This film is part of Free

Men of Brass

Guiseley lads bring the brass to Belle Vue Zoo’s historic competition in Manchester, 1962.

Amateur film 1962 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


After weeks of rehearsals tooting the trumpet, trombone and tuba - Guiseley Brass Band travel to Belle Vue to compete in the esteemed ‘Spring Brass Band Festival of Great Britain.’ Men make time to enjoy amusement rides and marvel at zoo animals before competing at the venue’s brass battle. Drinking from the Junior Cup, the chaps soak up their success.

Firmly making its mark on Manchester’s history, Belle Vue Zoo’s brass band competitions began in 1853. With the combined lure of exotic animals and the battle of the bands, the event attracted over 16,000 people, making it one of the biggest attractions in the North West. In 1922, the ‘Belle Vue May Contests’ were introduced, later renamed in 1952 as the ‘Spring Brass Band Festival’. The Grand Shield; top prize at this particular event, remained the most important of all titles.