I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

maandag 25 juli 2016

Charlotte Brontë's London, And Why She Wasn't A Fan.

 Euston Arch in 1896, image via Wikimedia Commons.

Charlotte Brontë's first visit to London was in July 1848. Along with her sister Anne, Charlotte came down to meet her publisher George Smith of Smith Elder & Co, to disprove rumours that the Bell authors (the pseudonym the sisters were using) were in fact one person. They travelled by overnight train, arriving at Euston station early in the morning.

Euston would have been Charlotte's gateway to London; she passed through the Victorian railway hub each time she arrived in the capital, and each time she escaped back to the quiet of Haworth.
It's nice to note that the first WH Smith bookstall at a train station opened in the same year — November 1848 — perhaps Charlotte would have perused the books on offer when she visited.
Read more and see more beautiful photographs on  londonist/charlotte-brontes-london and  kateshrewsday

vrijdag 22 juli 2016

21 July 1832 (letter to Ellen Nussey from the 16-year-old Charlotte Brontë).

“In the morning from nine o’clock till half past twelve I instruct my Sisters & draw, then we walk till dinner after dinner I sew till tea-time, and after tea I either read, write, do a little fancy-work or draw, as I please. Thus in one delightful, though somewhat monotonous course my life is passed”

woensdag 20 juli 2016

Brontë Society acquires £200k book of unpublished Brontë manuscripts

The Brontë Society has acquired a book for its museum worth £200,000 containing unpublished Brontë manuscripts. The book, which will be displayed at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, is a copy of Robert Southey’s The Remains of Henry Kirke White that belonged to Mrs Maria Brontë and includes annotations by the Brontë children, including unpublished material by Charlotte Brontë.

The volume was bought from Randall House, a rare book dealer in California, at total cost of £200,000. It spent most of the last century in the US, after originally being sold at the Parsonage in 1861 following the death of Patrick Brontë, Maria Brontë's husband. The acquisition was made possible thanks to a £170,000 donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), in addition to funding from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries.

The book is one of the rare surviving possessions of Maria Brontë, whose property was shipwrecked off the Devonshire coast shortly before her marriage to Patrick Brontë in 1812. It contains Latin inscriptions in Patrick Brontë’s handwriting stating that this was "….the book of my dearest wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will always be preserved".

In addition to annotations, markings and sketches by various members of the family, it also includes a poem and a fragment of prose by Charlotte Brontë and a letter by her husband Arthur Bell Nicholls written shortly after her death in 1855.

Members of the Brontë Society were allowed to view the book at their annual summer festival held
last month in June. It is currently available to view as part of the "Treasures Tours" organised by the museum and is due to go on public display at the Parsonage in 2017.

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, said: "Mrs Brontë’s book is one of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years. It was clearly well-used and of great sentimental value to the Brontë children, who lost their mother while they were very young.  In addition, the unpublished writings by Charlotte offer new opportunities for research, which is really exciting.  This acquisition has been a wonderful addition to our celebrations marking Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary.”

Juliet Barker, historian and author of biography The Brontës (Abacus), said: "The book alone is a valuable acquisition because of its rare associations with Mrs Brontë before her marriage to Patrick, but its importance is immeasurably increased by the unpublished manuscripts tipped into it. There could be no better place for it to be preserved for the future than the Brontë Parsonage Museum.”

 Randall House
Established in 1975.
Randall House has a long tradition in the rare and collectible book world. Ronald R. Randall grew up in a home where his father, David A. Randall, already was established as head of the rare book department for Scribner's. His mother was an accomplished artist and book illustrator. He grew up in New York surrounded by literary figures, books and fine art. Eventually he settled into his bookselling career. Ron spent seven years at John Howell-Books in San Francisco where he further deepened and enhanced his knowledge of books. He even sold books to his father who by this time was Director of the Lilly Rare Book Library at Indiana University.

