Littleborough Co-op in the 20th Century

The Littleborough Co-op celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a “Soiree and Jubilee Celebration” on Nov 17th 1900. Tickets were 1 shilling each for Tea and Concert and 6 pence for the Concert only.  On that day the shops closed early at 2:30 pm instead of 7:00 pm. By then, Annual sales had grown to £44,000. The fountain in Hare Hill Park marks the Golden Jubilee Celebrations and was donated by the Littleborough Co-operative Society to Littleborough Urban District Council at a cost of £170 and completed by 1903

1901 - Coal bagging commenced

1902 - Co-op issued metallic checks (a form of currency related to Divi or Dividend)

1904 -Took over the failing Dearnley and Featherstall Society

1906 - Bakery, Staples and Central Hall opened. The 400 seat Co-operative Hall on Barehill street was opened at a cost £775 7s 6d. Popular local venue, an from 1923:- “The Terpsichorean Trio will hold a Select Dance in the Co-operative Hall, Bare Hill St Littleborough on Tuesday Oct 23 1923 7 to 11.

Music by Haigh’s Orchestra, efficient MC in attendance. Admission 2/6. The dances included Waltz, Valeta, Fox Trott, Balloon Dance”

1910 - an exhibition of Co-operative Products was held in the Kings Hall to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee.

1910 - Sales had been steadily increasing for 13 years and for 1910 were £75,000 with a membership of 2,169.

 The auditors of the time reported that “It is our privilege to audit the accounts of a large number of Co-operative Societies in the north of England every year, but in no single case is such excellent progress being shown as at Littleborough”   

1915 - Dairy Department opened in Victoria St, Green Fruit Department opened

1915 - Built a garage, acquired first motor vehicle

1916 - Confectionery Department, Millinery department, hats made on the premises, Tea-room moved from hall to 60 seat café on Hare Hill Road

1918 - Fish and Game Department

1920  - opened a Paint Dept

1923  - Grocery Warehouse transferred from Industry St to Peel St

Littleborough Co-operative during WW1 (1) enacted on 3rd October 1914 various conditions for their staff called up or enlisting for war service except for those who obtained a commission other than by promotion

That in communicating this decision it pointed out that as the Society was being directly affected by the war the remaining employees were expected to endeavour that the Society’s business doesn’t unduly suffer from colleagues on National Duty

Eight members of the Littleborough Co-operative Society lost their lives during the 1st World War

Decline and change


Central Co-operative Hall - now converted to apartments (left)

1912 Centre Vale Shop opened (below)

Above left - 1913 Summit Branch @ 78 Todmorden Rd Opened (located left of the shop pictured) - later extended into shop

1913 Central Premises enlarged - Tailoring Dept. Colonial Meat Shop, Boot Department (pictured)

Photographed in 1960s/70s   

by L Priestley