Emma Smith, a pupil and teacher at Wollaston Schools
Emma Smith, born in February 1859, lived in one of the houses in Withy Bank, just below the church. In census returns she is named as a ‘school mistress’ and in the Girls’ School Log Book for 5th May 1873 she is named when she received a prize for coming second in the Diocesan examination and later won a prize for needlework.
In 1882 she married Arthur T Spiers, another former pupil and pupil teacher in the Boys’ School. He had trained as a teacher in York and they first lived in Leamington where Arthur was a head teacher. In 1899 when the head master of the Boys’ School, Arthur was appointed to the position. He was elected as a local councillor but was unable to manage money and borrowed a great deal from money lenders. As a result he was declared bankrupt and lost his job in 1907. Emma had known nothing of his financial difficulties and wrote to W.H. Foster asking for help. Arthur emigrated to Canada and Emma and their four children followed him in 1908 where they built a new life.