Brontes would fight for Haworth loos, says Christa Ackroyd

Christa Ackroyd with save the toilet campaigners in Haworth

Christa Ackroyd with save the toilet campaigners in Haworth Buy this photo

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

The Bronte family would be writing shocked letters of complaint to Bradford Council over plans to shut Haworth’s Central Park toilets, claims former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd.

She has joined the battle to save the award-winning loos and said she believed the sisters, and in particular their father Patrick, would have been outraged at any move to strip the village of such valued amenities.

“Patrick spent years campaigning for social and public health improvements and in 1849 wrote to the General Board of Health asking for an inspector to be sent to Haworth – which was then said to have worse sanitary conditions that the London slums,” Miss Ackroyd said.

“At that time 24 houses shared one toilet and there were only 69 toilets for a population of 2,500.

“It really was a case of open sewers running down the streets.”

An inspector, Benjamin Babbage arrived the next year and it was agreed to install a proper sewerage system, for which each house had to pay two pennies for the next 30 years.

“Sanitation, as well as education for all, was something Patrick really believed in, as did his daughters,” said Miss Ackroyd, who now runs a guest house which caters for Bronte fans from around the world.

Miss Ackroyd said she found it impossible to see any logic behind plans to close the modern toilet block which serves the park and also the lower reaches of the village.

“One million tourists come to Haworth each year and if they only spend £3 each, then that’s £3 million entering the system.

“That means the shops are successful and so pay their rates but if the lack of toilets deters just ten per cent from coming to Haworth, that would be a loss of £300,000.

“I know these are hard times because of the cuts, but it makes no economic sense to risk any loss to Haworth.

“It just isn’t cost-effective.”

Miss Ackroyd said closing the Central Park toilets would also dissuade families and the elderly from visiting the park.

“The message to tourists from the Council seems to be ‘come to Haworth because it is a real gem and spend your money – but we won’t spend anything on you’,” she said.

“That’s surely not we want all the visitors to the Tour de France to think?”

Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council’s executive member for environment, sport and sustainability, said: “We are in a process of consultation involving petitions and listening to what people say before reaching a final decision.”

Comments (10)

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7:04am Tue 4 Feb 14

Joedavid says...

"...former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd"
Welcome back wondered where you had gone.
"...former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd" Welcome back wondered where you had gone. Joedavid
  • Score: -9

7:08am Tue 4 Feb 14

Albion. says...

I would imagine the Bronte's would have paid their taxes as well.
I would imagine the Bronte's would have paid their taxes as well. Albion.
  • Score: 24

7:55am Tue 4 Feb 14

G_Firth says...

I find it mind boggling that the BMDC is failing to understand the needs of tourist locations and the implications of such an action would do to the image overall.
BMDC seem hell bent on driving away trade on all levels roll on May is all I can say.
I find it mind boggling that the BMDC is failing to understand the needs of tourist locations and the implications of such an action would do to the image overall. BMDC seem hell bent on driving away trade on all levels roll on May is all I can say. G_Firth
  • Score: 10

8:25am Tue 4 Feb 14

BigFigure says...

Joedavid wrote:
"...former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd"
Welcome back wondered where you had gone.
Busy running her B and B at Ogden... http://www.brookhous
eyorkshire.com/ and promoting the Brontes,of course
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: "...former TV presenter Christa Ackroyd" Welcome back wondered where you had gone.[/p][/quote]Busy running her B and B at Ogden... http://www.brookhous eyorkshire.com/ and promoting the Brontes,of course BigFigure
  • Score: 4

9:36am Tue 4 Feb 14

MarkPullen says...

So where is the support from the local MP or the candidates for 2015 elections?
So where is the support from the local MP or the candidates for 2015 elections? MarkPullen
  • Score: 3

12:53pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Mixter says...

The need to retain these toilets is so obvious, even Stevie Wonder can see it. So why are the council so myopic?

At it will do is deter some from venturing near the bottom of main street given its a long slog up the cobbles and beyond, if you find yourself down there wanting a pee. Unless of course, you go into a nearby cafe or pub for a drink - which defeats the object to start with!

Yet another brainless notion from City Hall.
The need to retain these toilets is so obvious, even Stevie Wonder can see it. So why are the council so myopic? At it will do is deter some from venturing near the bottom of main street given its a long slog up the cobbles and beyond, if you find yourself down there wanting a pee. Unless of course, you go into a nearby cafe or pub for a drink - which defeats the object to start with! Yet another brainless notion from City Hall. Mixter
  • Score: 5

1:02pm Tue 4 Feb 14

modman61 says...

These public toilets are a necessity and closure should not even be considered. Usual, brainless idiots at City Hall!
These public toilets are a necessity and closure should not even be considered. Usual, brainless idiots at City Hall! modman61
  • Score: 6

6:55pm Tue 4 Feb 14

knox615 says...

Who's Christa Ackroyd?
Who's Christa Ackroyd? knox615
  • Score: 2

7:03pm Tue 4 Feb 14

richard grant says...

BROKEN BRITAIN.
NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE ANY MORE.
WHAT ABOUT OLDER PEOPLE AND THE DISABLED.
WHAT ARE VISITORS AND TOURIST SUPPOSED TO DO.

BRADFORDS BOUNCING BACK.
I DONT THINK SO.
BROKEN BRITAIN. NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE ANY MORE. WHAT ABOUT OLDER PEOPLE AND THE DISABLED. WHAT ARE VISITORS AND TOURIST SUPPOSED TO DO. BRADFORDS BOUNCING BACK. I DONT THINK SO. richard grant
  • Score: 3

7:51pm Tue 4 Feb 14

madzippy says...

knox615 wrote:
Who's Christa Ackroyd?
lol love that she was that miserable sod from Look North.
[quote][p][bold]knox615[/bold] wrote: Who's Christa Ackroyd?[/p][/quote]lol love that she was that miserable sod from Look North. madzippy
  • Score: 0

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