It's been quite depressing to hear the BBC's accounts of how tourism is dying in Haworth due to a mixture of decay in the fabric of the village and a proliferation of signs on the Main Street.
The emotive line used is "The Brontes wouldn't recognise the Haworth of today".
I hope not. In their day the Main Street was running with untreated sewage, now you're lucky if you find a trickle of tourists before lunchtime because half the traders are not open.
Some traders were interviewed by BBC Radio Leeds and gave a very negative account of the village today. Do they know they may be part of the reason?
Admittedly it would have been nice if the BBC had given similar coverage to the hugely successful Forties weekend, but they didn't give it a shot or a sentence, but then that's good news.
Yes, the place does need livening up and tidying up but much of the answer lies in the hands of those who seem to want everything their own way or not at all.
Here is a selection of comments from today's Telegraph and Argus, not encouraging reading I'm afraid.
I think the place is a complete dump -as far as the main street goes. Grotty shops, cafes where the meaning of customer service is non-existant. Were it not for the excellent railway and the museum plus the church and the walk out to Top Withins, I cannot understand why anyone would want to visit the place - it has all the hallmarks of Keighley which is worse but only because it is larger. Why is it that Hebden Bridge is so good and this place so bad?
Newswatcher, shipley says...
5:03pm Wed 7 Jul 10
Haworth relies on it's famous past with little thought to the future.
Then there is the damage done by "that car park".
I can't see while people still want to visit.
It is a great pity as there is so much that could be done.
A good start would be making visitors welcome.
Maybe free parking?
NOTSOCOMMENSENSE, BINGLEY says...
5:41pm Wed 7 Jul 10
Who cares any more overpriced shops Dick Turpin was at it again today clamped a minibus of old folk with the excuse that it was a coach and should have paid as a coach not as a normal minibus
Apollo, Queensbury says...
7:39am Thu 8 Jul 10
The car parking situation and in particular the clamping by the crooks who run it have done enormous damage to the reputaton of the place.
The completely unregulated and unrestricted signage evident in the high street gives the place the look of a Third World bazaar rather than a Heritage site.
It would be good to think that the Council could tackle both of the problems - the car park a the state of the high street. Unfortunately this is Bradford Council we are talking about so we know what will happen.