Portillo highlights the Brontes’ train links on television

Michael Portillo at Keighley railway station during filming

Michael Portillo at Keighley railway station during filming

First published in

Haworth and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway were spotlighted in a BBC series about Britain’s rail network.

The episode of Great British Railway Journeys– screened last Thursday – examined the influence locally of train travel.

Presenter Michael Portillo began with a visit to the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

He interviewed Prof Ann Sumner, executive director of the Bronte Society, who described how Charlotte and her siblings had invested in the railway and received a good income from it.

She said the trains were important to the sisters and their brother Branwell, who once worked as a railway clerk at Sowerby Bridge.

Mr Portillo travelled on the K&WVR and stopped off at Oakworth.

He took part in a re-enactment of a scene from the classic 1970 movie version of The Railway Children, which was shot on the five-mile line, and spoke to Ann Cryer, who with late husband Bob was instrumental in bringing the filming to the area.

K&WVR spokesman Jim Shipley said the programme, filmed last May, was well received.

“The railway came across well and it’s good publicity not just for us but for Haworth and the area generally,” he added.

“A few people mentioned to me the following morning that they’d seen it and the feedback was positive.

“The filming was carried out during our Railway Children Weekend.”

Ann Dinsdale, collections manager at the Bronte parsonage, said many people were unaware of the siblings’ connections with the railways.

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