THE PARSONAGE reopened on February 1 after a month of deep cleaning, DIY, changing the displays and preparing our new exhibition.

Our first visitors of the year arrived at 10am, and left with a gift for their efforts, and we were pleasantly surprised to find visitors flocking to the museum on a very cold and wet Monday morning.

The response to the new exhibition, curated by Tracy Chevalier, has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s not difficult to see why, as the exhibition showcases some beautiful and haunting objects from the collection.

Particularly moving are locks of hair, shoes lined with rabbit fur, where the indentation of Charlotte’s heel is still visible, and a letter written by a love-forsaken Charlotte to her Belgian tutor Monsieur Heger, torn up by Heger, but rescued and sewn back together again by his wife.

The letter is on loan from the British Library, and will be with us for the year before it returns to London.

The Parsonage hosted a private view of the new exhibition and we were overwhelmed (in a positive way!) by the number of Bronte Society members who attended.

Tracy Chevalier spoke eloquently about the new exhibition and the pleasure she derived from curating it.

It was my first private view at the museum, so was a bit of a baptism of fire – I have never popped so many corks!

The following day I helped out at the exhibition talk held at Haworth Baptist Chapel. Despite atrocious weather, over 100 people attended, eager to hear Tracy describe the creative process of putting the exhibition together.

Audience members were eager to ask questions about Tracy’s relationship with the Bronte novels, particularly in light of her American background, and a great many of the audience went on to visit the Parsonage afterwards, making for a very busy Saturday afternoon.

One of the things that makes working as a museum assistant so interesting is the people that visit, and so February half-term holiday proved good fun. I enjoy eavesdropping on children’s response to the museum and answering their questions.

The sofa on which Emily most likely died is a constant source of morbid fascination, but children are also interested in the more mundane – such as what food did the Brontes eat, and did they really sit in those chairs?

An American family visiting with a number of children were intrigued by Aunt Branwell’s pattens!

A personal highlight of February has been a number of visits from the production team behind a new BBC drama about the Brontes, written by Sally Wainwright. The Parsonage staff are huge fans of Happy Valley, and as such we are all very excited about Sally’s new drama.

Much like Christopher Fry’s 1973 drama The Brontes Of Haworth, the Parsonage is being recreated in a studio in painstaking detail. It has been fascinating to observe a team of designers and producers measuring and sketching the rooms and their artefacts.

The attention to detail certainly bodes well, although we are all clueless as to who might be cast as the Bronte siblings. As such we’re compiling our own fantasy cast (James Norton is on the wish-list) – I’ll keep you posted on further developments.