Appeal for more ‘pro- Byron’ pride

AN appeal has been made for Hucknall people to become more ‘pro-Byron’ and feel prouder that the illustrious poet is buried in their parish church.

At a ‘de-brief’ meeting to mark the end of the 2012 International Byron Festival, members of the organising committee claimed that the event did not appear to resonate with the public — and this could be because it was in the name of Byron.

They thought that even though Byron had shown himself to be very much a man of the people, too many Hucknallites were distinctly lukewarm about the town’s unique link with the poet.

The committee chairman, Ken Purslow, said the annual festival had once again proved a ‘wonderful experience’ this year.

“Apart from one or two things not coming up to the mark, it has been a success,” he added. “I hope people of Hucknall appreciate what went on. I am sure those who attended any of the events did so.”

However, Dennis Hill, of Ashfield District Council, said a total attendance of about 1,200 at the 26 events left a lot to be desired, considering the figure represented a very small proportion of Hucknall’s population.

This was despite a front-page appeal in the Dispatch for people of the town to ‘join in’ and other publicity which included the issue of 10,000 leaflets.

The festival ran from Friday June 1 until last Sunday. It coincided partly with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was themed ‘Byron And Sport’ to mark this being the year of the London Olympics.

The committee is inviting ideas from the public for next year’s festival.