History of the Meltham Industrial Co-operative Trading Society Limited (1911) by Allen Haigh

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JUBILEE 1861-1911.



Meltham Industrial Co- operative Trading Society Ltd.



MANCHESTER : Co-operative Wholesale Society's Printing Works, Longsight.


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N the compiling of this brief history it has been my l endeavour to record as vividly as possible every event as it has taken place from time to time during the Society's advancement and progress. - My aim has also been to make it interesting to every member of the Society, both young and old-to the old in the hope that as they read they will be filled with pride that their early efforts have been crowned with success; to the young in the hope that they will be stimulated to take a deep interest in the future welfare of the Society, and that they will be prompted to study the principles and ideals of the Co-operative movement, which, if applied and carried out in their true meaning, will educate and uplift the people and tend to a more equitable distribution of the nation's wealth. No records of the first twenty years of the Society's existence being obtainable, I have been entirely dependent upon many of the older members of the Society for my information. I now take this opportunity of thanking one and all who have so kindly helped and imparted to me their knowledge of the early history of the Society.

A. H.

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Chapter. I. Firtvy YEars Aco ..

II. Formation or a .. III. First DEcapE or THE SOCIETY s Progress . .. IV. Progress or tHE SociETY CONTINUED—1871 To 1881.. V. 1881 to 18gr .. .. .. .. .. VI. 1891 TO Igor .. .. .. .k ee eke ae VII. igor to fgrIt .. .. .. Jusicee CELEBRATIONS ..


A. Harcx, GEnERAL ManacgERr anp WaritER or History .. Orp StoRE PrEsENT STORE .. VETERAN Past OrFicERS Past OrFicERS Past OrFiCERS 200. COMMITTEE AND SECRETARY

EMPLOYEES .. .. ol. clk oak ek ke kk +k kk EnmprovEEs .. .. kaka kk kk k kkk nk ee MErTtHAM Town HALL \.. .. .. ll lk lk ek ek kk

CaRLILE INSTITUTE . MertHam Parise CHurcH MEertHam WEsLEvan CHAPEL MEctHAM BAPTIST CHAPEL =.. .. .. l. kk ek ee +> CHurcH MertHam Mirus HeEcrmz CuurcH .. .. ..


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i . HAIGH, 1 General Manager. )

Pe ye / is J

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Firry YEars Aco.

ITUATED amidst the moorland and nestling cosily S beneath the hills, which form a portion of the Pen- nine Range, is to be seen the village of Meltham. The aspect presented from the high hills, " which bear evidence of druidical habitation, and traces of the Roman camp and forum," is of such rare beauty that we do not wonder that this village has attributed to it such appella- tions as the " Honey Hamlet " and the " Happy Valley."

Fifty years ago, the time from which our history dates, its inhabitants showed such signs of prosperity and happiness as were unknown at this period to the workers in our large cities and towns. - Trade was good, work was plentiful, and good wages were earned by the workpeople.

The principal industries were the manufacture of woollen cloths, cotton threads, silk spinning, and the spinning of cotton and woollen yarns, also a minor industry of the manufacturing of sweets, employing a number of hands. - The manufacture of woollen cloth was carried on by Mr. Joseph Hirst, Wilshaw Mills; cotton threads by Messrs. Jonas Brook & Bros., Meltham Mills; silks by Mr. Charles Brook, Bent Ley Silk Mills; cotton and woollen yarns by Messrs. Ainley & Taylor, Messrs. Goodey & Gordon, Mr. A. T. Woodhead, and Mr. James Ramsden. The woollen cloths produced at the Wilshaw Mills, known in the manufacturing world as " Turins," " Seftons," " Leopolds," " Liverpools," &e., were of such excellent quality and finish as to make them famous throughout England and many other parts of the world. The cotton threads produced by Messrs. Jonas Brook & Bros. also gained a world-wide reputation, and were used in almost every household. The demand for silks,

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6 Co-operation in M Itham.

cotton and woollen yarns, &c., produced from the other mills was such as to keep them running regular time, and very often overtime. This prosperous state of affairs, combined with the good feeling existing between masters and workers, also the excellent conditions under which they worked and the wages paid, accounted for the prevailing happiness of the people throughout the village. This was the pre-railroad period, there being no communication by rail nearer than Honley on the one side and Slaithwaite on the other. This necessitated the coal and raw materials required for the running of the mills, and goods required for consumption, having to be carted chiefly from these places, a good deal of the coal used by householders being brought into the village by vendors direct from the pits.