In 1975 Ron and a partner opened their own shop in San Francisco.  1985 saw Ron moved Randall House Rare Books to Santa Barbara while his partner stayed in San Francisco.  

dinsdag 19 juli 2016

Josephine Reames, great grand-daughter of Sir James Roberts who gifted Haworth Parsonage to the Bronte Society in 1928

We had another special visitor recently - Josephine Reames, great grand-daughter of Sir James Roberts who gifted Haworth Parsonage to the Bronte Society in 1928. Here she is standing with his picture in the Museum.

donderdag 7 juli 2016

Plans to close Red House Museum.

A VOLUNTARY group has said its “worst fears” have been realised after Kirklees Council revealed plans to close an historic house in Gomersal. Red House Museum in Oxford Road has strong links to the Brontë family - Charlotte Brontë was a frequent visitor and immortalised the house in her second novel, Shirley. But Kirklees Council, which is having to make cuts to its budget, has put forward plans to close both Red House and Dewsbury Museum to save money. The buildings would close later this year, after the October half term. Their collections would be either transferred or stored and “appropriate uses” would be found for the buildings, a spokesman for Kirklees Council said.
Jacqueline Ryder, the chairman of the Friends of Red House Museum, said they were saddened by the announcement, especially as they were celebrating the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth this year. She said: “This news confirms our worst fears after months of rumour and speculation.
“Red House is a rare example of a yeoman clothier’s family house and workplace, complete with outbuildings and historic, award-winning gardens. “It was owned and run by the Taylor family for 400 years, who made a substantial contribution to the area’s textile industry. “The family even ran their own bank from Red House for a little while. “Considering the close links with Charlotte Brontë it is very sad that Kirklees Council has made this announcement when we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth.” The proposals would see Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall remain open. A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “The council is planning to work closely with Friends organisations and other local groups and partners in the development of future services.
“The proposals are in line with the council’s overall response to its financial challenges – strengthening links with local communities, engaging people with key issues and making best use of scarce resources.” A public consultation has begun into the plans and will run until Sunday, July 24.
A spokesman for the Brontë Society said it would be taking part in the consultation, but declined to comment further. There will be consultation sessions at each of Kirklees’ six art galleries and museums, where people can have their say. There will be a session on July 13 at 11am at Oakwell Hall and Country Park and one on July 19 at 6pm at Red House Museum. Alternatively, visit kirkleestalk.org/index.php/get-involved/lets-talk-about-museums/. thetelegraphandargus

maandag 27 juni 2016

Gazette Series lists the advantages of adding a blue plaque to your historic home.

Gazette Series lists the advantages of adding a blue plaque to your historic home.

Also recently relisted are seven buildings that witnessed the life of Charlotte Brontë.
These include Grade I listed Haworth Parsonage, where Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne grew up and where her novels were written, and Grade II* listed Norton Conyers, the property that inspired Charlotte’s most famous novel Jane Eyre.

Also coming up in July


We endeavour to send these newsletters every 4-6 weeks, but there is so much going on at present, we thought you'd like to know you can also get the latest news by following us on twitter @BronteParsonage and @BronteShop, Instagram @bronteparsonagemuseum and facebook at BronteParsonageMuseum.

Our free Tuesday talk in July will focus on Villette, Charlotte Brontë's final (and some say greatest) novel. Head along to the Museum for 2pm on Tuesday 5 July to delve into the secrets of this haunting and deeply autobiographical novel.
Our friends at the National Media Museum in Bradford are hosting Jane Eyre: Afterlives on Saturday 9 July at 7.30pm. Samira Ahmed, of BBC Radio 4's Front Row, will lead a panel discussion on the Brontë phenomenon before a screening of the 1943 film version of Jane Eyre, starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. Follow this link to purchase a ticket for this fascinating evening.

