Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Astonished, delighted and Inspector Clouseau

The Yorkshire Post has Barbara Taylor Bradford share her favourite places in Yorkshire. Haworth is one of them:

Haworth
As an author who grew up in Yorkshire, the home of the Brontës has to feature in any list of favourite places.
I remember falling in love with Wuthering Heights and insisting my mum and I climb to Top Withens. It’s an unforgiving walk, but my mother, knowing how much it meant to me, did as she always did and gamely trudged on.
I loved and still do their little childhood journals, written in handwriting which is ever so tiny. By the time I was 10 years old I was already writing stories and what the Brontës taught me was the real power of the imagination.
Apart from a brief foray to Belgium, Charlotte spent much of her life in Haworth, yet her novels read as though they were written by someone who had real worldly experience.
A few years ago I was invited to the Parsonage to talk about my books.
Had you told me as a child that I’d be back at that museum some day having become a successful author I wouldn’t have believed you. It really was quite emotional.
Haworth is also recommended by Newstalk (Ireland) among other literary destinations in Britain.
It seems that only Shakespeare himself is held in higher esteem than the beloved Brontë sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte – at least, judging by the 8 million visitors a year who trudge up the hill from the train station to pay their respects at the handsome parsonage where the literary classics Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were born.
Not surprisingly, the whole village is given over to Brontë-linked tourism, but even without the literary associations Haworth is still worth a visit, though you'll be hard pushed not to be overwhelmed by the cottage industry that has grown up around the Brontës and their wonderful creations.
From Leeds, the easiest approach is via Keighley, which is on the Metro rail network. Bus 500 runs from Keighley bus station to Haworth (15 minutes, hourly) and continues to Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. However, the most interesting way to get from Keighley to Haworth is via the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Where to stay Virtually every second house on Main St offers B&B; they're mostly indistinguishable from each other but some are just that little bit cuter. There are a couple of good restaurants in town, and many of the B&Bs also have small cafes that are good for a spot of lunch.
Charlotte Brontë’s doctor, Amos Ingham, lived and worked in Ashmount Country House (01535 645 726,ashmounthaworth.co.uk), on Mytholmes Lane, a five-minute walk from the Parsonage. A Victorian villa with original stained-glass windows, commanding valley views. Top-notch comforts including sumptuous beds and linen sheets, power showers and superb breakfasts: double b&b £75-£185.
Where to eat Cobbles and Clay (01535 644 218, cobblesandclay.co.uk), 60 Main St, a delightful café serving organic food on painted crockery with excellent vegetarian dishes. For superior pub grub: the Old White Lion (01535 642 313, oldwhitelionhotel.com), 6-10 West Lane, near the Parsonage. The locally sourced steaks are very good. Three-course set menu £17, or £20 for two à la carte courses. (Fionn Davenport)
Still locally, The Telegraph and Argus reports that a Bradford MP
has called for the Government to combat the theft of valuable Yorkshire stone. [...]
Mr Galloway said: “I have put down two parliamentary questions on the widespread thefts after a constituent’s request for me to look into it. I have drawn the minister’s attentions to this and asked what measures could be introduced to combat it.
“I know that the police have been doing all they can to detect these thefts – from heritage sites such as Bolling Hall, Haworth cemetery and the Brontë Cemetery at Thornton – and I want to make their job easier. I’m thinking along the lines of those introduced to help stop metal theft.
“For instance, I think it would be important to prevent traders paying cash for the stone, increasing the penalties for those convicted and perhaps we could look at some sort of register of stone traders, together with giving the police and local authorities powers of entry to yards?”
The Guardian's Think of England features Hull and mentions briefly
Hull Truck Theatre (2 February). The innovative theatre is also staging Charlotte Brontë's classic Jane Eyre (16-20 April), when Nick Lane directs an intriguing new adaptation of the timeless story.
The Liverpool Echo recommends it too.

The Advertiser News shares a casting call for the Jefferson Community Players.
Oak Ridge — The Jefferson Community Players are casting for their first program of the 2013 season, "Famous Females in Fiction".
Dina Nicholas of the Players is developing the program, which will have weekend performance dates in late April. Casting is by appointment only. To make an appointment, contact Dina at dmnich@me.com or at 862-324-6686.
The program will feature dramatize scenes with well known fictional characters. Some of the characters under consideration are: Anne Shirley, Jane Eyre, Gigi, Eliza Doolittle, Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, Elizabeth Bennett, Jane Marple, Scarlett O'Hara, Josephine March, Elphaba, Portia, Ophelia, Regina Giddens, Wendy Darling and Mary Russell. Familiarity with the books and characters is helpful, but not required.
The Asian Age quotes the famous 'Reader, I married him' from Jane Eyre. Cielos de Azafrán posts in Spanish about the novel and Bettina's Impressions writes about the 2011 adaptation. Walking about Britain shares map and tips for the walk from haworth to Top Withins. Finally, we dare you not to get all excited when reading the latest update from the Brontë Parsonage on Facebook:
We're on a countdown till Saturday February 9 now, and our grand reopening with the exciting historically accurate refurbishment, and a few surprises in store! If you think you know the Museum you'll be astonished and delighted. Can't wait to show you!
And now for the historical moment of the day. It happened yesterday on BBC's University Challenge when a member of the Imperial College, London said this:
Bill Paxman: Timothy Dalton, Orson Welles, Toby Stephens and Michael Fassbender are among the actors which have played which romantic figure, the creation of Charlotte Brontë?
Inspector Clouseau. 

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