A service of omnibuses ran to and from Huddersfield, the nearest town, twice daily, one starting from the Rose and Crown Hotel and one from the Swan Inn. - The mails were also delivered and despatched by mail cart. It was eight years after this that railway communication was opened out, the first sod being turned by C. Brook, jun., Esq., on April 4th, 1864, and the railway opened for goods and passenger traffic on August 1oth, 1869 The population of the village at this time would reach about 4,000. The administering body representing the people and carrying out the work required in the good government of the village, was then called the Local Board, and was composed chiefly of the leading gentry residing in the village, and who took a deep interest in their work. The deliberations of this Board took place in a building occupied by them at Dry Well, situate where we now call the bottom of the town, on the site now built upon by Mr. Fred Earnshaw. They afterwards occupied rooms belonging to the Co-operative Society over the present Drapery Department, and at a later period held their meetings in the room now used as the Society's Boot Repairing Department. The religious and secular education of the people was not entirely neglected, religious instruction being taught

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Co-operation in Meltham. 7

at the Church and Wesleyan Schools. Secular education was taught in the day school belonging to the Wesleyans, the headmaster being Mr. Samuel Coldwell, also at the Public Subscription Schools, then occupying the place of the present Conservative Association, the headmaster being Mr. Thomas Henry Lawford. These two masters were advanced educationalists for their day, both learned men and strict disciplinarians, their tuition being the means of turning out many scholars who are to-day occupying high positions in the business world and other spheres of life, Mr. Lawford later opening a private school named " The Pan Villa Academy," which was renowned as a seat of learning, students from far and near seeking to gain admission. Many successful men of to-day can trace their success to the tuition received at this academy.

With regard to the lighting of the village, it can be said that Meltham was not behind the times, gasworks being erected at the place and forming a portion of the gasworks of to-day. An adequate supply of gas was made at these works, quite equal to the demand and consumption. They were not as they are to-day, the property of the ratepayers, but were carried on by private enterprise. Of the water supply we relate a different story. Water was a luxury, and valued. - There was no reserve, and the inhabitants were entirely dependent on the springs and wells for their supply, and many had it to carry great distances, and it is said that during seasons of great drought many times the people have stayed up all night to secure sufficient water for the following day's wash. _ How different from to-day, when all the inhabitants have their own supply ! The principal tradesmen carrying on the grocery business were Mr. Henry Brook, Mr. John Earnshaw, Mr. Walter Varley, and Mr. James Butterworth, and the principal butchers were Mr. Reuben Redfearn, Mr. John Bray, Mr. John Scott, and Mr. George Whittaker.

The social life of the majority of the people was of a simple and primeval kind. Living in a pure and healthy

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8 Co-operation in Meltham.

atmosphere, their bodies and minds were naturally pure and healthy. Far away from the " madding crowd " of town and city, they lived their lives in peace and contentment.

Such were the prevailing conditions in this small village at the dawn of an era hitherto unparalleled in the history of our country for advancement and progress. _ This coming age of discovery and invention which was to com- pletely revolutionise the world of science and industry, also ushered in great philanthropic and industrial movements, which were to bestow incalculable benefits upon the working classes, and to entirely change and uplift their mode of life.

The great principles of combined effort and self-help, which we call the Co-operative movement, had become known throughout the land. Robert Owen, the founder of the movement, and George Jacob Holyoake the veteran leader, had preached the gospel of Co-operation in almost every part of the country. _ It had been tried and failed, but it was not doomed to failure.

The Rochdale Pioneers, in the year 1844, opened a Store on a basis that met with such great success that from this time failure was practically unknown. Its principles were preached and Co-operative Stores established in every town and village. The leading men of thought in Meltham were alive to what was taking place in the outside world, and many were the discussions which took place as to whether a Store should be formed, and eventually, in the year 1861, it was concluded that a Co-operative Society should be established.

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T was at the Royd Edge Mill, owned by Joseph Hirst, Esq., J.P., fancy woollen manufacturer, mentioned in the previous chapter, where the initiative meeting was held. Mr. Hirst was a man who took a deep interest in the welfare of his workpeople. _ He was a generous employer. He fostered and assisted any movement on the part of the men which made for their betterment and tended to uplift them mentally, morally, or financially. It came to his notice that it was the desire of the men in his employ that a Co-operative Society should be formed. He was at once interested in their desires, and called a few of his foremen together. - Having discussed the matter with them he gave them instructions to call a meeting of the whole of the workmen.

