Memorable Byron Festival had plenty of summer sunshine

Ten year old Byron arrives at Newstead Abbey with his mother.
Ten year old Byron arrives at Newstead Abbey with his mother.

The glorious summer sunshine was a big factor in making the annual Byron Festival a success.

Fine weather was vital for the outdoor events in Hucknall, particularly a memorable re-enactment of Byron’s first arrival at Newstead Abbey as a 10-year-old boy with his mother, travelling in a horse-drawn coach.

Ken Purslow, chairman of the festival committee, said: “I think everything we have done this year has been good, although it would have been nice to see more people at some of the events.”

One big highlight was a captivating sequence of performances by the Young Singers of Sarzana Cathedral from Liguria, Italy, who took part in the premiere of an exciting composition by Guy Turner for four choirs and Newstead Brass Band.

Another big hit was a Hucknall’s Got Talent event at the John Godber Centre, which comprised singing, dancing, comedy and a monologue.

Children as young as seven were among those who performed, including a touching contribution by a girl with the use of sign language.

The show was compèred by Councillor Phil Rostance, himself well-known locally as an entertainer, and it ended with a half-hour dance session by students of Hucknall’s Believe Academy.

Rosemary Shatliff, of Nuncargate, won the festival poetry competition senior section for the fourth year running with an entry entitled The Abbey and Lord Byron and Maddy Scott was runner-up.

Another festival highlight was the visit of Notts County Football in the Community to Hucknall’s Market Place, where they offered would-be footballers a chance to test their skills.

There was also a flash dance by the boys and girls of the Believe Academy, with people turning out in numbers to watch.