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Plate Championship
updated 5.7.15


This competition was sponsored from 1957 to 1980 by the Sunday Times, then until 2001 by the Times. In 2008-9 it gained a new sponsor, Yateley Manor School. Then in 2012-13 the competition was reformed with four separate sections (U19, U19 Girls, U11, U11 Girls) and three different sponsors: Winchester College, Heathside Preparatory School (Hampstead) and St Catherine's Bramley (Surrey). On this website we treat only the original U19 competition and its continuation up to the present. For the other new sections see the competition's new website at

The Championship, from the beginning, was a straight knockout competition. It remained so throughout the 20th century. But in 2001-2 a league option was introduced at the Zonal stage. This was immediately a popular choice, especially among the less experienced teams, and most of the Zones since then have been split into League and Knockout groups with playoff for the Zone Championship. The national stage continues to be a knockout.
The Championship, from the outset as far as we know (can anyone confirm?), always culminated in a high-profile gathering at a prestigious London hotel, in which the last four teams played the semi-finals and Final with a play-off for third place. Latterly the regular venue was the Charing Cross Hotel. In 2002, with the loss of sponsorship, the finals moved to less expensive (and more central) provincial venues where they have continued. They settled in 2006 at their pleasant current venue of Uppingham School.
     Plate Championship
The Plate Championship for Zone runners-up was introduced only in 1993-4. It played no part in the London Finals, but joined the central Finals in 2002 and is now a fixture there. Before 2002 it had no third-place play-off, so only the winner and runner-up are listed. But see "sources" below.

Our principal source has been a list of Championship positions - top four places - compiled in 1999 by Mitchell Taylor, Chief Conductor from 1982 to his death in 2000. We have corrected Mitchell in one place (1966-7) where it is clear from the BCF Yearbook that he is mistaken about the result of the 3rd-place playoff. His list is complete up to 1999, and later years have presented no difficulty. But he does not include the Plate. The names of Plate winners are on the trophy, but we have scant information on runners-up until 2000-01. We were hopeful that someone would come up with their names, but most remain elusive.
     A history of the competition, with top-four list, also appears on Wikipedia ( We have taken some figures from it: see below.
Let it be said straight away that sources do not always agree. The figures for number of entries and number of Zones have mostly come from BCF Yearbooks, with occasional excursions into SCCU Bulletins. We have not checked Yearbooks earlier than 1967-68; figures shown in blue for the early years, and for one later year, are taken from Wikipedia whose source up to 1967, we understand, is BCM. The entry of 760 for 1971-2 - not quite consistently with some of the earlier figures - is described in the Yearbook as a record. From 1974-5 to the end of the century the number of entries is rarely given in Yearbooks, and even the number of Zones is not always deducible. It is said that the entry, at its highest, was nearly 1000*; and it seems quite likely that the 961 of 1973-4 was exceeded in the later seventies. The decline will have begun soon after, no doubt with the teachers' withdrawal of goodwill in the early 1980s. It accelerated at the start of the 21st century, but there has been a recent upturn.

* Wikipedia has "in excess of 1000", citing no authority. John Swain (7.5.11) cites one. The Sunday Times on 18th July 1976 (the day after the 1975-6 Finals) reports an original entry of "more than 1000 teams" for that season. But another authority (JS again) differs. The Bolton Evening News (the winning school's local paper) reports "over 800" on 14th July of that year, in anticipation of the Finals; then "more than 900" on Monday 19th July after their team's victory. Perhaps we shall never know the true highest entry.


