist. He could transpose the most difficult aria with just a few seconds' thought, and as an accompanist found great rapport with a singer, especially in Lieder and Mozart. He studied Divinity at Oxford University and was a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. His untimely passing in middle age took away a unique musical talent and a friend to many.

The Mary Whitehead Cup (Class 16)

Presented by Mandy Norman in memory of her mother. Mandy was from West Cumbria and a keen competitor in speech, drama and singing; she subsequently entered her own pupils.

The Mick Potts Trophy (Class 406)

Michael ‘Mick’ Potts was a young and extremely gifted classical pianist who regularly won his Pianoforte Solo class at the Music Festival.

On his visit to Carlisle the renowned composer and adjudicator Herbert Howells was so impressed with Michael’s playing that he offered to take him as his personal pupil at the Royal College of Music. As well as classical music, Michael also loved to play jazz, and later his name was ‘Mick’ Potts, trumpet player and leader of Carlisle’s Gateway Jazz Band (considered by many to have been the bestie the country!) until his death in 1993. 

The Millom Shield (Class 33)

Donated by Mrs K Lishman.

The Muriel Main Memorial Trophy (Class 240)

After graduating from Dartington College around 1960, Muriel Main returned to her home town of Carlisle to take up a teaching post as head of music at the new Harraby Secondary School, a position she held until she retired. 

Although only a little over 4 feet six inches tall, Muriel boosted her presence by always wearing the highest heels available; that, and her forceful personality meant that she was more than a match for the boisterous students with whom she was confronted at the school. Indeed, she devoted much of her life, both in and out of school, to teaching and encouraging young people to appreciate and love music. 

Out of school, Muriel was one of Ena Mitchells pupils, training as a soprano and singing with the foremost Cumbrian singers of the day, namely the tenor Robert Bowman, mezzo Elizabeth Lamb and basses Sam Bellingham and Toner Gannon. Together, they sang for many years throughout Cumbria, giving much pleasure to their audiences and helping many charities. 

In addition to her teaching and singing, Muriel was a gifted choral conductor, and for many years she directed the long established Carliol Choir. She also held the baton for Carlisle Choral Society, who specialised in the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. And here we might make mention of Harry Cheeseman, the lift-man from Binn’s department store and Muriel’s star chorus performer. Known by everyone in the city, Harry was one of Carlisle’s great characters. Infuriatingly for Muriel though, Like Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army, Harry was always one beat behind everyone else! 

The Ronmar Trophy, presented by the Ronmar School of Music

Ron Hodgson was born in Carlisle in 1929. He became one of the seminal figures in the UK accordion scene. He was a superb accordionist, orchestral MD, teacher, composer, arranger, examiner for the British College of accordionists, BCA Board of Examiners member, Chairman of the National Accordion Organisation, festival organizer and adjudicator. In 1957 he represented the NAO in the World Arts Festival in Moscow, where he won a silver medal. 

From 1957 until 2005 he ran a highly successful accordion school in Carlisle, from which emerged the highly accomplished Ronmar Accordion Orchestra, twice winners at the All Britain Championships. Ron recorded 3 CDs along with Julie Best, one of his former pupils.

The Spoken Word Challenge Shield (Classes 113, 114 & 115)

Donated by Mr John Lishman.

The Stagecoach Performing Arts School Trophy (Class 7)

Given by the Carlisle branch of this stage school.

The Sydney Nicholson Cup (Class 260)

Sir Sydney Hugo Nicholson MVO (9 February 1875 – 30 May 1947) was an English choir director, organist (including Westminster Abbey) and composer, now chiefly remembered as the founder of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and the compiler of The Parish Psalter.    He was organist at Carlisle Cathedral for a brief spell in 1904

The Thackmoor Shield (Class 4a)

Donated by Mr John Lishman. 

The Tony Tears Cup & Woodwind Shield (Classes 501, 502 & 503)

Tony Tears was born and bred in Carlisle, and after a successful professional career playing saxophone, returned to Carlisle where he was a most influential music teacher. He taught piano and woodwind (flute, clarinet and saxophone) in several schools and privately in North Cumbria.

Affectionately known as ‘Mr T’ by his younger pupils, he was able to pass on his love of music and inspire his pupils to achieve their very best, reaching exceptionally high standards in both their exam results and in competition at the Carlisle Music Festival. 

The Winifrede Evans Memorial Cup (Class 401)

Donated by her son Peter Evans . Peter ran a thriving and very successful music school in Carlisle from the fifties until his untimely death in the early seventies, offering piano, violin, theory and aural classes. Peter was a talented musician with perfect pitch: Winifrede was very strict in her insistence that the young Peter regularly practised. He was also the musical director and conductor at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Carlisle.

Trophies presented by Mr John Davies (Class 84)

John Davies is a retired teacher with a keen interest in Shakespeare, and additionally a LAMDA examiner and director of Cumbria Classic Theatre. He recently wrote and successfully presented Carlisle’s own version of both the Passion Play and the Christmas story.

Trophy presented by Mrs I Wybergh (Class 72)

Bel Wybergh was a singing teacher who was on the Festival committee.

Trophy presented in memory of the late Mrs A E Snelgar (Class 292)

Mrs A E Snelgar was a local mum and supporter of CDMDF; several of her family of 7 children regularly participated in the festival.