Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer has called for local people in Haworth to consider running for leadership roles in the literary group. In a new year address sent to members following a turbulent year, Ms Greer said she wants to see Society members who live in the village to stand for election for voluntary posts on the Society’s Council. The American-born writer said: “We must engage even more with Haworth and we’re lucky and unique to be situated in a living and thriving village. I would recommend, for example, that villagers stand for Council. “We must bring our membership age down in order to ensure that our beloved Society and Museum continue into the 21st century.”
Her comments follow months of turmoil which saw angry exchanges between Society members and the sudden departures of its executive director and chairman. During the internal wrangling, critics called for Haworth’s Parsonage Museum to be run by a Trust rather than the Society’s council.
Ms Greer told members: “Personally I don’t want to see the Society become a Trust, separating the Museum from the members. The Museum belongs to you, and I will support your right to keep it and have it taken care of by a Council elected by you, the Members.” She said “grievances” aired by some members last year had led to a “rather expensive” extraordinary general meeting in October.
She added: “Council and staff have done everything possible to alleviate reputational damage and to ensure the business of the Society and Museum has not lost momentum.” Her letter contains nomination papers for election to the Council. The Society is seeking to fill the posts of three honorary officers, who are standing down, and at least one other post. Ballot results will be declared on June 6. The Society is keen to receive nominations from people with skills in tourism/visitor attractions, press/journalism/marketing, IT/digital technology and publishing. (Andrew Robinson) bronteblog/haworth-villagers-for-council