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Baroness praises heritage village
English Heritage chairman Baroness Andrews visited Haworth and gloomy weather failed to undermine her appreciation of the village.
She called there on Yorkshire Day as part of a tour of the county and said she was “thrilled” to visit.
Her first stop was the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
“I’ve never been to Haworth before and I’ve always wanted to visit,” she said. “It’s appropriate to come on Yorkshire Day.
“Haworth has an extraordinary heritage and I can understand why it attracts people from all over the world. It’s a symbol of women’s writing and women’s freedom of expression and it’s in a most beautiful part of Yorkshire.
“I’m a great enthusiast for the Brontes and a great reader – I’m now re-reading Charlotte’s The Professor. The Bronte sisters addressed so many important aspects of life, they were about more than just producing books.
“The wealth of our country is not just its industry but is also its local tourism and its heritage, which creates wealth and employment. So valuing our heritage is not incidental or sentimental.”
She stressed places such as Haworth would benefit if they successfully balanced conservation priorities with the everyday needs of people who live and work in the area.
She said she understood many Haworth residents enthusiastically participated in helping to safeguard their village’s history.
“In most places which have a level of international interest you do see a lot of local pride,” she said.
“In some places of course you have pressure on things such as roads and other services, but mostly that’s a good problem to have. It’s far better than the opposite where you neglect what is there.”
After touring the parsonage museum last Wednesday morning, Baroness Andrews was taken to see the Old School Room, the parish church and Main Street, before enjoying a ride on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
She was accompanied by two other visitors from English Heritage, planning director for Yorkshire Trevor Mitchell and team leader for West Yorkshire Tammy Whitaker.
English Heritage is backing a project to renovate the rundown Old School Room, and is supplying it with a £15,000 grant to pay for replacement windows.
The organisation is also supporting the Haworth Parish Church refurbishment.