Campaign to save birthplace of Bronte sisters
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The home of the 19th century literary figures – Charlotte, Emily and Anne in Thornton village near Bradford in west Yorkshire was sold to a private developer last week for around 120,000 pounds.
Members of the Bronte Birthplace Trust had tried in vain to get Bradford Council to step in to buy the four-bed terrace in Market Street to turn it into a museum-cum-cafe as visitor attraction with the help of some government funding.
The council, however, felt it was not a "justifiable use of public money" as government budgets were facing cuts. Steve Stanworth, chairman of the Bronte Birthplace Trust, has been leading the campaign and refuses to give up.
"I understand it's been bought by a local businessman and I think he is going to turn it into a bistro.
We have decided, as a Trust, we are going to carry on with our work and hope that some time in the future it will come on the market.
"We are going to try and get a professional business plan done and raise money to buy it," he told the Yorkshire Post. The Bronte family lived in the house for five years before the girls' father Reverand Patrick Bronte moved eight miles to the Parsonage in Haworth, where many of their great works werewritten.Reverand Bronte, who was the curate of the nearby St. James's Church, wrote that the time spent at Thornton was the happiest in his life.
The property was built in 1802 and home to the Bronte sisters and their brother Branwell, between 1815 and 1820. It was bought in the late 1990s by writer Barbara Whitehead, who opened up the property to paying visitors. Whitehead sold the house in 2007 when it was converted into flats.
The house, which has a plaque on the outside wall naming the four Bronte children born there, already attracts fans of the literary siblings.
The Bronte Birthplace Trust's supporters believe that thebirthplace has the potential to kick-start wider regeneration in Thornton as part of the Bronte Trail, which covers nearby Haworth and Bronte Parsonage Museum.
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