Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Weather Archive is finished

When i was last at the Bronte Parsonage Museum i collected all the completed cards that the weather collectors have filled in.

They have been writing weather records every day for more than a year from October 18th 2011 until November 5th 2012. Everyone who volunteered lives in the local area around Haworth.
I always presumed we might get a couple of days in the year when nobody collected any information at all maybe when on holiday, perhaps from illness, or being busy might mean that nobody managed to write anything down on some random dates. However, I have records for every single day during that time. I originally started with 10 collectors, but towards the end of the year it was down to four dedicated individuals who were still collecting notes every day. Amazing.

So, i spent the last couple of days cutting out the divide cards, stamping them and then sorting all the hand written cards into date order.

I'm thrilled that it's finished and the entire archive will be going on show in an exhibition in Leeds next month (i'll put details on the blog soon).

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Taking down the weather station

I was at the Bronte Parsonage Museum yesterday to take the digital weather station down as we've come to the end of the project.
The weather was drear (as Charlotte Bronte might describe it) with lashing rain, fog over the moors and gusty winds. I got battered by the weather while trying to unbolt all the fixings on the station and its tripod.
In the afternoon we had the final meeting of the the weather collectors. Five of the nine remaining collectors came to hand in their cards and to have a quick brew, biscuits and a chat about the project.

I am thrilled that they all managed to document the weather for the whole year - what dedication. I can't express how happy i am at how they could be so thoroughly committed to being involved in my project for such a long time - taking time every day to check the temperature and note down their observations of the weather. Every day. Amazing.

On that note i was a bit sad yesterday - i don't like a project coming to an end. All the staff at the Museum have welcomed me in and helped in every way; and meeting the weather collectors has been such a delight.
The weather collectors are: Beryl Dodsworth, Richard Gibson, Felix Ansell, Pat Dawson, John Milne, Colin Day, Mr and Mrs Lever, Julie Arkhurst, Chris Roper and Michael Pearmain.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Bronte Weather Project

The Bronte Weather Project is coming to an end. It's been just over a year that i've been collecting weather data from the Bronte Parsonage Museum garden: the exact place on the planet where the Bronte sisters lived, worked and died. Researching the subject around the weather has been fascinating: looking at the way it has shaped the moors of the surrounding area; how it effected the Bronte's everyday lives and their health; how it influenced their fictional writing in novels and poems and also in their letters to others. It's obvious that in a year i could only cover so much and this subject is vast - so i know i'll continue this line of enquiry beyond the end of the project.

I'm going to the Museum next week to dismantle the weather station and to collect the remaining cards from my weather collectors. The weather archive will then be complete with a year of hand written cards documenting the year of weather around Haworth for 2011 - 2012. I've been asked to show some of the artwork and supporting material in an exhibition in Leeds in December and i hope that the whole weather archive can be included in that too - i'll let you know.