Many thanks to Jonny Pulter of The Old Hall for his comments. Let me say any villager or trader is welcome here whether they agree with me or not!
I have been attending the Forties Weekend for longer than I have lived here in Haworth. It is the jewel in the events calendar of the village and I reiterate that I am of the opinion that they way the proposed charge/donation has come across to people could be to the determinent of the event's future.
However, I've had my say on that, but could I suggest that there is scope for many more smaller events throughout the spring and summer which would swell the Village Association coffers. I'm sure if these were to take place many true villagers, who do not necessarily trade on Main Street, would welcome it and become a part of the organisation.
There is tremendous scope for regular, if not weekly, weekend markets which would attract many visitors and regular traders would benefit from them. At the moment we only see them at Christmas time, by which time we are hearing the all too familiar complaints that half the Main Street is closed too often. Trade has gone, the word has spread, and coupled with our happy clampers reputation visitor numbers dwindle.
Whatever happened to Haworth Carnival? Surely a village setting such as ours is perfect for an August procession and even culminating in Central Park, where visitors would be a happy to pay a fair entrance fee to a properly organised and marshalled event with stalls and attractions. (Don't panic traders, they would still walk up Main Street!)
There should certainly be a Haworth Literary Festival on a par with Ilkley, probably in September, and I for one would wholheartedly participate in bringing some recognised names to the village to celebrate our literary heritage. I'll probably get my head in my hands again here, but some of The Parsonage stuff is a bit fringe. The majority of people today are more Alan Titchmarsh than Emily Bronte, although I'm sure there's room for both.