The Brontë Society is 120 years old today and though we can't thank those who first established it, we can and certainly would like to thank everyone who keeps it running today. Keeping the memory of the Brontë family alive as well as watching over their belongings and many other jobs is not as easy as one would suppose at first. The Telegraph and Argus has an article about the celebrations:
Established on December 16, 1893, the group has members across the world, and celebrations are being held as far as Australia and Canada.
The society now runs the Bronte Parsonage Museum – the former home of the family and which is now one of the area’s top tourist attractions. The anniversary will be marked by a number of worldwide events in 2014.
The first meeting in 1893 took place in Bradford Town Hall and was attended by more than 50 people. Presided over by the Reverend W H Keeling, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, the group resolved to establish a museum to contain family relics, art and literary works, as well as any historic pieces related to the family.
When the Church of England put the family’s home up for sale in 1928, the museum was moved to where it remains to this day.
In the past year the Parsonage has undergone an extensive refurbishment, with experts painstakingly recreating the decor and features that would have filled the house when the sisters lived there.
In January, the ticket desk in the entrance hallway, will be moved to the rear shop area, allowing the hallway to be restored to its original state.
Sally McDonald, chairman of the Bronte Council, said: “Members of the Bronte Society are very proud to be celebrating their 120th anniversary this month and will be celebrating not only in Haworth but around the world.
“We see ourselves as having a unique role, being simultaneously a literary society and a charity that owns and runs a world-renowned museum. From the start members have come together to promote interest in the lives and works of the Brontes, but today activities are not limited to Haworth.
A full programme of events, including lectures and discussions all over the country will be announced at an event in London on February 19. (Chris Young) bronteblog
Photo: Ann Sumner