These instructions were carried out and a meeting was held. Mr. Charles Brook Hirst, father of Mr. Jonas Brook Hirst, who is a notable and highly respected citizen in the village at the present time, was voted to the chair. Matters relating to the formation and carrying on of a Co-operative Society were discussed freely and from every point of view, and a resolution was proposed, seconded, and carried with great enthusiasm that a Co-operative Society be formed and established in the village of Meltham. Forty names of persons desirous of joining the Society were handed in at that meeting. The success attending the meeting augured well for the future welfare of the Society. The following officials were appointed to carry out the constructive work required preparatory to commencing business:-President, Mr. John Crosland Hirst; Secre- tary, Mr. Joseph Hirst (Mr. Thomas Dearnley acting as

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1O Co-operation in Meltham.

Secretary for first quarter only); Treasurer, Mr. William Haigh; Committee, Messrs. Charles Brook Hirst, Abm. Woodhead, Thomas Dearnley, George Wood, George Pogson, and John Allen Wood. Mr. J. C. Hirst (President) was. father to Mr. William Hirst, who is at the present time Secretary to the Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society, Slaithwaite.

The construction of rules, acquiring of share and loan capital, selecting of premises suitable for carrying on the business, supervising alterations, and attending to all the requirements of a Society in its initial stages were carried out by these men with great zeal and determination. A good response was made to the appeal for share and loan capital. One gentleman, Mr. Joseph Hartley, who took a deep interest in the venture, proffered the loan of £200, this loan being negotiated on a promissory note, of which the following is an exact copy :-

Meltham, July 26th, 1861. £200, We jointly and severally promise to pay Mr. Joseph Hartley on demand, two hundred pounds, with int. thereon after the rate of five per cent per annum, value received. Chas. Brook Hirst, William Haigh, Joseph Hirst, Abm. Woodhead, John Crosland Hirst, Thomas Dearnley, George Wood, George Pogson, John Allen Wood.

Suitable premises for business operations were met with at the bottom of the village, at the place occupied at the present time by Mr. J. H. Preston, painter and paper- hanger, and formerly the old-established firm of Messrs. Joseph Preston & Sons. _ Numerous alterations were required to make them adequate for carrying on a grocery business. When these were completed, Mr. Townend, who had been appointed as first Manager, was deputed, along with Mr. George Wood (Committee-man), to go to Manchester to purchase all the necessary internal fittings.

In the month of July, 1861, all was in readiness for the transaction of business, and on the 27th day the Meltham Industrial Co-operative Society Limited, trading in the name of Messrs. William Haigh & Co., opened their

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12 Co-operation in Meltham.

premises to the members and the general public. There was no display, no demonstration. Like the old Pioneers, when opening their shop in Toad Lane, Rochdale, the opening ceremony was simply a taking down of the shutters.

An innovation of this kind was not likely to be passed over without, at least, if not open hostility, criticism and comment, and also prophecy as to the Society's future fate, many of its supporters having their misgivings, and its enemies prophesying its failure at no distant date. These prophecies, however, proved false, and to-day, through the strenuous efforts of men true to their principles, we see a flourishing and prosperous Society, financially strong, and a credit to the Co-operative movement.

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First DEcap® or tur SociEty's ProgRESS.

THERE is evidence to show that the ideals of the early Pioneers of the Co-operative movement in Meltham were not confined solely to the making of profit and dividend. In its very earliest stages the comfort and convenience of the members were considered, a well-known character named John Haigh, popularly known as " Owd Jack Haigh," being engaged, by the aid of his donkey and cart, to carry goods to the customers' houses. Also on the first quarterly report the objects of the Society were proclaimed in the following terms :-

The objects of this SOCIeLy are the social, domestic, and intellectual advancement of its members, by social lutercourse inducing habits of economy, forethought and thrift, thereby enabling them to provide for bad time of trade, old age, 'incidents of life, sickness, and death. It proposes to provide its members and the public generally with groceries, provisions, drapery, and other necessary articles, the profits w hereof will be divided amongst them quarterly in proportlon to the amount of their respective purchases, namely, members, full profits; non-members, half profits.

Ferrow-TownsitEX,-It is to your interest to join this Society. Make the most of your necessary outlay, by obtaining dividend of profits on your purchases, which, by permitting to remain a few years in the Society, will produce you a capital over which you have as full control as if deposited in a savings bank, and to which interest after the rate of 5 per cent per annum will be added quarterly.

