Haworth is the beautiful village in West Yorkshire which has become forever associated with Anne Brontë and her family, so it’s only fitting that they should be holding a celebratory event on Friday 17th January to mark the 200th birthday of the youngest Brontë sibling.
Anne was just three months old when her family moved seven miles across the moors from Thornton, her birthplace, to Haworth where her father had taken up his new post as curate at St. Michael’s and All Angels’ Church. Just walking inside the Parsonage, and walking in the footsteps of Anne, Charlotte and Emily is a magical event.
I’m thrilled that the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth is throwing open its doors to the public on the day itself, as it’s usually closed throughout January in order to change the exhibitions. The doors will be open from 11am until 3.30 pm, and visitors on this day will be able to get a sneak preview of the new Anne Brontë exhibition entitled ‘Amid The Brave And Strong’.
There will also be cake and sparkling wine available, as well as tea and coffee, although these may be being served at the Old School Rooms at the side of the Parsonage. It’s in these rooms that Anne served as a Sunday school teacher, and we get a memory of Anne’s stint as a young teacher in Charlotte Brontë’s description of Caroline undertaking the same duty in Shirley:
“’They made her a Sunday-school teacher when she was a little girl of twelve. She is not particularly self-confident by nature, as you may have observed; and the first time she had to ‘take a tray’, as the phrase is, and make tea in public, there was some piteous trembling and flushing. I observed the speechless panic, the cups shaking in the little hand, and the overflowing teapot filled too full from the urn.’”
As always, Anne showed courage and overcame her shyness to become an excellent teacher, just as she became a writer of courage and genius. What better place to remember this than at this special Haworth event?