When history came to life

On Friday night there was a celebration of the Titanic at the Dewsbury Minster showing the 1950s black and white filme, readings and, in the interval, a ‘third class supper’ with Titanic beer.

In the second half the film was shown in silence and the Minster organist played all through. It was very moving. We were fed, watered and entertained – a superb evening.

On Saturday morning there was the unveiling of the Luddite statue at Sparrow Park, Liversedge. The Spen Valley Civic Society had worked very hard over six years to create this, so well done to them. The Rev Patrick Brontë would have been proud of them.

The invited guests then went to the reception at the Shears pub where the Luddites had met to plan their attacks in 1812. Well done to the landlord Paul Black and his staff, who were dressed in costume, and their Luddite beer.

On Saturday afternoon we were at Holly Bank school (formerly Roe Head where the Brontë sisters had attended) in Mirfield where I presented two talks with a difference. One was with William Cartwright, aka David Pinder dressed as Cartwright, the Rawfolds mill owner, about his mill being attacked by the Luddites. After the interval the next speaker, who was supposed to talk about Charlotte Brontë’s novel Shirley, which features the Luddites’ attacks, was held up at Skipton Castle, so retired teacher Barbara Lumb came to the rescue and talked about the novel. Barbara’s book on the Spen Valley is to come out later this year. A descendant of the Rev Patrick Brontë’s sister, Sarah, was present.

IMELDA MARSDEN

Life member of the Bronte Society

Quarryfields

MIRFIELD