From an onlooker's point of view, the business from its commencement showed signs of prosperity, which continued throughout the whole of the first quarter. But to those upon whom the responsibility of good management rested, many an incident happened and many a difficulty arose, which were the cause for grave

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14 Co-operation in Meltham.

anxiety, and at the close of the quarter's transactions the results were awaited by them with a little timidity and alarm.

The first quarter's balance sheet was issued on October 3Ist, 1861. The Committee's report read as follows:-

Meltham, October 31st, 1861. Your Committee have great pleasure in issuing their First Report and Statement of Accounts of the Society, which they trust will be highly satisfactory to you-the purchasers and public generally. During the past quarter, {733. os. 9d. has been received from the sale of goods, the profits arising from such sales being £59. 8s. 6d. Your Committee are, therefore, enabled to declare a dividend of 1s. 8d. in the { on purchases to members; and a bonus of tod. in the £ to non-members, being purchasers. The appeals of your Committee for capital to enable them effectively and advantageously to extend the operations of the Society, have been well responded to. They would, however, take this opportunity of informing you that much yet remains to be accomplished before the whole machinery of the Society is in full operation, and, with your assistance, they feel convinced that their efforts will be crowned with success, and be highly beneficial to the members, the purchasers, and the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

Signed on behalf of the Committee, J. C. Hirst, President. THos. DEARNLEY, Secretary.

On the following page is a copy of the general state- ment of

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General Statement for the First Quarter ending October 28th, 1861. CASH ACCOUNT


1861. REcEipts.

To Cash Receipts for Goods ........... ,, Members' Contributions ......

Loans ......

1861. To


LiasILITIES. Members' Claims Dividend on Paid-up Shares .... Loan and Interest . Rent ....



Accounts Owing 222.

[1204 15


Oct. 28th, 1861.


Cash Purchases Goods ...... .. Fixed Stock ............... seve M Carriage of Goods Gas l...... Rent of Store ....................... Wages and Services Rendered . \V1thdra“ als-One .. TLiC@NC@S Printing and Stationery .... Balance in Treasurer's hands .


£ 297


6 15

1861. AssETS.

By Stock of Goods ................. kk.

, Fixed Stock, less 2$ per cent dls Accounts Recelvable. rere e. Cash in Treasurer's hands ..........


w nom < o o H HoH


n w


, H


< +moiwu o oo | o

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a To Dividend of 20d. in the £ on Mem- T bers' Purchases ........... 22222. 49 ,, Non-members' half ,, Half do. to Fixed Stock Account . ,, Reserve Fund


Oct. 28th, 1861.


2 6




Har . Hal itlaiiaMe)


By Profit Balance -

rg mg in

wi a

Jouxn Hirst, } hl Joseru Hirst, Auditors.

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“u‘mxhw—u- bec

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18 Co-operation in Meltham.

The first quarter thus ended with a membership of 86, with share and loan capital amounting to £500. The results achieved were hailed by the members with satisfaction. All fear and anxiety was dispelled, and the Society entered on its second quarter buoyant and hopeful. From this time onward, quarter after quarter, the Committee's reports showed increases in membership and increased sales, the profits realised allowing dividends fluctuating from Is. 3d. to 2s. in the £

With one exception (the quarter ending September 19th, 1863) the dividend realised only 11d. in the £. In explanation of this the Committee gave the following statement :- The Ninth Report is not quite so favourable as some of the preceding ones, partly owing to the extensive alterations made on the premises, but your Committee are happy to state that the report for the last quarter is equal to or exceeds some of the ormer. From the report you will perceive that the Society is gradually provrcssmfl

They also congratulated the members on their

splendid achievements and appealed to them for continued support.

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Oct. 28th. To Balance Brought Forward .......... Error in eee kk. Rm d from Wilshaw Penny Bank W 00d“ ard and Sons . N cmbc rs' Contributions . Shop


By Cash Paid for Goods..............}}. , Additions to Fixed Stock............ , Carriage ,, Rent. | , Gas I , Insurance . . ‘ , Printing and Stationery ...... , Shop \Vage> ............................ 5 ,, Sundry Expenses ...... Balance in hand =...... }.

mo ; co - o in

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Inco & o e] &


£766 10 1}


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o ninin o in in a HoH H IN In O shel H. en How



Dec. 24th, 1861. To Members' Claims, with Interest Loans, with Interest.. Interest on ditto ..... Accounts OWING e}. (GAS e eee reer eee eee ekke k kkk k++ .




