Reunion to mark Hollinwell incident

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One of the biggest unexplained mysteries in the area’s past is set to be relived as victims of the Hollinwell Incident are set to meet up.

Almost 35 years ago in July 1980, almost 300 children were competing in a brass band competition near Kirkby when they were struck down by a mystery condition.

Youngsters were hit by vomiting, runny noses and sore eyes. Then band members started to collapse - at first in ones and twos, but then by the dozen.

Some experts put the incident down to mass hysteria on the part of the children.

But others blaming a now-banned pesticide which had been sprayed on the fields.

Cathy Sands, of Huthwaite, recalls the incident but was just was just 10 at the time.

She said: “It was a hot day and I first thought it was down to heat, I remember at least one of our band collapsing. There was generally a lot of fuss and lots happening with ambulances being called, and they ended up using one of the band buses. “She said afterwards she felt like ‘stars’ after ti had been front page news in the Daily Mirror and Chad.

“It was like we were stars, well it felt like it to me but I didn’t really understand the seriousness of it all.

“I think people still have an interest because it was never conclusively solved what happened and why,” she added.

She is organising the reunion with people connected to the Glapwell Serenaders to talk about the day’s events and look through old photographs.

She said: “It’s only a small gathering and nothing too formal but after all these years I expect it to be quite entertaining.”

It takes place at Glapwell Village hall, The Green, Glapwell rom 7pm Saturday 7 February.

Email Cathy on serenadersjjb@gmail.com for more information.