zondag 26 juni 2016

Poetry Festival at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Keighley News announces the first Poetry Festival at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
A field behind the Brontë Parsonage Museum is the setting for Haworth's first-ever poetry festival. Poetry at the Parsonage will bring dozens more than 100 poets and performers from across Yorkshire to Haworth on Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3.
The Word Club of Leeds has teamed up with the Brontë Society to organise a packed programme of readings and workshops. 
The festival has been organised on behalf of the Brontë Parsonage Museum by Matthew Withey. He said: “Poetry at the Parsonage will be the biggest gathering of poets anywhere in Britain this year.“It is a free-to-enter festival with sets by more than 100 performers, all coming together on the edge of the moors that inspired some of the finest poetry in the English language.“The weekend will be fabulous feast of words and we invite people to bring their families and share it with us.” 
Helen Mort, one of the headliners, said events like the festival created a sense of community and encouraged poets to support one another.“Yorkshire has a thriving poetry scene and it’s good to bring everyone together. ”Charlotte’s Stage, at the Old School Room next to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will see performances by Mark Connors, Helen Mort and Alan Buckley on the Saturday, and Gaia Holmes, Clare Shaw, James Nash and Kate Fox on the Sunday. The Saturday line-up for Emily’s Stage at nearby West Lane Baptist Centre includes Ilkley Young Writers and Lorna Faye Dunsire, who appeared as part of Charlotte’s bicentenary celebrations in Haworth in April. 
Eddie Lawler, also known as the Bard of Saltaire, will headline Emily’s Stage on the Sunday. The event will be compered by Yorkshire favourites Craig Bradley, Geneviève L Walsh, Winston Plowes and Mark Connors of Word Club. Performances will begin at noon each day. Visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on for further information and tickets. (David Knights)

The Truth About The Illnesses Of Anne Brontë

Anne was the last of the six Brontë children to be born, and her mother Maria died just a year later. It’s easy to imagine how this could lead to her siblings, father and Aunt Elizabeth spoiling her and being extra protective of her. It seems as well that Anne suffered from asthma and was thought of as a fragile child, as it’s referred to in letters from Charlotte Brontë and from Anne herself.

Often thought of as being weak and permanently unwell, was that really the case and was asthma actually the cause of her complaints? Read the answer on: annebronte

zaterdag 25 juni 2016

“Since 1857, when Elizabeth Gaskell published her famous Life of Charlotte Brontë, hardly a year has gone by without some form of biographical material on the Brontës appearing

“Since 1857, when Elizabeth Gaskell published her famous Life of Charlotte Brontë, hardly a year has gone by without some form of biographical material on the Brontës appearing—from articles in newspapers to full-length lives, from images on tea towels to plays, films, and novelizations,” wrote Lucasta Miller in The Brontë Myth, her 2001 history of Brontëmania. This year the Brontë literary-industrial complex celebrates the bicentennial of Charlotte’s birth, and British and American publishers have been especially busy. In the U.S., there is a new Charlotte Brontë biography by Claire Harman; a Brontë-themed literary detective novel; a novelistic riff on Jane Eyre whose heroine is a serial killer; a collection of short stories inspired by that novel’s famous line*, “Reader, I married him”; and a fan-fiction-style “autobiography” of Nelly Dean, the servant-narrator of Wuthering Heights. Last year’s highlights included a young-adult novelization of Emily’s adolescence and a book of insightful essays called The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects, which uses items belonging to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne as wormholes to the 19th century and the lost texture of their existence. Don’t ask me to list the monographs.

As we open Jane Eyre once more we cannot stifle the suspicion that we shall find her world of imagination as antiquated, mid-Victorian, and out of date as the parsonage on the moor, a place only to be visited by the curious, only preserved by the pious. So we open Jane Eyre; and in two pages every doubt is swept clean from our minds. Read the article: theatlantic

Why are Japanese women still bewitched by the Brontes?


seem to be besotted with the three Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne. It’s a fascination that goes beyond reading and imagining. A disproportionately high number of Japanese women visit the Bronte’s home village of Haworth in the north of England each year, a pilgrimage that has recently been turned into the subject of a novel by Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author Mick Jackson, “Yuki Chan in Bronte Country.”

Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” may have bewitched generations of Japanese readers, but Emily’s “Wuthering Heights” (rendered as “Arashigaoka” in Japanese) arguably stands as the most influential novel in Japan written by a non-Japanese woman. It inspired a 1988 Japanese film adaptation, which replaces the wild Yorkshire moors with a rocky Japanese volcano, but has also had a profound influence on some of the country’s most important 20th-century women writers, such as Yuko Tsushima and Taeko Kono.
Read all the article: japantimes
Photo: fukuoka

vrijdag 24 juni 2016

Neighbours of the Brontes.

