Anne Brontë Celebration at St Mary’s, Lowgate

Everyone has heard of the Brontë sisters – they lived at Haworth, died young, had a drunken brother and wrote novels. Clever Charlotte wrote ‘Jane Eyre’ and eccentric Emily wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’. And then there was the other one. Anne.

Photo: Abby Wardill

Quiet Anne was overshadowed by her older sisters but now, thanks to pianist Ann Airton and Brontë-buff Anne Powell, Anne will emerge from their shadows during an event at St Mary’s, Lowgate, Hull, on Saturday 22 June.

‘The Three Ann(e)s’ will be a celebration of the life and works of Anne Brontë in words and music, with all proceeds going to the Friends of St Mary’s to support the upkeep of the church, one of Hull’s oldest, which dates back to the late 13th century.

“In the space of an hour, we hope that the youngest Brontë will emerge from comparative obscurity to be seen as a courageous woman, and as daring a writer as either of her better-known siblings,” said Anne Powell, a life-long lover of the Brontës and a former Trustee of the Brontë Society. 

Anne Powell will tell Anne Brontë’s story and read from her works and letters. With Ann Airton at the piano, the programme will also feature music that would have been familiar to the Brontës, including Schumann, Chopin, Beethoven, Czerny and Haydn. The words of the Rev. Patrick Brontë will be read by Mike Powell.

The performance will start at 2:30pm on Saturday 22 June, with doors open at 2pm. 

Tickets booked in advance are £8. For under 25s and those registered as a Friend of St Mary’s, tickets are £6. All tickets on the door will be £10.

Online booking is available at

Refreshments will be for sale from 3:30pm. Seating is unallocated. Wheelchair access and accessible WC will be available.

Despite a significant fundraising drive and improvement works in recent years, which have given St Mary’s, Lowgate, a new lease of life, the church building still requires works with an estimated cost of over £800,000, including tower parapet and pinnacle, clerestory and roof parapet pinnacle repairs. The church building is not funded by the Church of England or by the local authority. Church volunteers have to raise any money required to keep the building open.

Andrew Penny MBE, Patron of the Friends of St Mary’s, said: “’The Three Ann(e)s’ promises to be an enlightening and enjoyable event and we hope people will join us in this beautiful church to celebrate Anne Brontë. We are most grateful to Ann Airton and Anne Powell for performing for us in aid of the church building.”

Ann Airton won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 17. A German Government Scholarship enabled her to study at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Specialising in the art of accompaniment, she has performed widely in the UK and in Denmark, Canada, Cyprus and New Zealand.

Yorkshire woman Anne Powell taught English and drama before retirement, directing plays and musicals, many of which were staged at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough. In 2020 she won the King Lear Short Story Prize. Writing under the name of Anna Bransgrove, her novella, ‘Simple Dame Fairfax’, was published in 2015.