Colne Co-Op: Overview

Colne & District Co-Operative Society – Overview

The first store run on a co-operative basis in Colne appears to have begun about 1848 in what was the Chartist news room in Parliament Street.  However, this business only survived a few years and the business was taken over by a private individual, but the adventure contained the seed from which other attempts at mutual trading. A store was opened in Holmes Place in Railway Street in about 1858 and this was later moved to Parliament Street. 

A Waterside branch was opened in  1867, but this section broke away from the parent body and in 1870 the Waterside Co-operative stores was created. 

Meanwhile, the Primet Bridge area was being catered for by a co-operative society which began in Burnley Road about 1861. After one or two removals, the members, having realised the advantages gained by mutual help, decided to erect a new premises – the Co-op Primet Bridge premises was completed in 1881. Socials, reading rooms, lectures and libraries were all part of these societies’ activities.

Membership and trade increased year by year but the overlapping between the societies and the keen competition led to a “dividend war” which dispersed surplus profit which should have been used as reserves for future developments. The folly of this was eventually seen and after many meetings and much controversy, the three co-operative stores were amalgamated.   

In March 1886, the ‘Colne & District Co-operative Society Ltd’ was created by the merger of three co-operative movements (Parliament Street, Waterside and Primet Hill).  Soon after the merger, it became clear that the main building on Primet Hill was too small. In 1887, land was purchased in Church Street. The new Co-operative Hall opened for business on 17th April 1889 (now known as Shackleton Hall).

{ Credit to Elaine Watson for her research notes – saved me a considerable amount of time and enabled me to focus my efforts! Many thanks!}

A list of Co-op premises (in 1920) and their opening times are shown on the Co-op Members Calendar for 1920.

Read our other stories of the Colne & District Co-Op
Colne & District Co-Op: Albert Road (Norway House)
Colne & District Co-Op: Alkincoats Road
Colne & District Co-Op: Bakery and Abattoir
Colne & District Co-Op: Burnley Road (Branch No. 21)
Colne & District Co-Op: Harrison Drive Branch
Colne & District Co-Op: Langroyd Road Branch
Colne & District Co-Op: Primet Bridge (Branch No. 4)
Colne & District Co-Op: Ruskin Avenue (Branch No. 22)
Colne & District Co-Op: Shackleton Hall (Co-Operative Hall)

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About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.