Boxing and fencing true to Byron Festival sporting theme

IN RHYTHM -- the Ripley Morris Men -- DISPIC NHUD12-1486-2
IN RHYTHM -- the Ripley Morris Men -- DISPIC NHUD12-1486-2

A PROGRAMME of open-air events on Hucknall Market Place was very much in keeping with the ‘Byron And Sport’ theme of this year’s International Byron Festival.

One of the attractions was a demonstration by Hucknall’s St George Amateur Boxing Club, which is based at the Peveril Street Centre.

Boxing is believed to have been Byron’s favourite sport and a pair of gloves he used is to be found at his ancestral home, Newstead Abbey.

Also represented was Kimberley Fencing Club and Bob Fensom, who runs the group, displayed his skills in bouts with other club members.

Bob said one member, Molly Campbell, had been selected for the Great Britain women’s team. He claimed that fencing was a big test of energy levels and alertness.

Completing the exhibition line-up were the ever-popular Ripley Morris Men, who gave their usual colourful display.

Morris dancing is a form of English folk dance, accompanied by music, which dates back to the late 15th century. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may be wielded by the dancers.

The Ripley Morris Men are believed to have popped into a local pub for some liquid inspiration before the second part of their demonstration!

Like the morris dancers, town crier Harry Bodkin wore eye-catching costume when he rang his bell and shouted ‘Oyez, oyez’ to announce the festival in Hucknall town centre.

Sport was also the inspiration for an exhibition in Hucknall Library, which took place throughout the festival and was well patronised. Mansfield librarian Ralph Lloyd-Jones gave a talk on ‘Byron And Sport’ at the Byron dinner in the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street and repeated it at Hucknall Library the next day.