AS the correspondent in the February 24 issue of the Dispatch, Alan Best (‘Byron’s Reputation And His Links To Hucknall Are Dubious’), says he was taught nothing about Byron at Beardall Street School in Hucknall in the 1950s, he is unlikely to know that the Byron family lived at Newstead Abbey for 277 years.
Clearly he’s not very observant either. If he cares to look at the plaque outside the Red Lion pub on High Street, he will see it was once part of the Byron Estate and from where the 5th ‘The Wicked Lord’ Byron collected the rent from his tenants.
The comments of last week’s ‘Have Your Say’ correspondent, identified only as ‘Byron Blister’ (‘Why Does Everything Have To Be Named After Byron?’), should know the activities of the Byron Festival are widely reported, both before, during and after the event. Indeed articles have already appeared in this excellent newspaper about this year’s festival which will be held from Friday June 1 to Sunday June 10. This year’s theme this ‘Byron And Sport’.
As a matter of interest, Monday last week (February 27) marked the 200th anniversary of Byron’s famous speech to the House Of Lords (his maiden speech) in the second reading of the Frame-Breaking Bill, aimed at introducing the death penalty for the breaking of stocking frames.
Byron spoke passionately in favour of the Nottinghamshire framework-knitters, who later repaid his loyalty by lining the streets of Hucknall when his body was returned from Greece.
Byron’s speech in the House Of Lords was later referred to as “the best speech by a lord — since Lord knows when”.
Byron’s legacy continues to resonate thoughout the world, through his love of freedom and liberty, and through his writing and poetry.
We should be proud of the man who fought against tyranny and oppression at home and abroad. We should also be proud that he was laid to rest here in Hucknall Parish Church, where his tomb is regularly visited by admirers from all over the world.