You Always Remember Your Co-op Number: The Amazing Rise of the People’s Own Shops
A talk by Stephen Caunce
The Co-op today is still a substantial nation-wide enterprise with many facets, but decades of decline have obscured a much longer period of astonishing success, which this talk aims to uncover. Collectively Co-ops transformed retail selling over most of the nation, and pioneered concepts like ‘own brand goods’. They aimed to give good value, and to guarantee the quality of everything they sold, which led them into widespread manufacturing and farming. In some communities, almost all eligible inhabitants joined, and the fabled quarterly ‘divi’ payments were a lifeline for many a working woman. The wider Movement also encouraged self-education, leading to involvement in local government, for men and women. Indeed women were unusually central to the Co-op’s fascinating and inspirational story.
Under current Covid guidance there is no need to book - just turn up on the day. As before, seating will be at individual tables. Please wear face coverings except when eating or drinking and maintain social distancing when moving around and we will aim to maximise ventilation in the room.
Entrance is £2 and includes tea or coffee and a biscuit served from 10.00 with the talk starting promptly at 10.30.
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