Read all of this interesting article of Nick Holland on: Anne Bronte

Looking further around Haworth we find hundreds of other names, some of them familiar to Brontë fans and some ghosts from the past: John Feather, manufacturer; William Garnett, innkeeper; James Hudson, shoe maker; Thomas Parker, overlooker of power loom; Joseph Mosley, clock maker; Zilla Wright, worsted maker; Ellis Hird, wool comber; John Winterbottom, Baptist minister; Tabitha Aykroyd (staying with her sister Susanna Wood and listed as ‘independent’, and incidentally one of three unrelated ‘Tabitha Aykroyd’s living in Haworth at that time); William Wood, joiner and cabinet maker (and also the nephew of Tabby and the coffin maker who commented on how thin Emily Brontë’s coffin was); Enoch Thomas, innkeeper of the King’s Arms (friend of Branwell, and also at one time innkeeper of the Black Bull); Mary Whitaker, pauper. These are people who would have come into contact with the Brontës regularly, whether at the church or whilst walking through the streets, but of course they would little have guessed at their hidden talents, and could never imagine how they would put their village on the map for ever.

The shops that we see on Haworth Main Street today were at the time mainly housing, although there were stores such as Barraclough’s ironmongers and Hartley’s grocery. When looking through the census the thing that strikes us is how many of the residents are employed in the wool industry, either as worsted makers, combers, weavers or bobbin makers. These people lived mainly in an area called Piccadilly, or the Pick, and it rapidly became an unhealthy slum with large families living in one room that was always kept warm to aid the wool combing process. The tightly packed houses of the 1840s  that made up the Pick are gone now and have been replaced by modern housing and a new health centre. Even so, you can see where it stood by looking through the archway that lies across from the Black Bull Inn known as gauger’s croft.

John Feather

boards.ancestry/John Feather.  John was a worsted manufacturer in Keighley and employed at least 20 workers.

William Garnett

oldwhitelionhotel William Garnett bought the White Lion in the 1820s and ran it for about twenty years. He died in 1859 after a long retirement and is buried in St. Michael’s churchyard nearby


Effectively the family of Joseph Greenwood (1786–1856), second son of James Greenwood Sr of Bridgehouse, who acquired, or perhaps was given, Springhead Mill when quite young. Though he did not remain in the cotton trade long, letting the mill from 1822 onwards, he remained a strong force in Haworth until the early 1850s, and one that usually worked contrary to the interests of his own brothers. He became an Anglican, a church land trustee, and a Tory, and was thus a natural supporter of Patrick Brontë on most, but not all, issues (he supported Richard Butterfield’s petition to annul elections to the local Board of Health, a move that was a grievous set-back to the cause of sanitary reform). Patrick went to great lengths in the mid-1830s to have him made a magistrate, eventually succeeding in June 1836. The basis of Joseph Greenwood’s local power was land and presumably rent from his mill, which was let to the Merralls. In 1853 he and his sons went bankrupt, and he moved to Utley, near Keighley. Branwell mentioned the elder son disrespectfully in a letter to John Brown in 1840, calling William Greenwood “Prince William at Springhead” (described as “fat”) and ridiculing his “godly” friend Parson Winterbottom, minister of the West Lane (not the Hall Green of the other Greenwoods) Baptist Church at that time, suggesting William may have reverted to a branch of the family’s old faith.  blackwellreference

