Hucknall Today, UK
July 2, 2004

Tourists arrive for Byron Festival but stars are missing


AN INFLUX of tourists is expected in Hucknall this weekend when the
seventh International Byron Festival gets under way.



The ten-day festival, which continues to rise in stature and prestige,
officially starts today when a town crier strolls through the streets
of the town centre.
And its 33 events, ranging from dances to dinners, films to flowers and
talks to tours, are expected to attract a host of Byron enthusiasts
from across the world.
But sadly, a freak accident has robbed the festival of three of its
crowd-pulling highlights. and two of its perennial stars.
Playwright Bill Studdiford, who was due to premiere one of his latest
works today, was injured when taking part in a rehearsal for a play
entitled 'Shelley Rebel Heart' at the Dawlish Festival in Devon on
Tuesday night.
The American slipped down a set of steps and was rushed to hospital
where it was discovered he had done serious damage to his knee and will
be in plaster for at least six weeks.
By his side is partner and actor Ian Frost, who is the main performer
in the three Byron Festival events.
It was hoped that Ian would be able to go it alone but the shows take
two people and no-one can fill Bill's shoes.
And that means the cancellation of 'Extraordinary Friends Byron And
Shelley', which was scheduled for the Lovelace Theatre at Hucknall
Community Centre this evening.
Also axed is 'Beppo', a Venetian love story, written by Bill and
featuring Ian, that was scheduled for Newstead Abbey on Sunday
afternoon.
And the third event to get the chop is next Thursday's second
performance of 'Extraordinary Friends Byron and Shelley', which was due
to be staged at Southwell Minster.
Ian has performed at all six previous festivals and has sent his and
Bill's apologies. But he has promised to return to next year's event.
Maureen Crisp, of the Newstead Abbey Byron Society, said: "Bill and Ian
have been wonderful supporters of the festival. It is such a pity but
these things happen."
The festival has also lost its open-air rock concert, which was
scheduled for Hucknall Market Place tomorrow (12 midday until 6 pm).
Problems with an entertainment licence have forced co-ordinator John
Wilkinson to cancel the concert.
Said Mr Wilkinson: "We've had our setbacks but it is now a case of
turning the focus to all the other excellent events we have going on."
A former Hucknall councillor, Mr Wilkinson claims the festival is the
most ambitious the town has staged.
Among the events scheduled for next Wednesday are poetry-writing
sessions that tempt locals to emulate Byron himself.
The free sessions, to be held at Hucknall Community Centre on Ogle
Street and the Watnall Road Community Centre, invite people to create
poems or short stories.
The Ogle Street session (2 pm to 4 pm) is also making easy-to-use
computers available, so that you can illustrate your poem with computer
design.
Says a spokeswoman: "You might want to write a verse for your child or
grandchild, using their name and making it personal to them, or you
might just want to illustrate your favourite verse.
"Here is one I wrote earlier: My name is Lynne; I work at college; But
this doesn't mean I am full of knowledge; If, like me, you want to
rhyme; Mark in your diary this date and time".
The Watnall Road session (1 pm to 4 pm), which is specifically aimed at
the over-50s, features local author Derek Fox, who has written two
books on Byron and who will be available to discuss poetry and help
anyone wanting to try writing something themselves.
The session also includes glass-painting and card-making, plus other
exhbitions, demonstrations and refreshments.