  Entry Zones Champions Runners-up 3rd Place 4th Place
1957-58 241   Calday Grange GS, Wirral Varndean Nottingham High School Colfe's School, London
1958-59 247   Calday Grange GS, Wirral William Ellis, London Queen Elizabeth Barnet Glyn Grammar School
1959-60 331   Wolverhampton GS Huddersfield New College Bishop Vesey's School Winchester College
1960-61 358   Colfe's School, London Hove GS Weston-Super-Mare GS Bradford GS
1961-62 388   Liverpool Institute High Bemrose School K Edward's Birmingham Whitgift School
1962-63 489   Hove GS Colfe's School, London Liverpool Institute High Magdalen College School Oxford
1963-64 580 20 Liverpool Institute High Dulwich College Hove GS Wiggeston
1964-65 673   Dulwich College Wallasey GS Allen Glen's, Glasgow Hayes School
1965-66 703   Dulwich College Manchester Grammar School Hove GS Bradford GS
1966-67 706 24 Battersea GS K Edward VI Nuneaton Wintringham GS, Grimsby Trinity School, Croydon
1967-68 790 26 Bolton School Dulwich College Battersea GS Great Yarmouth
1968-69 790 27 Dundee High School K Edward's Birmingham Trinity School, Croydon K Edward VII Sheffield
1969-70 762 27 Dulwich College Ayr Academy Methodist College, Belfast Manchester Grammar School
1970-71     Ayr Academy Manchester Grammar School Ilford County High School Plymouth College
1971-72 760 25 Ayr Academy Dulwich College Trinity School, Croydon Manchester Grammar School
1972-73 846 28 Bolton School Latymer Upper School Bristol GS Glyn School (B team)
1973-74 961 31 Southern GS, Portsmouth Bedford Modern School K Edwards Birmingham Paisley GS
1974-75     St Paul's, London Ilford County High School Southern GS, Portsmouth Bristol GS
1975-76 (see above)   Bolton School Great Salterns (formerly Southern GS) Glyn School Royal Belfast Academical Institution
1976-77   32 Bluecoat Liverpool Glyn School Paisley GS Bristol GS
1977-78   32 St Paul's, London St Albans School RGS Newcastle Bluecoat Liverpool
1978-79   32 St Paul's, London Bolton School Methodist College, Belfast K Edward VI Southampton
1979-80   29 King Edward VI Southampton Watford Boys GS Calday Grange GS, Wirral Royal Belfast Academical Institution
1980-81   30 St Paul's, London Watford Boys GS Manchester Grammar School K Edward VI Southampton
1981-82 479 (?) 26 St Paul's, London Nottingham High School St Johns, Portsmouth Bluecoat Liverpool
1982-83 597 28 Queen Mary's GS, Walsall Paston, Norfolk RGS Newcastle Grove, St Leonards
1983-84   27 RGS Newcastle Plymouth College St Paul's, London Queen Mary's GS, Walsall
1984-85   27 St Paul's, London Nottingham High School RGS Newcastle K Edward VI Southampton
1985-86   24 Plymouth College RGS Colchester Bluecoat Liverpool Methodist College, Belfast
1986-87   24 Queen Mary's GS, Walsall St Paul's, London Millfield School Greenwood Academy, Irvine
1987-88 358 24 St Paul's, London Abingdon School Queen Mary's GS, Walsall Antrim GS
1988-89   24 St Paul's, London Manchester Grammar School Truro School Antrim GS
1989-90 "over 400" 24 (?25) St Paul's, London Truro School RGS Newcastle Nottingham High School
1990-91   23 Manchester Grammar School Sutton Manor High School Hymers College, Hull St Columb's College, Derry
1991-92     Nottingham High School Truro School City of London School RGS Newcastle
1992-93   24 Truro School Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Manchester Grammar School RGS Newcastle
1993-94 "400" 24 Ipswich School Manchester Grammar School St Columb's College, Derry Westminster School
1994-95     Methodist College, Belfast Maidstone Boys' GS Truro School Ipswich School
1995-96   26 Manchester Grammar School Maidstone Boys' GS Oakham School St Columb's College, Derry
1996-97   26 Manchester Grammar School Oakham School Hampton School Methodist College, Belfast
1997-98 "over 350" 25 Manchester Grammar School Torquay Boys' GS St Paul's, London Queen Elizabeth GS, Wakefield
1998-99   24 St Paul's, London Oakham School Manchester Grammar School Torquay Boys' GS
1999-00 208 21 St Paul's, London Manchester Grammar School Nottingham High School Queen Elizabeth Barnet
2000-01 246 24 Oakham School Manchester Grammar School St Paul's, London Yateley Manor School
2001-02 192 20 Hampton School RGS Guildford Oakham School Manchester Grammar School
2002-03 154 15 Oakham School RGS Guildford Southend Boys' High School Blue Coat Oldham
2003-04 143 15 Monmouth School Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Blue Coat Oldham Southend Boys' High School
2004-05 124 13 Nottingham High School Blue Coat Oldham Monmouth School RGS Guildford
2005-06 93 11 Nottingham High School Dulwich College Millfield School Lancaster RGS
2006-07 93 10 Nottingham High School RGS Guildford Magdalen College School, Oxford Manchester Grammar School
2007-08 140 12 Millfield School Nottingham High School A Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School RGS Guildford
2008-09 156 14 Wellington College Nottingham High School Norwich School Dulwich College
2009-10 165 15 Wellington College Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Wilson's School, Wallingon Manchester Grammar School
2010-11 153 14 Manchester Grammar School Reading School RGS Guildford Norwich School
2011-12 114 11 Manchester Grammar School Wellington College Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Millfield School
2012-13 135 12 Manchester Grammar School Reading School Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Wilson's School, Wallington
2013-14 102 11 Reading School Manchester Grammar School RGS Guildford Hampton School
2014-15 102 12 Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School Reading School Nottingham High School Hampton School


  Champions Runners-up 3rd Place 4th Place
1993-94 Methodist College, Belfast Winchester College    
1994-95 St Columb's College, Derry Northgate High School, Ipswich    
1995-96 Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames      
1996-97 St Olave's GS, Orpington Truro School    
1997-98 King's College School, Wimbledon      
1998-99 King's College School, Wimbledon      
1999-00 Oakham School      
2000-01 Hampton School Greenwood Academy, Irvine    
2001-02 Blue Coat Oldham K Edwards Camp Hill Birmingham St Olave's GS, Orpington Torquay Boys' GS
2002-03 Manchester Grammar School Nottingham High School B City of London School St Olave's GS, Orpington
2003-04 Nottingham High School Commonweal School, Swindon St Olave's GS, Orpington Lancaster RGS
2004-05 Hampton School Nottingham High School B Oakham School Southend Boys' High School
2005-06 Monmouth School Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School RGS Guildford Yarm School
2006-07 Monmouth School K Edwards Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Barnet Aughton St Michael's Primary, Ormskirk
2007-08 Wilson's School, Wallington Wellington College Nottingham High School B Leeds GS
2008-09 Wilson's School, Wallington Reading School Winchester College Aughton St Michael's Primary, Ormskirk
2009-10 Homefield Prep School Millfield School K Edwards Camp Hill Birmingham Aughton St Michael's Primary, Ormskirk
2010-11 Wellington College St Olave's GS, Orpington Grammar School at Leeds Magdalen College School Oxford
2011-12 Reading School Wilson's School, Wallington K Edwards Birmingham
not awarded
2012-13 Hampton School Queen Elizabeth Barnet RGS Guildford Nottingham High School B
2013-14 Wilson's School, Wallington Queen Elizabeth Barnet Torquay Boys' GS Newcastle under Lyme School
2014-15 Eltham College King's School, Chester RGS Guildford Mill Hill County High School

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