dinsdag 14 juni 2016

Angry rows sour Judi Dench's Bronte Society yet again

After trying to put the simmering tensions between traditionalists and modernisers behind them, following a string of resignations that included president Bonnie Greer after last year’s AGM, the warring factions soon re-emerged at yesterday’s gathering in West Yorkshire.
The members of the world’s oldest literary society, whose new president is Dame Judi Dench, who was absent due to filming commitments, were stunned to be told another five guiding lights of the organisation had stepped down from the governing council since Christmas. In a further blow, staff from the Bronte Museum in Haworth, who had formed a senior management committee to help run the society because it was so light on trustees, have also quit. As a result they have handed management duties back to the council. Members have accused the council of acting like the Stasi in the way they have compiled lists of regulations for the society to make it more inclusive. A woman in the audience shouted: “When I read all these rules and regulations I felt like I had come into the Stasi. We need fresh air and openness.” New chairman John Thirlwell was clearly rattled as he tried to present his report to the meeting held in a Baptist Hall across the road from the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. When interrupted by one member he snapped back: “I’m just trying to deliver my report, if that’s all right with you.” There were then furious exchanges as members fought to be heard over each other, with society bosses threatening to expel the protesters. Alexandra Lesley, who quit as chairman after only six months in the post, was determined to be heard, with a man supporting her screaming, “let her finish” over and over. Vice president Patsy Stoneman, who was chairing the meeting in Dame Judi’s absence, told the man: “If you continue in this manner I will ask you to leave the room. I’m in charge of this meeting.” Members were aghast at the sheer number of resignations and wanted to know why people had stepped down. They were unimpressed by the reply from the platform: “You will just have to ask them.” Member Richard Wilcox said: “I’m looking at this big swathe of resignations and wondering why is this? “Why have so many people resigned? It’s not entirely a mystery but can we have an explanation?” There were also cries that the new council had been elected to find a “harmonious way forward” but had instead “presided over a catastrophe”.
Mr Thirlwell said the resignations had been for a number of different reasons. He said: “It knocked us back but we rallied. I was very sorry indeed to see some of these people resign.” When it was found a journalist working for the Sunday Express, who is a member of the society, was present at the meeting a vote was held to exclude him. Treasurer the Rev Peter MayoSmith said his presence represented a “conflict of interests” and the meeting was private. Members voted 56 to 46 for him to stay. The Bronte Society was established in 1893 and opened its museum in 1895.
It is open to all those with an interest in the lives and works of the Bronte sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte. express/angry-rows-Bronte-Society

zondag 12 juni 2016

To Write Invisible – The Brontë Lecture

Interesting article from Nick Hollands weblog Anne Bronte

Yesterday, I attended the annual lecture at the Brontë Society summer festival, this time delivered by acclaimed biographer of Charlotte Brontë, Claire Harman. The venue, Haworth’s large and impressive Hall Green Baptist Church, was packed to the rafters, so much so that I had to take a seat on the upper balcony. There were initial microphone problems, and at one pound a battering noise on the door as if somebody was trying to break in (reminiscent of Cathy at the window of Wuthering Heights), but Claire carried on like the professional she is and delivered a very interesting lecture. Read on: Anne Bronte

zaterdag 11 juni 2016

And more beautiful photographes.

A few images taken on the Main Street set for "To Walk Invisible". Shops in the Bronte sisters time.

Pictures from
The Brontës knew a village that was a scene of constant building activity: new houses and shops were always in the course of construction and old houses were replaced by new.
In the time of the Brontës it had booksellers, grocers, tailors, drapers, a clockmaker and surgeons.  Around the miniature square at the church steps (8) were an apothecary, a wine and spirit merchant, an ironmonger (who doubled as a postmaster), a temperance hotel and four inns (the Black Bull, the Old White Lion, the Cross, and the King’s Arms).  In among these businesses were more humble trades: many boot and clog makers, a blacksmith and joiners, plasterers and stone masons.   Many of the buildings on Main Street were built as shops, with large display windows – some with handsome stone surrounds – to attract customers.  The village had a Cooperative Society with a shop, once in the central ‘square’ but later further down Main Street, where its premises, built in 1897, proudly display the inscription ‘Haworth Industrial Cooperative Society Limited Central Stores’ (15).  The village also had a branch of the Yorkshire Penny Bank, which opened in 1860 and by 1894 had moved to what is now the Visitor Information Centre (7), adding the prominent turret on the older building to proclaim its importance. In the time of the Brontës, Haworth was very much a working village.  The main industry was the production of worsted yarn and cloth: worsteds were fine cloths using long-fibre wool.  The work was mainly carried out in factories: the biggest in Haworth was Bridgehouse Mills (24), on the Bridgehouse Beck in the valley below the village. Haworth - Historic England

