IT’S finally arrived after months of organisation, planning and preparation by a small number of dedicated volunteers - The Byron Festival kicked off as the Dispatch went to press.
This big date in the Hucknall area diary celebrates the life and times of Lord Byron and is based around the town and Newstead Abbey and beyond.
The group have come up with a packed programme of activities, occasions and attractions to entertain the whole family in this 10 day extravaganza.
“We are all praying for good weather now as everything else is sorted and ready to go,” said committee chairman Ken Purslow.
“We have managed to put together a good programme with something for everyone to enjoy and I hope they do.”
Lord Byron has become a huge part of Ken’s life since he moved to the county more than 40 years ago.
“I used to be the proprietor of the White Lady restaurant at Newstead,” said Ken, who has also been chairman of the Byron Society for 21 years. “When we first took over, people would stop and ask us questions about Byron and the Abbey that I couldn’t answer.
“I thought it necessary to get my head into some books to answer visitors’ questions and it seems now Byron has become my life.”
Ghostly Tales of Annesley Hall will commence at 7pm tonight, Friday, with tickets available in advance by calling the John Godber Centre on 0115 9639 633.
The main event takes place at Newstead Abbey tomorrow, Saturday, the former ancestral home of Lord Byron.
Here you will find countless activities from scooter show to poetry readings, Greek dancing to a teddy bears’ picnic.
There will also be a free shuttle bus to Newstead Abbey throughout Saturday leaving from Hucknall Market Place every hour starting at 10am with the last bus leaving the Abbey at 4.30pm. Visit Hucknall library to get a ride pass.
“The reward for the committee’s voluntary efforts is seeing the enjoyment of visitors during the events,” added Ken.
“And we hope this year will be better than ever.”