T w se

| Dec. 24th, 1861. |__ By Stock of Goods Accounts due ..



mek O Nk H al H O op H


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was w- - mn Hoo ol in a N20; \

4764 4 11%

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To Dividend on Members' Purchases, £528. 168. 1d. at IS. ,, Non-members, half on £40. I A B§Q. 2222222000000 eee reer ,, Gain by ditto ,, Reserved Fund



s. d.

~armiar--4 ot HoH Hom o _ so so

o o

By Balance-Gain......


CHaries Hirst.

f41 10

} Auditors.

1 I3

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Co-operation in Meltham. 21

Mr. Wm. Haigh, who was first Treasurer to the Society, and who held the position for sixteen years, visited the present Stores very frequently in his latter years, and, on getting into conversation with him, he would revel in telling what they had to contend with in the early history of the Society. He told of how, at the end of one stocktaking, they balanced up and found there was no profit, so they had to go through the stocks again, and, fortunately, they found a quantity of tea which had been overlooked, and which enabled them to pay a dividend. At another quarter ending they realised a dividend, but they had no money in hand to pay with, and he had to borrow the money to get them out of the difficulty.

During the quarter ending June, 1865, the Society sustained a loss by the death of Mr. George Pogson, who had been a very efficient member of the Committee from its commencement. At the latter part of the year 1865 butcher's meat had reached an abnormal price, and the Committee had it under consideration as to the advisability of commencing this branch of business. The result was that a wooden shop was built on what is called Bower Hill, and was opened out for the sale of this commodity in the January of 1866, the first Manager appointed being Mr. Isaac Wilkinson (Huddersfield). In the June report of the same year appeared the following statement :- In the month of January the Society commenced the business of selling butcher's meat. Considering the high value of cattle, a more unfavourable period could not have been chosen. The price of meat has undoubtedly been high, but it is very probable it would have been much higher in this neighbourhood had we not commenced this branch of business, and your Committee are wishful that the members will encourage it as much as possible. The business done in this department has been £887. 11s. rod., leaving a handsome balance.

The year 1866 was a notable one for progress and the commencing of new branches of business. At the latter part of the year the Society commenced to supply its members with coal, which was a great boon to them, and eventually proved a profitable and successful department.

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22 Co-operation in Meltham.

At the close of the half year ending June 22nd, 1867, the membership had grown to 270, and the increased sales to close upon £5,000 for the six months. - This volume of trade necessitated the Committee looking out for a site on which to build enlarged and commodious premises in order to cope with the ever-increasing trade, the present Store having become too congested and quite inadequate for the business done.

Having had several places under consideration they at length selected the site now occupied by the present Stores, at that time a small farmstead occupied by Mr. John Siddall, the ground landlord being Mr. Charles Brook (Enderby). The Committee commenced negoti- ations with Mr. Brook with a view to purchasing sufficient ground for their requirements. _ Unfortunately, they were not at first successful, some difficulty arising of such a nature that Mr. Brook closed the negotiations and would not have any further dealings with them. Nothing daunted by this rebuff, they again requisitioned the services of Mr. Hirst (Wilshaw) to intervene on their behalf. He readily consented, was successful in bringing Mr. Brook to terms, and 1,040 square yards of ground were purchased for the sum of £466. 12s., the transfer taking place on December 7th, 1867.

Judging from the report of June 20th, 1868, one would conclude that the Committee of Management were rigidly upright, and not possessed with the slightest taint of dishonesty or equivocation. - It reads thus:-

Reports, in order to be of real use, must be faithful. Exaggerated accounts of the success of any Society will in the end render it contemptible. The practice adopted by some companies of cooking or preparing their reports has been highly pernicious. Whatever may be the occasion of the report, the best course is to give a straightforward, honest account. Whether successful or unsuccessful, let the truth be stated. With regard to the report we here present respecting our Society, it will be plain and short, and, we trust, satisfactory.

Immediately after the purchase of ground building operations were commenced, and were at this time

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Wm. Robinson. Sykes Woodhouse. Allen Haigh. Jonas B. Hirst. Joseph Taylor. VETERAN MEMBERS.

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24 Co-operation in Meltham.

progressing very favourably and drawing near to the completion. - In this same report appears the following:-

NEw PremisEs. In our last report we stated that " a very eligible site has been secured at a reasonable price, and steps are being taken for the erection of the new building as soon as possible; and your Committee are now happy to state that it is nearly completed. Everyone will admit that while it will afford ample accommoda- tion for carrying on a very extensive business, it will be an ornament to the village and a credit to the architect, and ere long your Committee are in hopes of transferring the business to your new premises. By the end of December, 1868, the membership had reached to 299 and the total sales to £6,432. _ The divi- dend declared was 2s. in the £ on grocery and drapery sales and ts. in the £ on corn sales.

