Annual Byron Festival is under starter’s orders

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THE STAGE is set for the International Byron Festival to ride into Hucknall — literally!

For the countdown to the event will be launched on Tuesday May 17 — with a publicity stunt featuring a horse-ride from Market Place to the Red Lion pub on High Street.

The boozer was once used by the Byron family as the place to collect their rent from their tenants.

Now a rider will arrive at the Lion on horseback to re-enact a scene from the past.

The event will also feature Hucknall man Gary Byron, dressed as his namesake, the romantic poet Lord Byron, whom the festival is in honour of.

This year’s 13th annual Byron festival will run for just one week (Friday June 4 to Sunday June 12) with a packed programme of events.

A flyer (pictured) featuring the line-up is now available throughout the town.

In the week leading up to the festival, Byron the town crier will be in and around Hucknall making announcements about the event.

The theme this year is ‘Byron At The Theatre’ and the main organiser, Ken Purslow, chairman of Newstead Abbey Byron Society (NABS), is hopeful there will be a flood of interest.

It all kicks off on June 3 with the Byron Ball at the Lovelace Theatre at the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street.

Other attractions include a ‘Summer Showcase’ where young people will wow an audience with dance and music; a concert by the award-winning Newstead Brass band; a ghost evening at Annesley Hall; a ‘Byron Pilgrimage Walk’; a heritage day; golf tournament; and poetry competition in honour of one of the festival’s gurus, the late Maureen Crisp.

Also back in Hucknall after missing last year’s festival are USA-based actors Ian Frost and Bill Studdiford. They will perform two shows — ‘Lessons In Love: Byron’s Don Juan’ and ‘Byron: His Life And His Loves’.

DON’T MISS THE DISPATCH IN THE COMING WEEKS FOR A FULL TIMETABLE OF EVENTS AND A BUILD-UP TO THE FESTIVAL