Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Help find writer of a biography on one of the Black Country’s heroines, Emma Sproson

Help needed to find the writer of a biography on one of the 
Black Country’s heroines,  Emma Sproson 

Known as ‘Red Emma’, Sproson, born 1867, began work in Biltson as a home help when she was aged nine. When she moved to Lancashire and attended a public meeting a politician refused to answer her question because as a women she did not have a vote.

Back in Wolverhampton in 1895 Emma helped organise meetings across the Black Country at which Emmeline Pankhurst spoke. 

In 1907 Emma was twice sent to prison after she joined protests organised at the Houses of Parliament by the Women’s Social and Political Union. Married to local Labour Party secretary, Frank Sproson, the mother-of-three was frequently abused for her political beliefs but never abandoned them. 

She was poplar enough to become the first woman to be elected to Wolverhampton Council in 1921, representing the Labour Party in the Dunstall ward until 1927. She campaigned for low rents, for minimum pay rates for the lowest paid and for keeping council officials pay at reasonable levels. 

Now, Unite the union and the Townswomen’s Guild (TG) are aiming, with the support of the Sproson family, to publish an Emma biography booklet this year.  They are especially keen to locate Susan Pauline Walters, a student at Nene College, University of Leicester whose 1993 dissertation was on Emma Sproson (1867 - 1936): A Black Country Suffragette. 

If you are able to assist then please make contact with either Sara Trayers at the TG on 07521 502846 and sara@the-tg.com or Mark Metcalf on 07392 852561 and mcmetcalf@icloud.com
Mark is the author of a biography on another local suffragette and trade unionist, Julia Varley, and you can download this for free at:- https://markwritecouk.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/6328-julia-varley-booklet.pdf

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