My film A Humble Station? Branwell Brontes Calder Valley Years, produced by myself and Alan Wrigley as Deep Lock Productions, premiered at Halifax Central Library last Thursday, and I am delighted to report that it was seen by around 70 people.
It was great to see so many people celebrating Branwell's Calder Valley legacy, and we were thrilled to do so with Calderdale Libraries, who generously accommodated us for "a magnificent evening," as one viewer described it.
Actor and writer Caroline Lamb, who appears in the film, told us " I thoroughly enjoyed A Humble Station? and expect great things for it. The cinematography was astonishing and the presenting style excellent. I thought the film was superb and I'm very glad I came to see it."
Caroline Lamb in A Humble Station?
The film, which explores Branwell's years working at railway stations in the area, as well as featuring any of his poems and paintings, features interviews and readings from Bronte biographer Juliet Barker, Ann Dinsdale of the Bronte Parsonage, and many Calder Valley writers, artists and residents, including poet Steve Nash:
Performance poet Genevieve L Walsh:
Artist Julia Ogden:
and was hailed by Halifax poet Ross Kightly as "A triumph! Branwell in his rightful context - mind and heart."
In the film, I try to piece together an idea of Branwell's literary and artistic side, as distinct from the "black sheep" image which has dominated his reputation for so long, while assessing their legacies in the context of the contemporary Calder Valley arts scene, along the way exploring several of Branwell's old haunts, including the Lord Nelson, an 18th Century pub at Luddenden
and with the help of cameraman Alan, who has also written an original score for the film, shine a light on some of the beauty and hidden history of the Calder Valley