The Haworth 1940s event has had its day, now all it brings is misery for us locals - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Olivia Fortnum, Haworth.

Steve Ayton (Letters, December 7, 2023) reflects the view held by myself and, I suspect, many other residents of Haworth and the surrounding area.

The Haworth 1940s event began in 1995 as a simple commemoration of 50 years since the end of World War II - a short church service at which some residents dressed up in 1940s style clothing.

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This developed into an annual event which in the early years raised money for charity. The event grew exponentially and this year’s event apparently attracted 40,000 visitors over the weekend. Not a penny was given to charity.

A general view of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe.A general view of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
A general view of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

As Mr Ayton says, the impact on local residents is severe, and the two main issues, that of the large numbers attending and of the consequent parking chaos are fundamentally insoluble problems.

Social media plays a huge part in the ever increasing numbers, and the new organisers have already started their campaign. They are after all the owners of a bar in Leeds and a gin manufacturing company: what’s not to like?

They are newly resident in Haworth and have been quick to identify what is an opportunity to make money in an appealingly Instagrammable village.

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Haworth is rapidly changing from a village best known for being one of the greatest literary shrines in the country, with a heritage steam railway, to a place where you can dress up (1940s, steampunk, 1960s, Harry Potter…) and roll drunk around the streets. There is no consideration for residents: this year a dying man lay in his bed with a food stall and generator running for 48 hours in the street below his window.

Residents of sheltered housing watched bare chested men snorting cocaine from window sills.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum actually had to put up a ‘No Firearms’ sign to deter the dressing up brigade from bringing their decommissioned weapons into the museum.

This event has had its day. Bradford Metropolitan District Council needs to acknowledge this. Who wants Nazis supping pints and women flashing their knickers? Not a good look for the City of Culture 2025.

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