Byron festival off to Hellas of a start

Hucknall Today, UK
July 9 2004

Byron festival off to Hellas of a start

GREECE’S sensational triumph in winning the Euro 2004 football trophy
has given a surprise boost to Hucknall’s seventh International Byron

There has surely been no greater champion of the Greek nation than
Byron, who gave his life when he supported its people’s fight for
In his final poem, ‘On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year,’ he
wrote about the glory of Greece and described the country as being
The festival is always well supported by Greek people, for whom Byron
is a national hero.
Newstead Abbey Byron Society secretary Maureen Crisp said the timing
of Greece’s football success was perfect as far as the festival is
The festival got off to an unfortunate start, with four events
scheduled for last weekend proving non-starters.
The world premiere of a new play, ‘Extraordinary Friends Byron and
Shelley,’ and a performance of ‘Beppo’, a Venetian love story, both
written by Bill Studdiford and starring Ian Frost, had to be
cancelled because Bill had suffered a serious knee injury.
An open-air rock concert, to have taken place on Hucknall Market
Place, had to be called off because of a problem with the licence.
And an international concert at Hucknall Parish Church wrongly
appeared on the festival programme, having previously been cancelled.
To make matters worse, a town crier who was supposed to have
performed the traditional opening of the festival did not turn up.
However, the festival can boast some notable successes as well,
including a fashion show at the Central Methodist Church which raised
more than £300 for Hucknall’s Hope Lea Project for people with
learning difficulties.
Food events have also been well patronised – a poached salmon and
real ale lunch, an Italian night of food, wine and music and a
strawberry fayre, all at Hucknall Community Centre. On the same
theme, there will be ‘A Tram Trip And A Thai’ at lunchtime today.
The Byron Cineplex Cinema has got its new tower, showing the word
Byron, during the ten-day festival, and there was a special showing
of the famous film, ‘The Bad Lord Byron,’ on Monday.
Another special event was a music and poetry session, ‘With Great
Pleasure,’ presented by Gwenda Watkins and Gillian Berry, at
Nottingham University’s Gallery Restaurant and Millennium Garden.
And a further highlight was a fascinating talk by Edward Enfield –
father of comedian Harry Enfield – at the Byron Dinner, held at the
community centre, on ‘Byron And The Elgin Marbles.’
The speaker said he would only be in favour of the marbles being
returned to Greece if plans for a museum to house them went ahead.
A top fun event was a ‘Fawlty Towers’ murder mystery night, also at
the community centre.
The festival will reach its climax on Sunday with the dedication of
an Armenian monument, a khatchkar, at Hucknall Parish Church in
memory of former rector the late Canon Fred Green.
This will be followed by a service and a concert of music and poetry
from members of Holgate Comprehensive School and the Lord Byron
School in Armenia.
Tomorrow night there is a tribute to a friendship agreement between
the two schools with a performance by Armenian artiste Shake
Avanessian at the Parish Church.
The final event of the festival will be an official renaming of the
community centre as the Lovelace Centre.

Poet’s on track
THE poet Lord Byron has been honoured in a special new way – by
having a tram named after him.
He is among a number of famous people with Nottingham connections who
are adorning the city’s transport of the future.
A naming ceremony for the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) trams,
which run between Hucknall and the city’s Station Street, proved a
memorable occasion.
Fittingly, it took place in the same week as Hucknall’s International
Byron Festival. Newstead Abbey Byron Society stalwarts Maureen Crisp
and Ken Purslow attended the ceremony, accompanied by three Greek
people in national costume.
Another of the 15 named trams commemorates Salvation Army founder
William Booth, who had a close affinity with the Dispatch district.
Each tram carries the person’s name on the front and back, while a
notice inside reveals more about them.
NET spokesman Colin Lea described the naming ceremony as ‘fantastic’.

6.30 pm – Heritage bus tour, starts from Hucknall Community Centre,
free of charge but booking essential by ringing 0115 9529303.
12 noon – A Tram Trip And A Thai, a trip by tram to a location in
Basford providing wonderful Thai food, leaving from Hucknall tram
station, £7.50 (including tram fare), bookings in advance only by
ringing 0115 9529303.
7.30 pm – ‘A Poem And A Pint,’ Hucknall Community Centre, traditional
festival event, come along and listen to or recite your favourite
poems, themes this year include friendship, family and love, £3.
>From 10 am – Flower festival, Seymour Road Baptist Church,.free of
charge, lunches available.
7.30 pm – Concert for Armenia, tribute to the friendship agreement
between Holgate Comprehensive School and the Lord Byron School in
Armenia, includes a performance by Shake Avanessian, supported by
Hucnall Rotary Club, Hucknall Parish Church, £5.
10 am – Boatswain Walk, bring yourself and your dog for a pleasant
Sunday stroll in memory of Byron’s dog, Boatswain, starts from
Hucknall Community Centre, free of charge.
>From 10 am – Final day of flower festival at Seymour Road Baptist
Church, free of charge.
3 pm – Dedication of khatchkar in memory of the late Canon Fred
Green, followed by a service and concert of music and poetry from
members of Byron Society and students from Holgate School and Lord
Byron School, Hucknall Parish Church.
4 pm – Official ceremony to rename Hucknall Community Centre, free of