Back in the 1960s, the Tory government decided that roads were part of the national infrastructure deserving of vast expenditure of taxpayers money, but that railways were not. They closed more than half of Britain’s railway stations and around five thousand miles of track. One little branch line running from Keighley up past Haworth was taken over by steam enthusiasts, and is still in use running vintage trains.
What’s more, they’ve kept the original British Railways signage, as a reminder of the happy days when you only had to get mad at a single nationalized corporation for buggering up the train service, rather than a bunch of different companies, each one less competent than the next.
Though I don’t remember British Railways ever providing hand pumped real ale in the buffet car, or a watering point for dogs.
Yes, the engine driver looks just like an engine driver should.
So we chugged up the hill to Haworth (pronounced HOW-uth, or if you are Yorkshire, OW-uth), world headquarters of Bronte Industries, LLC. At least that’s what it seemed like. There’s Bronte Beer…
… Bron-Tea …
… and Branwell Bronte’s favorite pub.
Branwell was an alcoholic. Naming a beer after him and advertising his favorite place to binge is adding insult to injury.
Ah, well, on into the Bronte parsonage museum. This is the table where the Bronte sisters ate parkin and Yorkshire pud, and did a bit of writing between meals.
No, I’m not going to give you the tour. Stop reading right now and listen to Victoria Wood’s version. Trust me on this she is much funnier than I am.
There, wasn’t that fun?
After the parsonage we found a quiet grassy square in a more modern development (“Heathcliff Mews”) to eat our sandwiches, and then went back to the churchyard, which had roosters pecking around the gravestones.
The church was rebuild after the Brontes’ time but is doing its best to cash in on Brontemania with a Bronte chapel and memorial.
Paula wanted to see a Yorkshire Moor, so we headed along the path to Penistone (pronounced PENNY-stun) Hill.
We climbed up to an Ordinance Survey trig point with a nice view all round, and waited to see if the wind would wuther, but it didn’t. Bronte Industries, LLC is slipping up on that one. Fancy coming all the way to Haworth, climbing a hill and not getting wuthered.