THE FULL PROGRAMME
TODAY
9.30 am - Traditional opening of the festival as a town crier strolls
through Hucknall town centre, including the Market Place.
7.30 pm - 'Nothing To Wear', fashion show and sale of quality clothing
at crazy prices (in aid of Hope Lea Project), Central Methodist Church,
3. Tickets from 150 Watnall Road or the committee.
SATURDAY JULY 3
12 midday - Bellringers of Hucknall Parish Church will ring a peal.
12 midday - Poached salmon and real ale lunch, including a glass of a
selection of festival ales, Hucknall Community Centre, 4. Bookings in
advance only by ringing 0115 9529303.
7.30 pm - International concert. An evening of culture for all the
family, Hucknall Parish Church. Free of charge.
SUNDAY JULY 4
Annual open golf tournament for the Byron Cup, presented by Maureen
Crisp, at Leen Valley Golf Centre. For entry details, contact the
centre on 0115 9642037.
2.30 pm - 'Chance To Dance', a spectacular showcase from the students
of Hucknall-based Sarah Adamson School Of Dance, Lovelace Theatre, 3.
6 pm - 'Robin Hood And The Sherwood Experience'. Return of the Common
Players to Hucknall Titchfield Park after their first open-air show
last year. Take a picnic. Free of charge.
MONDAY JULY 5
1.30 pm - 'The Bad Lord Byron', a rare chance to see the 1949 film,
starring Dennis Price, Byron Cineplex Cinema, 3.
2 pm - 'With Great Pleasure', music and poetry presented by Gwenda
Watkins and Gillian Berry, Gallery Restaurant and Millennium Garden,
Nottingham University, 6.50 (including afternoon tea). For tickets and
further information, contact Maureen Crisp on 0115 9664367.
6 pm - 'Newstead And Its Owners', a talk by Denis Hill that traces the
history of Newstead Abbey and its owners from its foundation to the
20th century, Hucknall Community Centre, 3.
7.30 pm - 'Italian Night', an evening of Italian food, wine and music,
Hucknall Community Centre, 4. Bookings in advance only by ringing 0115
9529303.
TUESDAY JULY 6
2.30 pm - 'Strawberry Fayre'. The fruits of summer to be enjoyed in a
delicious afternoon of pleasure, Hucknall Community Centre, 3.
Bookings in advance only by ringing 0115 9529303.
2 pm to 4 pm - Heritage Bus Tour, taking a look at the heritage of
Hucknall and surrounding villages, starting from Hucknall Community
Centre. No charge but booking essential by ringing 0115 9529303.
7.15 pm - The Byron Dinner, including a talk by Edward Enfield,
entitled 'Byron And The Elgin Marbles', Hucknall Community Centre,
10.50. For tickets and further information, contact Maureen Crisp on
0115 9664367.
WEDNESDAY JULY 7
10 am - Festival Health Walk, part of Hucknall's Taking Steps project.
Meet at Hucknall Community Centre. Free of charge.
11 am - Evergreen Arts Group. Creative and visual performances by young
adults with learning difficulties, Watnall Road Baptist Church. Free of
charge.
2 pm to 4 pm - Arts And Crafts, exhibitions, demonstrations and
have-a-go, Watnall Road Community Centre. Free of charge.
2 pm to 4 pm - Poetry session, complete with use of computers, Hucknall
Community Centre, Ogle Street. Free of charge
7.30 pm - 'Fawlty Towers Murder Mystery Night,' including two-course
supper, presented by Ken Purslow, Hucknall Community Centre. Advance
bookings only. Tickets and further information from Maureen Crisp on
0115 9664367.
THURSDAY JULY 8
Visit to Southwell Minster. Contact Hucknall Community Centre on 0115
9529303 for further details.
10 am - Heritage Walk, a chance to look at Hucknall's town-centre
heritage, including some well-known places and others not quite so well
known. Meet outside Hucknall Library. Free of charge.
FRIDAY JULY 9
6.30 pm to 8.30 pm - Heritage Bus Tour. A repeat of this popular tour,
starting from Hucknall Community Centre. Free of charge but booking
essential by ringing 0115 9529303.
12 midday - 'A Tram Trip And A Thai', a trip by tram to a location in
Basford providing wonderful Thai food. From Hucknall tram stop, 7.50
including tram fare. Bookings in advance only by ringing 0115 9529303.
7.30 pm - 'A Poem And A Pint', traditional Friday night festival event.
Go along and listen to or recite your favourite poems. Themes this year
include friendship, family and, of course, love, Hucknall Community
Centre, 3.
SATURDAY JULY 10
>From 10 am - Flower Festival, Seymour Road Baptist Church. A welcome
return after the success of last year's festival, includes stalls.
Lunches available.
7.30 pm - Concert For Armenia, Hucknall Parish Church. Tribute to the
friendship agreement between the Lord Byron School in Armenia and
Hucknall's Holgate Comprehensive School, including performances by
Armenian dancer Shake, Newstead Welfare Brass Band, Holgate and Lord
Byron School pupils, supported by Hucknall Rotary Club. At Hucknall
Parish Church, 5.
SUNDAY JULY 11
10 am - Boatswain Walk, a pleasant Sunday stroll for yourself and your
dog in memory of Byron's dog, starting from Hucknall Community Centre.
Free of charge.
>From 10 am - Flower Festival, Seymour Road Baptist Church. Final day.
Free of charge.
11.30 am - Byron Festival Open Darts Championship, competing for the
Byron Trophy, donated by Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, at Royal
British Legion Social Club, Beardall Street. To enter and for further
details, contact Les Berridge on 0115 9528658.
3 pm - Dedication, Service And Concert. Dedication of a khatchkhar in
memory of the late Canon Fred Green, followed by a service and concert
of music and poetry from members of the Byron Society and students from
Holgate Comprehensive School and the Lord Byron School in Armenia. Free
of charge.
4 pm - Naming Ceremony. The official renaming of Hucknall Community
Centre in Ogle Street. Free of charge.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Festivals Past, exhibition at Hucknall Library throughout the festival.
Exhibitions at Newstead Abbey. Ring 01623 455900 for further details.
Tours of Hucknall Parish Church, Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 12 midday
and 2 pm to 4 pm.
Festival lunches at Red Lion pub in Hucknall High Street.
Byron Festival Radio on air from June 28 to July 11. Frequency 97.5 FM.
Coverage in the Dispatch every Friday.