When Mrs. S. A. J. Moore died in August, 1950, a link with a family closely associated with the Brontës was snapped. She was the grand-daughter of John Greenwood, the Haworth stationer who supplied the Brontë sisters with the notepaper which they used for their voluminous writings. Mrs. Moore's mother, Mrs. Jane Ellen Widdop, often came into contact with the Brontës when she was a little girl. tandfonline

Originally a woolcomber, John Greenwood became the stationer and bookseller from whom the Brontës obtained their writing paper. oxfordindex

Barraclough's first shop in Haworth was opposite the Black Bull Inn, at the top of the main street. It is claimed that amongst others who stopped to peer into the shop window was the Revd.Patrick Bronte. Read more: archiver.rootsweb.ancestry/BARRACLOUGH/



See how Haworth's Main Street was transported back to 1840s for a new BBC drama

HAWORTH'S most visited street has been transformed to resemble the way it looked in the 1840s as part of a major new BBC drama about the Bronte Family. The team responsible for To Walk Invisible has been busy installing replica 19th century style shopfronts and laying compost down on the street to make it look bleaker and grubbier. Preparation work on Main Street began late last month but the "set dressing" intensified last week. A section of the street was then closed to both vehicles and pedestrians from Monday and will reopen at 7pm on Thursday. The closure will allow filming to take place between the Post Office and Croft Street. Several shops have temporarily closed and will re-open at the end of this week. Traffic diversions have been put in place, with pedestrian routes between the upper and lower parts of Main Street signposted.

To Walk Invisible has been written and directed by Yorkshire woman Sally Wainwright and is due to be shown by the BBC at Christmas. Main Street trader Simon Packham, whose shop And Chocolate has been made to look like an 1840s ironmonger's, said he was deeply impressed by what the set makers have achieved. "I'm amazed by the work they've done here, it's incredible," he added.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing this screened." thetelegraphandargus

donderdag 9 juni 2016

You have to use your imagination here.

First is Tony's book shop (the old Cobbles and Clay), all local produce;
Then there is Daisy Days like you have never seen it, purveyors of fine meats;
Next along, and the only shop with a vague hint of familiarity, is my chocolate shop, er, ironmongers;...
and finally, bright turquoise window frames extinguished, is Catkins, stationers;

The film crew really have done an amazing job here. Even if you saw the changes over the weekend, the transformation today has been fantastic.

I think the only thing left is for me to attempt some 'innocent' and surreptitious product placement amongst the rat traps and knife grinders. Don't tell Auntie Beeb

The Bronte Society Summer Festival 2016.

This weekend, from Friday 10th to Monday 13th June, marks the 2016 Brontë Summer Festival in Haworth. This annual event revolves around the Brontë Society conference, which this year will be held on Saturday at 2pm, but there’s a lot of other great events taking place as well for society members and members of the public alike.

Read more on Nick Holland's blog: annebronte

dinsdag 7 juni 2016

More shots from the wonderful To Walk Invisible film

andChocolate Haworth@andChocolateUK                           

Update on the goings-on in Haworth today.

Update on the goings-on in Haworth today. Our shop is now R. Lambert Chemist & Druggist! We feel so lucky to be a (small) part of this amazing film set for the BBC drama "To Walk Invisible" and have watched Main Street transform before our very eyes today! Filming starts tomorrow.


maandag 6 juni 2016

Haworth Main is now a film set under construction.

Rose & Co.
Haworth Main is now a film set under construction. Our shop will form part of the set, the only changes to the shop front will be to the sign as the shop is alr...eady so in keeping with the era! The people on our forecourt are busy making "groceries" for the set, and soil is being spread on the cobbles for a more authentic look. More pics to follow - remember we are closed - re-opening Friday.

Cobbles & Clay will re-open on Saturday 11 June 2016.

IMG_0387The BBC production team, who have been using the upstairs space at Cobbles & Clay for meetings over the past few months, have now started setting up for filming of of Sally Wainwright’s TV film drama about the Brontes ‘To Walk Invisible’, on Haworth’s Main Street.

