Sophia Sturge and the Connemara Basket Industry in Letterfrack 1888-1905 by Sophia Sturge and the Connemara Basket Industry in Letterfrack 1888-1905
Joan, nee Willoughby, was born in Dublin, where she attended Wesley College. She now lives in Waterford, but along with her husband (both retired) spends as much time as possible in their family cottage on Errislannan.
This book tells the story of Sophia Sturge’s Connemara Basket Industry in Letterfrack, Co. Galway, which operated from 1888 until 1905. While travelling in 1887 Sophia had personally seen the poverty and destitution in the west of Ireland after the Great Famine and consequently wished to respond directly in some useful way. She decided that to bring training and employment to younger women and men would be most beneficial, so that is what she did,by teaching basket-making. This book tells the ‘why what and how’ of Sophia Sturge making her momentous decision to come from Birmingham to Letterfrack in 1888 and what she achieved.