The contest changed it's name in 1968 to "Top Group Championship of Cornwall". A press report from the West Briton explains the change;
Ten Hope to 'Pop' To The Top
Ten Cornish 'pop' groups have entered for the Top Groups Championship of Cornwall, being run the City of Truro Round Table in Truro City Hall on January 15. For several years the competitiopn has been known as the 'rock and rhythm' championships. Mr Ian Pilling of the fun raising committee said the organisers felt the new name was a 'bit more with it'.
The Round Table will present a cup and the Flamingo Ballroom, Redruth. will offer the winners a chance to play in support of a national known group at their hall on the Saturday following the contest.
The Vigilantes, last year's winners, performed during the intermission, and this prize for this years winner was a chance to support The Tremeloes at the Flamingo. Mission Impossible almost set the stage alight this year when their light show caused the curtains to catch fire!
Here's how the West Briton reported the event the following week;
City Hall vibrates to top groups
It is safe to bet that the City Hall in Truro has never seen anything like it before. The stage was transformed into a fantastic scene of gigantic shadows pulsating over the auditorium for the Top Group Championship of Cornwall staged on Monday evening by the City of Truro Round Table.
The hallucinatory lighting was part of the act of the winning group, the Peace and Quiet, of Camborne.
They produced the weird lighting effects with a system known as liquid projection, and it riveted the attention of the 600 teenagers who crowded the hall to watch and hear the 12 groups in the contest.
Started in the far off days of skiffle and rock-and-roll the Top Group Contest - until this it was called the Rock and Rhythm Championships - has never lost popularity with the younger element. Monday’s vociferous support bore witness to this.
The Peace and Quiet's unconventionally dressed members were Danny Gill, Barry Pascoe, David Fisher, Jasper James and Tony Richens, with dancer Joel Maddocks. In second place were the Fantastics, a group of Truro musicians who decided to enter the contest only two or three days before. He and his colleagues Richard Penrose and Michael Dudley are members of the Reaction which won the championship two years aho. The group has temporarily disbanded because the other members have gone to college and university.
Third place was taken by the Camborne Technical College group, the Trevenson Tree Tramplers (Rick Surtees, Bob Hickmott, John Pearn, Bob Hancock, Dave Bunday and Ivan Lyne).
For the winners there was a silver cup presented by the Truro Round Table president Mr. Don Culliford, and the top three groups will have BBC auditions for radio and television.
The judges were Messrs. D.W. Dutson (Blue Lagoon, Newquay), R.K.Smith and J.Mills (Princess Pavilion, Falmouth). Mr. Peter Boggis was the compare of the contest and the proceeds will go to Round Table charities.
Other groups competing were the Modesty Blues (Truro), the Reflection (Truro), Louis A. Brown and the Good Times (Newquay), the Mission Impossible (Redruth), Passion (Falmouth), Give and Take (St. Just in Roseland), the Other Five (Newquay), Circuit Five (Penzance). A guest appearance was made the Vigilantes, last year's winners.
Thank you to QueeninCornwall for the image
Bert Biscoe kindly shared his recollections of The Fantastics at the 1968 contest;
"I was at the Truro Beat Group Contest in 1968. Most of the bands played 'Walk Away Renee' by the Four Tops. There was a delay and then the curtains parted to reveal The Fantastics - Mike Dudley wore what looked like a re-tailored plastic table cloth like a kaftan; Taylor was behind a massive kit on a rostrum and Rick Penrose was to the left of the stage.
The band played 'Morning Dew' and 'Land of a Thousand Dances' - it was the moment when I realised that music could open doors and rearrange furniture!"