Filming will take place 6-9 June 2016 which unfortunately means we have to close for a few days but we’re taking the opportunity to make some exciting changes to the café. Our cake fridge and produce deli will be moved closer to the entrance so that customers can get to them without blocking up the till area, and the coffee machine and till are being moved closer to the kitchen. We’re also creating extra seating downstairs, bringing in some new display shelving and adding a lick of paint.

We’re also very excited that our sister gift shop Daisy Days and the cellar of our old premises, which are further down Main Street, will be part of the 1840s set being created for the film. Until filming starts on 6 June, Main Street and all its shops are open as usual.

Also, beautiful photographes of  Mark Davis facebook/photo (click)

vrijdag 3 juni 2016

And white I had to buy and did buy to my own amazement.

Charlotte Brontë, early June 1854 (letter to Elizabeth Gaskell): “The wedding dress [which was made in Halifax] – I wholly decline the responsibility. It must be charged upon a sort of friendly compulsion or over-persuasion. Nothing would satisfy my friends but white, which I told you I would not wear. Accordingly the dressed me in white by way of trial – vowed away their consciences that nothing had ever suited me so well – and white I had to buy and did buy to my own amazement”

zondag 29 mei 2016

Poetry at the Parsonage festival of poetry and performance

On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July, in association with Word Club, the Brontë Society will be hosting its inaugural Poetry at the Parsonage festival of poetry and performance at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and nearby venues in Ha...worth, West Yorkshire. Acts will include Craig Bradley, Kate Fox, Helen Mort, James Nash, Winston Plowes, Genevieve Walsh and many, many more - showcasing the very best in contemporary poetry in Yorkshire. Marking the summer highpoint of our year-long celebrations to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the festival will be free-to-enter and filled with fun and frolics for all the family - a fitting tribute to a poet who, together with her sisters and brother, did so much to elevate this vibrant artform

dinsdag 24 mei 2016

Former Haworth employee now appearing in major new drama about Brontes visits her old workplace

Haworth-based company and is now part of a major new BBC production about the Brontes dropped in to visit former colleagues. Megan Parkinson, who is playing the part of Martha Brown in the BBC production To Walk Invisible, visited Airedale Springs.

WOMAN who worked for a
To Walk Invisible, written and directed by Sally Wainwright, is a drama about the Bronte family and is being filmed in Haworth over the next few weeks, including on Penistone Hill and in Main Street.

Megan, 19, a former South Craven School pupil, is originally from Silsden and worked for Airedale Springs in 2014 to 2015 before moving to London last year.


Haworth Main Street is being taken back to the 1840s.

Filming has started today up on the television set
An exciting start to the week, Haworth Main Street is being taken back to the 1840s and filming has commenced at the Bronte Parsonage television set.


BradfordCity of Film@bfdcityoffilm 23 mei Dartford, South East                      
Film set nearly finished in Haworth
Attention to the tiniest detail of the Brontë family's famous Haworth home has amazed and delighted local experts helping with the BBC project which starts filming on location this week.  An exact copy of the Parsonage, where the literary sisters wrote their world-famous works, is now complete on nearby Penistone Hill.  The three-story timber and MDF building will provide a perfect 1840s backdrop for the BBC TV drama, To Walk Invisible, created by award-winning Yorkshire writer and playwright Sally Wainwright, said Rebecca Yorke, marketing officer of the Parsonage Museum.
"Everyone here has been absolutely staggered by the BBC's attention to detail," she said.
"We were invited to studios in Manchester where they are filming interior scenes and it really was quite unnerving for us to be in this amazing replica.  "It was just like our own building down to the very last thing - only more "lived-in" and a bit scruffy as it would have been at the time.
"Our Parsonage is much more how it was after Charlotte had enjoyed some success and spent some money on it.  "Production staff spent ages with us to produce an exact copy of the building, even measuring flagstones to get them just right and have copied all the gravestones which are in place with all the words carved into them.  "Examples of other attention to detail are that they have got the right pet dogs, Flossie, a spaniel cross and Keeper, a mastiff type.  "And they have also made copies of the dog's original named collars - which is an incredible approach."  Collection manager at the Parsonage Ann Dinsdale said she was particularly impressed by the quality of costumes.
"It's going to look absolutely stunning, the dresses and clothes have been copied perfectly.  "The BBC has done a huge amount of research, even to the extent of producing manuscripts, letters and the portable writing desks which the sisters used, full of things like pen nibs, ink wells and blotting paper.  "They have even copied poetry manuscripts and Emily's little notebooks written tiny script," she said.  Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council's new chairman, Councillor Angel Kershaw, said everyone was looking forward to seeing the finished drama.  "It's fascinating to see all the work and all looks very good and so authentic.  "The producer came to talk to the parish council and said he would be happy to have local people involved as extras during the filming.  "Another thing is that when they've finished filming they've also promised to leave the site exactly as it was."
Faith Penhale, executive producer for Lookout Point - which is making the drama with the BBC, said: "It is such a treat to be able to film our drama about the Brontë sisters in and around Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters came from.  "Everyone has been so supportive and excited, which we all really appreciate." (Chris Tate) bronteblog/absolutely-staggered-by-bbcs-attention

