Scarborough was much beloved by Anne Brontë, she visited there annually as governess to the Robinson family from 1840 to 1844 and she of course spent her final days in there in 1849, with Charlotte Brontë and their friend Ellen Nussey by her side.
Anne is buried at St. Mary’s church in the shadow of Scarborough Castle, the location she had earlier chosen for Weston’s proposal to Agnes in Agnes Grey. With Anne’s close connection to the town it’s great to see that they are giving her a fulsome birthday celebration.
A long term event in the town is called ‘Anne Brontë p.200’ it runs from 11th January to 8th February, and is at Woodend Creative, a large building in beautiful grounds just a short walk from the Grand Hotel and adjacent to Scarborough’s excellent art gallery.
The brainchild of local artist Lindsey Tyson, it is based upon an excellent idea that takes Anne’s ‘The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall’ and turns it into 200 individual pieces of art by 200 artists, each of whom has used a page from the book as their base. The results are incredible, and if you can’t get along to the exhibition you can buy the complete set of Anne inspired artwork in this stunning book.
That’s not all that’s taking place on the east coast this month. On the 17th and 18th, Eddie Lawler is presenting his ‘Tracking The Brontës’ show. Eddie has performed at Haworth on many occasions, and now lives at Scarborough with his wife Olga who painted this fantastic version of Branwell’s portrait of the sisters. It’s a brilliant show – fun, moving and packed full of facts (with a little Yorkshire rapping thrown in for good measure). All of those events are also at Woodend.
On Sunday 19th a beautiful celebration of Anne’s life will take place, beginning at the Grand Hotel, on the site of which Anne spent her final moments. A torchlit procession will then lead to the South Bay beach, where pebbles will be thrown into the sea. The procession will then lead uphill to St. Mary’s church where bells will ring out in Anne’s name.
The day begins at the Grand Hotel at 1030, and will feature storytelling and, from noon, a questions and answer session with Anne Brontë experts, as well as some specially commissioned music and a time for quiet reflection on Anne’s life.