In at the deep end for Byron Festival charity swim

Lord Byron
Lord Byron

DO YOU want to get into the swim at this year’s Hucknall-based International Byron Festival while raising money for a worthy cause?

The 2012 festival, which has the theme of ‘Byron And Sport’, will run from Friday June 1 to Sunday June 10.

And one of the events will be a sponsored swim in the pool of Hucknall Leisure Centre on Linby Road on Saturday June 2 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

The sponsorship will boost Help For Heroes, which supports British servicemen and women who have been injured in Afghanistan and other conflicts.

The chairman of the festival committee, Ken Purslow, said: “We hope as many people as possible will take part in the swim. Hucknall Falcon Swimming Club is getting involved.”

Anyone wishing to take part or to sponsor a swimmer is asked to get in touch with Mr Purslow by phoning 01636 813818.

An all-round sportsman, Byron (pictured) achieved the outstanding feat in 1810 of swimming the Hellespont, the ancient name of the narrow passage between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, linking Europe and Asia.

To mark this accomplishment, another festival event will be the Hellespont Challenge — a two-mile swim.

This will also be in the leisure centre pool, taking place on Sunday June 3 from 11 am to 3 pm.

Recognising that Byron also played cricket, a festival match has been arranged between the Hucknall and Kirkby Portland under-15 teams, to be played on Sunday June 10.

Byron is buried at Hucknall Parish Church and his ancestral home was Newstead Abbey, which is the Dispatch district’s top tourist attraction.