February 4th, 1869, was a red-letter day in the Society's history. - The new premises were completed, and this was the opening day. _ Although there was no opening ceremony or any outward sign to indicate to the general public that a great event was taking place, to the members generally it was a memorable day, and one that would ever be remembered by them as showing the great progress which was being made by their own exertion and their own efforts. These new buildings occupied a frontage of 66 feet and were two storeys high. To the front on the ground floor were the Grocery, Drapery, and Butchering Departments, the Grocery and Drapery Departments occupying the space which is now the Grocery Department only. The upper rooms were used for boots, drapery stocks, crockery, and furnishing, Office, and Committee-room. The large barn and farm premises at the back were converted into flour room and general warehouses.

The building of these extensive and what, at that time, were thought elaborate, premises, did not meet with the approval of a certain section of the members, and many were the murmurings and railings at the Committee for having overbuilt, and the prophecy was made that they

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Co-operation in Meltham. 25

would be large enough for all time. These people never dreamt for a moment that in a little over twenty years' time further elaborate extensions would have to be made. It was during the half year ending June, 1870, that the system of paying for drapery goods was instituted. The effect of this system on the receipts for goods sold brought forth the following explanation :- We have had no material increase in the members, and, as you will perceive that our receipts are less than the previous half year, it is not owing to loss of business, but to the facilities which have been allowed to the Drapery Department by the adoption for some time of the system of paying by weekly instalments, “hlch if cash had been paid fortnightly, as heretofore, there w ould t have been much difference. We would partlcularly impress upon the members not to take undue advantage of this privilege, as by the extended time given the Society loses the interest of the money for that perlod which would amount to no small sum in twelve months' It was also during this half year that arrangements were made for the depreciation of buildings by allowing {10 per annum for that purpose. During the half year ending December, 1871, which closed the first decade of the Society's existence, there had been a change in the Butchering Department, Mr. W. Kaye having been appointed Manager in the place of Mr. Isaac Wilkinson. _ The membership had reached to 307, and the sales to £5,603. 4s. 11d. The following is a tabulated statement of the number of members, receipts, and profits from 1861 to 1871 :- MEusers. Receipts. £ £


1348 ... TOI 4181 ... 278 5434 ._. 350 5356 .. 412 6400 ... 540 8210 _... 667 10080 ... 742 10523 ... 791 10618 _... 761 10439 ... 710

10759 ... 829

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26 Co-operation in Meltham.

This table shows the aggregate receipts for the ten years and the five months ending December, 1871, to be £83,354, and the profits £6,181, this amount having been distributed to the purchasers less £90. tos. 2d. for reserve fund.

The Committee state that the Stores have always supplied goods at reasonable prices, as cheaply as they could be procured elsewhere in the neighbourhood, so that it will not be presumption on our part in saying that the profits, if it had not been for the Co-operative movement, would have been in the hands of a few tradespeople, and the purchasers would have suffered that loss. We there- fore wish you to use your influence to procure other members, as it will be to your interest, for the more members there are the working expenses will be less proportionately, and the profits will be increased accordingly. At the close of the year 1871 the officials were as Mr. J. C. Hirst ; Secretary, Mr. Joseph Hirst; Treasurer, Mr. William Haigh; Committee, Messrs. J. Earnshaw, J. A. Wood, A. Woodhead, David Bottomley, H. Wood, Alfred Kinder, Abraham Broadbent, and David Patterson. Messrs. J. C. Hirst, Joseph Hirst, William Haigh, and J. A. Wood had served the Society for the whole ten years.

The following gentlemen had served in the capacity of Auditors:-July to October, 1861, Messrs. John Hirst and Joseph Hirst; 1861 to 1866, Messrs. Samuel Coldwell and Charles Hirst; 1866 to 1867, Messrs. Samuel Coldwell and William Hirst; 1867 to 1869, Messrs. Samuel Coldwell and Henry Hirst; 1869 to 1870, Messrs. Samuel Coldwell and William Carter; 1870 to 1871, Messrs. William Carter and Thomas M. Dyson. We find at the close of ten years that the Society had justified its existence. By strenuous effort its establish- ment had become sound and secure. - From its inception we read of steady and sure progress, until it had become the largest business place in the village. - Quarter after quarter profits had been realised and distributed to the members, which were appreciated by all, but more

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Co-operation in M »Itham. 27

especially by the poor and needy members, enabling them to be better fed and better clad. By joining the Society they had become more thrifty, and in many respects better citizens. They had learnt that unity is strength and that knowledge is power, and were putting their knowledge to good use as opportunities presented them- selves. - Thus we find, at the end of a decade, the Society was answering the purpose for which it was established.

