WE HAVE now officially opened for 2019 and have unveiled our new exhibition, ‘Patrick Brontë: In Sickness and in Health’ which explores how illness, poor health and death plagued his life.

Objects on display include Patrick’s heavily-annotated medical manuals, Charlotte’s pillbox, with pills inside, Anne’s handkerchief, spotted with blood from her infected lungs, and lots of spectacles!

We also have a loan from Thackray Medical Museum – the type of ophthalmic instruments which would have been used to perform Patrick’s cataract surgery. So not for the squeamish amongst you!

At the end of the week, on Friday February 22, we have our first Parsonage Unwrapped evening of the year, which focuses on Patrick’s politics – in particular his relatively progressive opinions. Tickets cost £22.50/£20 and a complimentary drink is served on arrival.

The theme of Patrick’s politics is continued in our free Tuesday talk on March 5, which will examine Patrick’s campaigning, but specifically his campaigning for issues close to home, such as fundraising for the establishment of a Sunday school and a clean water supply. There’s no need to book for the Tuesday talk, but please go to bronte.org.uk/whats-on or call 01535 640192 for tickets for Parsonage Unwrapped.

I’m very excited that the museum is taking part in the first ever International Social Prescribing Day on March 14. Put simply, social prescribing is a way in which GPs and other health care professionals can help patients to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them with local community services and activities.

And museums can play a part in this, offering opportunities to connect to others, connect with the environment (especially ours on the moors!), share stories and experiences, learn, and be inspired!

On the first ever Social Prescribing Day we’re offering free entry to residents who live in the BD22, BD21 and BD20 postcode areas and Thornton. Please come along and say hello, and take a look at our new Patrick Brontë exhibition – I’m sure Patrick would have been an advocate of social prescribing!

In the spirit of social prescribing, we’re celebrating Patrick’s birthday (fittingly St Patrick’s Day!) on March 17 in Haworth Old School Room between noon and 4pm. Everyone is welcome to come along to eat cake and hear about the community project we’re launching to discover more about Haworth in the time of the Brontës.

We’ll also be joined by guests, including Zaffar Kunial, our writer-in-residence, who will read from his new collection Us, and there will be craft activities for all the family. So please do join us to celebrate Patrick and hear more about our plans for the rest of the year. No need to book – just come along. I hope to see you there!