Byron Festival takes off in style at Hucknall Market Place

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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, classic 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 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, last 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 June 6 2007 at the age of 23 while serving in Afghanistan with the Sherwood Foresters, now part of the Mercian Regiment.