The management of the Society had been under the control of Mr. Townend, Mr. Joseph Lees, and Mr. Hamer Hirst-Mr. Townend for about one year, Mr. Joseph Lees for about three and a half years, and Mr. Hamer Hirst five and a half years, and was still Manager at this time. The Butchering Department had been under the manage- ment of Mr. Isaac Wilkinson and Mr. Willie Kaye.

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ProcrEss or tHE SociEty CoNTINUED-I87#1 to 1881.

N January 27th, 1872, an interesting event took place, which stands out unique in the whole history of the Society, nothing of the same character having occurred either before or since. - Mr. John C. Hirst had completed ten years' service as President of the Society. He had ungrudgingly devoted his time and worked with great zeal in the interests of the Society and the members generally. In recognition of these valued services the members subscribed for, and presented Mr. Hirst with, a valuable timepiece, which bore the following inscription :- Presented to Mr. John C. Hirst by the members of the Meltham Co-operative Trading Society, as a mark of esteem for his untiring exertions as President during a period of ten years.-Meltham, January 27th, 1872. No other event of importance took place during this year. Steady progress continued to be made, and the December report showed the membership to have reached 328. The sales had increased to £12,218. Is. 9d., which averaged £13 per member for the half year, the dividends 2s. 3d. per £ on grocery and drapery sales, and Is. 4d. per £1 on corn sales.

From the year 1872 to 1879 there is nothing on record to show, with the exception of increased membership, what took place during that period. It would be about the year 1875 that Mr. John C. Hirst retired from the presidency, and Mr. Joseph Hirst ceased to be Secretary. It would also be about this time that Mr. John A. Wood retired from the Committee, and a little later Mr. William Haigh gave up the office of Treasurer. With the retire- ment of these gentlemen none of the original officials remained ; others had been appointed to carry on the work,

Page 31

Joseph Parkin. Hy. Patterson. Walter Buckley. James Holroyd. John W. Kinder. Sam Ellis. Wm. Lynn. A. Quarmby. Benj. Sykes. Joel Pogson. Thomas Hirst. John Taylor. Wm. Pogson. PAST OFFICERS.

Page 32

30 Co-operation in Meltham.

with its ever-increasing responsibilities, and, in perusing the balance sheet for the half year ending December, 1879, we find that a new order of things had been instituted.

We cannot pass on without a word of praise and admiration for the men who had for so long a period sacrificed their time and labours for the benefit of the Society and their fellow-men. We, who to-day are to a certain extent reaping the benefit of their labours, owe to them a debt of gratitude, and we hope that in future years whilst resting upon their laurels they would partially, at any rate, be recompensed by seeing the Society grow and flourish.

In the December balance sheet, 1879, we find that the Society had become a member of the Co-operative Whole- sale Society, and had invested there £200 of share capital. This Society commenced business in 1864 as the North of England Co-operative Wholesale Industrial and Provident Society Limited, with offices at 3, Cooper Street, Man- chester, and was established as a wholesale purchasing centre for the whole of the Retail Societies in the United Kingdom who wished to join. There is no need to state here that this investment proved a profitable one.

On October 27th, 1879, it was decided to subscribe two guineas to the Central Co-operative Board. This Board came into existence for the purpose of carrying on the educational and propaganda work of the whole movement, and to give legal advice to all Societies when required. At the Half-yearly Meeting held on July 7th, 1879, it was decided to subscribe three guineas annually to the Huddersfield Infirmary. It was also on January 6th of this year that a half-day holiday was instituted, a resolu- tion being passed that the Stores be closed at 12 o'clock noon on Wednesdays until further notice. Also at this meeting, which was a Half-yearly General Meeting, the following arbitrators were appointed :-Messrs. T. Haigh, J. Kilburn, and D. A. Bamford.

Page 33

Co-operation in Meltham. 3T

The Committee at this time were as follows:-President, Mr. John Wilkinson; Secretary, Mr. Thomas Hirst; Treasurer, Mr. Charles Hirst; Committee, Messrs. Charles Pogson, David Patterson, Ben Sykes, James Hirst, Wright Thorpe, Walter Buckley, Dan Holroyd, and John Broad- head. - The membership had increased to 525, the sales to £20,400, and by some manipulation in the adjusting of profits the dividend had gone up to 4s. per £ on grocery and drapery and Is. tod. per £ on corn and coal sales.

