Hosted by the Bronte Society in Haworth
Haworth has long been a second home to me, since I made my first visit back in 1974. It was therefore doubly exciting that we would be celebrating the bi-centennial of Charlotte’s birth there.
The Parsonage was opened early for us, and the Baptist Church was the venue for most of the Saturday. Our first speaker was Juliet Barker, historian and biographer, on ‘Re-writing Writers’ Lives – Mrs Gaskell and The Life of Charlotte Bronte‘. Question time was very lively – particularly as we had a large contingent from the Gaskell Society!
The second speaker was Ian Dewhirst, retired librarian and well known historian on West Yorkshire and Keighley in particular. His talk was entitled ‘The Druggist and the Relieving Officer, and Other Writers in Haworth’. His natural sense of humour soon had everyone rolling in the aisles, as he described what a haven of cultural activity Haworth was during the time of the Brontes, not at all like the ‘bleak moors’ the area is often portrayed as.
The traditional Saturday evening meal took place at the White Lion, where diners gave their favourite readings. It had been an immensely full day, but very enjoyable.
On Sunday, some went to the Bronte birthplace at Thornton; some on a guided tour of Ponden Hall; and some on a guided walk to the waterfall.
I think everyone would agree that it had been a very rewarding weekend for all lovers of books and literature. I really encourage those who have not done so, to try an ALS weekend!