Darth Vader, drones and dancers mark 190th anniversary of Byron’s burial in Hucknall

editorial image

This year’s Byron Festival took off in a special way last Sunday with a small drone flying above Hucknall Market Place.

Making a buzzing noise like a bee, it took aerial photos of a spectacular parade of classic scooters, cars and VW camper vans - a total of about 140 vehicles - to Newstead Abbey.

The event included an appearance by ‘Star Wars’ characters Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper.

Later in the day, members of the Ellenismos Greek dancers performed for a special service in Hucknall Parish Church to mark the 190th anniversary of Lord Byron’s burial in the family vault.

Wreaths were laid by the Chairman of Ashfield District Council (Coun Glenis Maxwell), Ken Robinson (Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group), Ken Purslow (Newstead Abbey Byron Society), Peter Cochran (Association of International Byron Societies), Jill Berry (Byron family), Bunty Cardwell (Lytton family) and Coun John Wilmott (Newstead Abbey).

A highlight of a heritage day exhibition and book fair in Central Methodist Church, Hucknall, on Saturday was a display of pictures on a small screen to mark the history of the town’s Byron Cinema.

Lottery funding is currently being sought as part of a project to reopen the cinema, which dates back to 1936.

‘Hucknall’s Heroes’ was the theme of a heritage walk through the town centre on Monday, led by David Heathcote.

The ‘heroes’ included Byron’s gifted mathematician daughter, Ada Lovelace, and bare-knuckle boxing champion Ben Caunt.

A modern-day ‘hero’ is Lance-Corporal Paul Sandford, who was killed on 6th June 2007 at the age of 23 while serving in Afghanistan with the Sherwood Foresters, now part of the Mercian Regiment.

There is still plenty to see and do as the festival reaches its climax this weekend. Tonight welcomes the Poems and Pints event at the John Godber Centre tonight at 7pm which is a free event.

Five times fringe-award winner, Mark Gwynne Jones, will feature mixing humour and poignancy in poetry and will also announce the winners of the Maureen Crisp Memorial Poetry Competition.

And don’t miss the full afternoon at Newstead Abbey on Sunday from 2pm with dancing, music and entertainment for the whole family with free shuttle buses leaving Hucknall Market Place from 10am.