Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
HomeBoltonFarnworthKearsleyLittle LeverHorwichWesthoughtonTurtonBlackrodMayoral InsigniaFreedom of BoltonCivic HeraldryBolton Town HallIndexLinksThanksContact Us

Helen Wright

Mayor of Bolton: 1950-51 (Labour)

Born: Tonge Moor, Bolton 29 June 1892

Died: Greenmount House, Chorley New Road, Bolton 21 April 1970

Educated: Sunning Hill Primary School; Clarence Street School; Lords Commercial Institute, Bolton

First female Mayor of Bolton.

Daughter of dedicated Socialists Robert and Ruth Mearns, she was the oldest of ten children.

At three years old she refused to attend nursery classes in a gas lit basement at Sunning Hill School, "It was" she said, "clearly a cellar not a classroom." She later saw this room converted to a bright nursery during her days on the Council.

National organizer for the Independent Labour Party 1915.

Labour Party Women's organizer in Blackburn during the 1919 'Khaki Election' - the first in which women had the vote.

Worked with and helped miners' wives and children during the General Strike 1926.

Represented West Ward 1929-68. Alderman 1945.

During the first 21 years of Council Membership she attended 3600 meetings.

Sat on six Council Committees and was Chairman of the Education Committee, gaining national repute during this time.

Senior Labour Party Whip and Leader of the Labour group on Bolton Council.

She undertook extensive welfare work amongst the 1600 refugees from the occupied Channel Islands billeted in Bolton during the Second World War. Many of these people attended her Mayoral Inauguration.

She was Mayor during the visit to Bolton of Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in 1950.

She described the last (and possibly muddiest) Royal Lancashire Show to be held in Bolton - off Smithills Dean Road in August 1950 - as "the outstanding event of the year in Bolton."

Borough Magistrate 1940.

Created Honorary Alderman on 31 May 1968.

Member of Health Executive Council and Bolton and District Hospital Management Committee.

She was involved in setting up '3 Base' schools in Bolton - an experiment which was very successful for a time. It brought together on one campus Grammar, Technical and Secondary Education.

Chairman of Governors at two schools and Governor at a further three schools.

Founded the local Holiday Fellowship branch.

Became the first Honorary Woman Member of the Rotary Club in 1950.

Her daughter, Sheila Wright, was Mayoress.


Click for larger image Formal portrait of Helen Wright as Mayor of Bolton.

Click for larger image
Helen WrightClick for larger image

The names of the Mayors of Bolton from 1941 to 1974 are recorded on the reverse of the County Borough badge

Click for larger image


Heritage Lottery Fund Logo
Arms of Bolton Metropolitan Borough
Bolton Council
colour band