Byron Festival gets ready for launch day

The Ellenismos Greek dance team entertained the visitors.
The Ellenismos Greek dance team entertained the visitors.

The countdown has begun for the 2014 Byron Festival.

This annual event is the jewel in Hucknall’s festival crown and will run from Saturday 28th June to Sunday 6th July.

There is a whole host of activities and entertainment in store during this eight day extravaganza that takes place at venues in and around the district.

From classic car displays, brass band performances, book fairs, poetry readings, walks, bus tours and afternoon tea to talks, dinners and exhibitions, there is something for everyone.

“There are a wide variety of events throughout the festival in an attempt to make it as attractive as possible,” said Byron Society chairman, Ken Purslow. “With sports events, music, literature and lectures it is a real reflection of Byron’s interests too.”

The Byron Festival continues to be a large tourist attraction, bringing in people from all around the world.

“There are countless people studying Byron with over 39 affiliated societies worldwide,” added Ken. “It brings so many people together - not just academics, but the whole community and raises his profile and awareness of his works locally and within our schools.”

Both Holgate and National academies encourage their students to enter the annual poetry competition linked to the festival each year and has brought much talent to the fore.

“We are hoping that this year’s festival will be better and bigger than ever with more people enjoying what’s on offer,” added Ken who works on the organisation with the rest of the committee for much of the year. “The weather plays a big part and we are hoping it will be kind to us and bring people out into the area and Newstead Abbey.”

For the full timetable of events visit

Sat 28th Heritage Day & Book Fair 10.00am-3.00pm: Central Methodist Church, Market Place, Hucknall - Free

Exhibitions will be provided by the Hucknall Library, Hucknall Heritage Society, Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group and Local Historian Maureen Newton. Refreshments will be available. There will be several book stalls and a fascinating talk given by Cllr Jim Grundy on the Great War 1914-1918 (time to be announced).

Sat 28th Parish Church Tour 11.30am: St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall - Free

Come along and enjoy learning many fascinating facts about this beautiful and

historic parish church. Tour guide Mr Richard Jackson.

Sat 28thRhythm, Rhyme & Romancing 4.00pm-7.00pm: Annesley Old Church, Mansfield Road, Annesley - Free

The evening commences with a tour of the grounds and church and is followed by

readings and folk music. Please wear sensible footwear.

Sun 29th Classic Scooters, Cars & VW Camper Van Club 9.30am-6.00pm: Hucknall Market place & Newstead Abbey – Charges apply at Newstead Abbey

These classic vehicles will gather together at Hucknall Market Place at 9.30am before going in convoy to Newstead Abbey at 11.00am, where they will be on display for the rest of the day.

Sun 29th Wreath Laying Ceremony 3.00pm: St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall In memorandum of the 190th Anniversary of the burial of Lord Byron within the family vault inside St Mary’s church.

Sun 29th Byron Bowls Competition 10.00am: Titchfield Park, Hucknall

Two teams from the Titchfield Bowls Club will be bowling for the annual Byron Trophy.

Mon 30th Hucknall’s Heroes (Town centre walk) 2.00-4.15pm: Meet outside the Hucknall Library - Free

Discover the heritage of Hucknall town centre, focusing upon its heroes, such as Byron and his daughter Ada Lovelace, but including buildings and social history. Led by David Heathcote.

Tue 1st Byron Dinner 7.30pm: Bella Mia, Italian Restaurant, 150 Annesley Road, Hucknall

You are invited to join members of the Byron Society and the Dante Alighieri Society for a meal in celebration of Byron. The evening will be accompanied with poetry reading. Booking in advance is essential by ringing 01636 813818

Tue 1st Sponsored Swim 7.00pm-9.00pm: Hucknall Leisure Centre

A sponsored swim organised in conjunction with the Linby and Hucknall Dolphin’s Swimming Club to raise money for “Maggie’s Centres” Charity based at the City Hospital. For further details and sponsorship forms contact Ken Purslow on 01636 813818 or email: .

Wed 2nd Byron Afternoon Tea 2.00-5.00pm: Colwick Hall - £15

Includes a talk by Professor John Beckett entitled “Mary Chaworth & Colwick Hall”

Booking is essential by ringing 01636 813818.

Thu 3rd Byron Pilgrimage Walk 9.30am: St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall - Free Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the church before setting out for Newstead Abbey at 10.00am. You will learn many interesting facts about the history of the area, particularly how it relates to the Byron family. Refreshments may be purchased at the Abbey before returning back to Hucknall. Eight mile round journey. No dogs allowed.

Fri 4th Heritage Bus Tour 9.30am – 1.00pm: St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall - Free After a tour of St Mary’s church you will be taken to the grounds of Newstead Abbey (refreshment break) then on to All Saints Church, Annesley and finally a visit to Annesley Old Church. Booking is essential by ringing Sheila Robinson on 01159 638566 of the Hucknall Tourism & Regeneration Group.

Fri 4th Poems & Pints 7.00pm - John Godber Centre – Free Includes the award ceremony for the ‘Maureen Crisp Poetry Competition’. The prizes will be presented by the well known poet Mark Gwynn-Jones, who will then give a 30 minute recital. You will also be entertained by a vocal group “The


Sat 5th The Byrons & Hucknall – Talk 2.00pm: Hucknall Library - Free A fascinating talk by Ralph Lloyd-Jones exploring the Byron family’s connections

with Hucknall.

Sat 5th Brass Band Concert 7.00pm: St Mary Magdalene Church - £5.00 Enjoy an evening of music performed by the Thoresby Brass Band in this ancient

and beautiful parish church. Music will include pieces by one of Hucknall’s heroes – Eric Coates.

Sun 6th Celebrating Byron at the Abbey 2.00pm – 5.00pm: Newstead Abbey, Ravenshead An afternoon at the Abbey packed full of exciting entertainment for all the family, including: The Mansfield Male Voice Choir, Newstead Brass Band and the Ellenismos Greek Dance Team. There will be a free Shuttle Bus starting at 10.00am from Hucknall Market Place to the Abbey, with the last bus leaving the Abbey at 4.30pm. If travelling on the shuttle bus you will gain free entry into the Abbey grounds. Reduced Fees at the Abbey for this event Entry to grounds: £6.00 per car (normal rate) Entry to house: £1.00 per person with a copy of the Byron Festival leaflet

Sun 6th Byron Golf Tournament Leen Valley Golf Club, Hucknall For full details of this event, how to enter and entrance fees contact the golf club on

0115 9642037 or visit


Hucknall Library Mon 23rd Jun to Fri 11th Jul The Library will be hosting an exhibition entitled “The Byron’s and Hucknall”.

St Mary Magdalene Church Will be hosting a photographic and art exhibition by Aleck Seddon and members of the Hucknall Art Club throughout the whole Festival.

Please contact the John Godber Centre on 0115 963 9633 for all events, including bookings where necessary.