Category Archives: West Yorkshire

Where will all the tourists go?

In truth, I tend to avoid watching the news too often nowadays, as its usually pretty depressing stuff, especially if Brexit, or Trump are involved, and at present, they usually are! But for once, tonight, I’m glad I watched the regional news at least, as it gave me something to blog about, a matter I was seriously lacking until then.

Before I was born, the plan my family had, was that I would be born in Yorkshire. Apart from being the home county at the time, there was also all this thing about only people from Yorkshire could play cricket for the county, so my father, in his wisdom, wanted his child born in the county, just in case. The snag was, my father was in the Navy, based in Chatham, in Kent, and I decided to enter this world a few days early. Thats why, sadly, I have Chatham as my place of birth, and not Haworth, or Keighley. Not that I would ever have been good enough to play cricket for Yorkshire (School team was highest standard I reached), so that didnt matter at least. I did get the consolation prize of being baptised in Yorkshire, but that was it.

So, intermittently, for the first 3 or 4 years of my life, we lived in Kent, and had a small place in Haworth too. When I say small, that, and the house next to it, are now one dwelling, and its still just a reasonable size!

Haworth is generally famous for 2 things. One is the steep climb up Main Street, which believe me, from experience, I can say isn’t fun in winter! The second are a family including 3 authors, from the Victorian era. Anyone who didnt know they’re the Bronte sisters, hold your head in shame!

Back in the 60’s, and 70’s, when I used to live there/visit, beyond a small area at the top of the hill, it was a typical Yorkshire mill village. Life wasnt easy, and even worse for Haworth, with the regular influx of tourists. Then slowly, during the 80’s, the tourism area began to spread down the village, and now its pretty much the whole area, in truth. So what does a village that attracts so many tourists need? A tourist information office, of course! And very popular in summer it was too.

But now, due to all the cutbacks, one of the prime tourist destinations of West Yorkshire, no longer has one, it closed recently, as part of the council cutbacks. I know, I doubt it will stop tourists invading the village in large numbers, in the tourist season, but it still seems crazy to me. Hopefully someone will see sense before the summer, but who knows?

One certainty as an author was though, that no matter how successful I was, I was never likely to be more than the 4th most famous author from Haworth! Ah well…

Right, video time. I doubt many will remember this song, it was a very minor hit. Some might recognise 2 of the group, as they went on to far more success, as The Eurythmics! Tourists, get it?