Norfolk and Norwich bells ring out to mark the start of the Olympic Games

Bells across Norwich and Norfolk rang out this morning to celebrate the start of the Olympics Games.

Entitled Work No 1197: All the Bells, thousands of bells across the country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes at 8.12am. The project aimed to set a new world record for the largest number of bells being rung simultaneously.

Those in Norwich which took part included St Catherine's Mile Cross church and St George Colegate church.

At the city's Puppet Theatre, peels of laughter rang out as Ian Woods, Joy Haynes and Liz Freeman joined the nation for a massed ringing of assorted bells, including the rarely rung bell in the Medieval tower of the historic Norwich landmark.

Manager Mr Woods said: 'It was good fun, and great to be part of a national celebration of the Olympics - trouble was we were making so much noise we could not hear the other bells of Norwich.'

Meanwhile, Jim Hewins, Deborah Norwood, Sally Norwood and Peter Norwood helped to herald the start of the Olympic Games in Guist, near Dereham.

Deborah said: 'We're proud to have welcomed the Games to Guist, Norfolk and Great Britain.'

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Nationally, Big Ben rang 40 times in three minutes, while church bells, doorbells and even bicycle bells all joined in the performance.

The event was triggered by the firing of cannons on the HMS Belfast.

Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed, who came up with the idea, said it was 'a brilliant and amazing sound' and a 'once-in a lifetime' performance.

'Bells are the loudest acoustic instrument - that's why they're used by churches,' he said. 'It's a piece of music for a special occasion.'

Did you help ring the bells out to signal the start of the Olympic Games? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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