WE’VE been fully immersed in all things Branwell these past two weeks, as his bicentenary year reached its mid-way point.

I joined a number of guests at Emily’s café in Thornton – the birthplace of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne – for a Branwell birthday breakfast on June 26.

I’m ashamed to confess it was my first visit to Emily’s, but I’ll certainly be back soon – and not just for the delicious pastries!

To stand in the room where the Bronte siblings were born – and see the original fireplace and hearth still intact – was quite something.

After our fill of coffee, and having enjoyed a talk by Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale, we hot-footed it back to the museum in time for an intimate rose-planting ceremony in the museum’s courtyard.

Our wonderful volunteer gardeners Jenny and Geoff have created a new bed for Branwell to mark his bicentenary. They dug up an existing bed and filled it with completely new planting in a theme to reflect his appearance and character.

The rose, planted by our admin assistant Kat, who shares her birthday with Branwell, is called Mardi Gras – chosen for its reds, oranges and yellows, colours that reflect Branwell’s personality and symbolise his own creativity.

The new Branwell bed is next to Charlotte’s rose, which is just breaking out of bud. So we now have two Branwell beds – one inside the museum and one in the courtyard!

Also featured outside is a wooden sculpture of Branwell’s head – recently rescued from the shed in time for his birthday!

The long school holidays will soon be with us, and so this means the return of our popular Wild Wednesday workshops.

The first of these is Wednesday August 2, where you have the opportunity to make beautiful paper boats such as those depicted in the childhood stories of the Brontes. Our website lists all the Wednesday workshops on throughout August.

And just before the schools break up, we have a late night Thursday on July 20.

You may or may not have heard that the Parsonage meadow has recently reopened to the public, so feel free to come along and enjoy it – it’s a lovely picnic spot – and don’t forget that late night Thursdays are free after 5.30pm to all visitors who live in the BD22, BD21 and BD20 postcode areas, and also to all those living in Thornton.

The end of the month sees us marking the 199th birthday of Emily Bronte.

We have a special Parsonage Unwrapped on Friday July 28, focusing on Emily, and we’ll mark her birthday on Sunday July 30, with a walk up to Penistone Hill.

There are a few tickets left for Parsonage Unwrapped, and these cost £25/£22.50 but the walk is free with admission to the museum, so join us at 2pm if you would like to take part.

Visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on or call 01535 640192 for information about events.