The Griston 5-Bell Plate is a Call Change Striking Competition, organised each year in order to encourage call change bands in their quest for better striking when ringing for services.
Following fund-raising and celebrations in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee there was still a small amount of money left in Griston’s Jubilee Fund, which no one could decide what to do with.
After ten years it was decided the fund should be wound up and the money should be put to some use, linked to the Jubilee if possible. The suggestions made were for a wooden bench in the churchyard or for an annual ringing competition to be held at Griston church. At this time there was a keen and active band of ringers from the village and nearby who rang regularly for Sunday services in Griston.
Following discussions it was felt that a bench would require maintenance and was likely to deteriorate over time, so it was decided to institute an annual ringing competition. This would be held at St. Peter & St. Paul Church Griston, which contains 5 bells in its tower, thus making it a 5-Bell competition.
The local Tower Captain at the time lived in the village and worked in London. He used the money from the fund to purchase a silver Armada Plate (originally used to hold the wafers at a communion service), which he found in a shop in Bond Street in London. He arranged for a circular wooden surround and stand to be made locally and the plate was set in this, with a brass plaque on the back onto which the names of winning bands could be engraved. This is the Griston 5-Bell Plate – the trophy that is competed for.
To maintain the link with the Jubilee, it was decided that the ringing competition would be held on the first Saturday in June each year (the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation). The competition is open to bands of ringers from all over Norfolk, who ring together regularly for Sunday services. It is judged on the quality of the striking achieved by the band while ringing a pre-defined set of call changes. The hope is that the competition will encourage less experienced bands to improve the quality of their ringing for Sunday services. The event starts late afternoon, so that ringers who are required to ring for weddings at their local churches can come along after they have finished.
The first competition was held on 4th June 1988 and was won by the local Griston band. It has been held every year since then, with anywhere between five and ten bands competing each year.
Among ringers the competition has become noted for the quality and quantity of the tea provided afterwards, thanks to the excellent arrangements made by ladies from the local churches. During tea the judges deliberate over their markings, following which the results are announced and the trophy presented.
- Bands must comprise, where possible, regular ringers at one tower. Mixed bands are allowed where groups of ringers regularly combine to provide ringing at a number of towers in a particular area.
- At least two members of the band should not have rung a peal.
- No ringer may ring in more than one band in the competition.
- At the request of a band, any additional person or persons may assist that band, by calling the changes for them and/or counting the number of rows rung.
- Prior to the draw, each band should submit to the organiser a list of the names of each ringing member.
- The competition will comprise a test piece of 12 call changes to be completed in 120 rows, with 5 whole pulls of each change being rung.
- The test piece will be specified by the organiser.
- No more than 6 whole pulls of rounds are allowed before the first change is called and at least 5 whole pulls of rounds at the end.
- It will be assumed that open handstroke leading is intended unless the organiser is informed otherwise before the draw.
- Three minutes’ practice ringing is allowed prior to the test piece, plus time to adjust ropes if necessary.
- The first handstroke of 12435 will count as row 1 and judging will take place from row 21 to row 120.
- Faults will be accrued automatically by bands who fail to ring the test piece as specified.
- In the event of any disputes arising, the organiser’s decision is final.
Since the Striking Competition began in 1988, the winners of the Griston 5-Bell Plate have been:-
- 2015 The event was cancelled
- 2014 (read the report here). Carbrooke
- 2012 (read the report here).Ashill
- 2008Ashill (Youth)
- 2007Ashill (Youth)
- 2006Norwich St Giles
- 2004Norwich All Saints
- 2003Norwich St Giles
- 2002Norwich All Saints
- 2001Saham Toney and Watton
- 1999Pulham Market
- 1998Norwich Colegate
- 1997Watton and Carbrooke (A)
- 1996Watton and Carbrooke (A)
- 1995Norwich St Giles
- 1994Norwich Colegate
- 1993Watton (Seniors)
- 1990Griston and Caston
- 1989Griston and Caston
- 1988Griston and Caston
If you have any queries, or would like further information on the Griston 5-Bell Plate Competition, please contact:-
- David Riley email
- (01953) 884555