Bronte sister's burial records go online.

BURIAL records for the youngest of Haworth's famous Bronte sisters are included in a new online archive. Family history website findmypast.co.uk has published for the first time more than 5.4 million Yorkshire registers, including births, deaths and marriages. The Yorkshire Digitisation project, launched two years ago, comprises scanned images of original handwritten registers and marks the final phase of a collection spanning the years 1538 to 1990. Anne Bronte can be found in the burial records for St Mary's Parish Church, in Scarborough. Read more: keighleynews

dinsdag 10 mei 2016

Haworth's Old School Room building to receive grant worth nearly £45,000

A MAJOR project to repair and refurbish one of Haworth's most valuable and historic buildings has received a welcome funding boost.
The Brontë Spirit Charity, which is in charge of the Old School Room, in Church Street, has today revealed that it will be able to carry out vital repairs to the landmark property thanks to a £44,873 grant from funding body WREN.

The money, awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund, will be used to fix the badly-leaking original roofs of the Patrick Brontë-inspired building. Averil Kenyon, chairman of The Brontë Spirit group, believes that once this work is complete, the fully restored facility will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.
She said: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Haworth and its visitors.
"It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we are really looking forward to finishing the very necessary repairs to the roofs at the west-end of the building.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Penny Beaumont, who is WREN’s grant manager for Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Haworth Old School Room Roof Repair Works project, and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many groups of people across Haworth.

"WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and we are looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”
Mrs Kenyon added that she hopes that the repairs to the old, battered Victorian-era roof will be completed before the start of next winter.

Located between Haworth Parish Church and the Brontë Parsonage Museum on Church Street, the grade II listed Old School Room is one of the most important parts of the village's literary heritage.
Originally built by Patrick Brontë in 1832 and used for teaching by all his famous children, it is an integral part of the Brontë family landscape and story.

Since 2011 the Old School Room has been managed by a small charity, The Brontë Spirit.
This is made up of local people whose aims are to conserve and maintain the building for future generations, and to build on the Old School Room's 184-years of service to the community.
At the end of last year Bradford Council approved an application to replace six windows on the northern side of the building with new, timber frame replica windows. keighleynews

maandag 9 mei 2016


Rough winter melts beneath the breeze of spring…
No man nor beasts to folds or firesides cling,
Nor hoar frosts whiten over field and tree;…
Now let us, cheerful, crown our heads with flowers,
Spring’s first fruits, offered to the newborn year,…

Extracts from To Sestius, Patrick Branwell Bronte
April in the garden has centred around Charlotte’s 200th birthday on the 21st of the month. Getting the garden ready for such a joyous occasion was a particular pleasure and it was also pleasing that the day was a fine, bright and sunny day.

One small event that excited Jenny and I most from the garden point of view was the planting ceremony in the rear garden of the gift of a standard rose generously donated by David Austin Roses in memory of Charlotte. It is actually a rose called ‘Crocus’ which we were able to choose ourselves. We thought this most apt for Charlotte with it being slightly understated, but a very pretty creamy white colour. We were thinking of her likeness to the ‘Little Snowdrop’ as she was described on her wedding day. Read all: bronte./april-in-the-parsonage-garden



Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.



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