It was during this year (1879) that Mr. Hamer Hirst, who had been Manager for about fourteen years, retired, and Mr. Joe Haigh, who had been assistant for eight years, was appointed as his successor. - Mr. Hirst had proved a good Manager, and had done excellent work for the Society, which was much appreciated by the members generally. A regrettable circumstance occurred on February 10th, 1880, in the death of Mr. John A. Wood (Greenbottom). As mentioned previously, this gentleman had served in the capacity of Committee-man for close upon fifteen years. He had been an ardent and sincere worker, and the Society lost a valued supporter. He was one of the forty members who joined the Society at the initiative meeting held at Royd Edge Mills in 1861, and his widow, Mrs. Ann Wood, Carlile Terrace, still retains the member- ship. She is a most loyal member, and we hope she will be spared to take part in the Jubilee celebrations.

Co-operation in production was at this time only in its infancy. Many productive works had been commenced in various parts of the country, but had failed through lack of capital and mismanagement. - Much attention was being given to this side of the movement by the Committee and many of the members. At the General Meeting held in the Oddfellows' Hall on January 5th, 1880, it was moved by Mr. Benjamin Brown, and seconded by Mr. Jonathan Woodhouse, " That this Society join the Sowerby Bridge Flour Society." This motion was carried, and £25 of share capital was forwarded. This venture, again, proved to be a good investment.

Page 34

32 Co-operation in Meltham.

It would appear from a resolution passed at the General Meeting held on July 5th, 1880, that some agita- tion was taking place relating to the imposition of the income tax upon Co-operative Societies. The motion, which was moved by Mr. W. Garnett, and seconded by Mr. Samuel Coldwell, read thus :-

That a Special General Meeting be called when necessary to decide as to what shall be done respecting the new Income Tax

A resolution passed on December 6th: "That James W. Taylor load no more coal for the Society without the Com- mittee's authority," brings to remembrance a well-known character, more familiarly known as " Jim o' Abb's," cab proprietor and general carrier. - He was a distinct person- ality and of genial disposition, quaint in his remarks, and a ready wit which made him notorious with both young and old. - Unfortunately, fourteen years after this, he was one of those injured in the Sefton Mill disaster, which occurred on November 8th, 1894. The injuries he received were of such a severe nature that he never recovered from them.

The introduction of the Co-operative News to the members of the Society took place on Saturday, March 26th, it being decided to purchase twenty copies for that week and twenty copies weekly until further notice.

Since the opening of the new premises in 1869 the only means of acquiring warmth had been by having stoves in the different departments. _ This method was quite inadequate, and, as the winter months of 1881 were approaching, the question of warming the whole of the premises by more modern methods occupied the attention of the Committee, and on October 10th it was decided that a warming apparatus be put into the Stores immediately. Tenders were asked for from different firms, and Messrs. W. & S. Thornton (Huddersfield) were successful in getting the work of fixing the apparatus in a satisfactory manner and in accordance with the plans and specifica- tions for the sum of £49. tos. - Before the end of December

Page 35

J. W. Kenworthy. J. M. Kinder Tom Sharp. _ John Hy. Pogson. F. Richardson. Charles Firth. R. Wood. N. Armitage. Joe Haigh. John Wilkinson. Hy. Holroyd. G. W. Redfearn John Pogson. PAST OFFICERS.

Page 36

34 Co-operation in Meltham.

the work was completed, and the half-yearly report of December 1oth referring to it says-

Considerable expense has been incurred in the new warming apparatus, which renders the Stores more comfortable, and at the same time will ensure a better preservation of the stocks.

This brings us to the close of the first twenty years of the Society's existence. _ With the exception of the Butchering Department, success had attended the whole operations of the Society from its commencement. Whether from mismanagement or some other cause, the butchering business was abandoned about the year 1875. Happily this failure had no deterrent effect upon the other branches of business, special mention being made in the Committee's report to the Coal Department, and thanking the members for their loyalty, 888 tons of coal having been sold during the six months to not quite 400 members. The sales for the six months ending December, 1881, had reached the sum of £13,964, the membership was 606, dividend 4s. and 2s. 2d., members' claims £5,820, and reserve fund £650. The following table shows the progress of the Society for the ten


1872 ge7 .. 12218 1873 352 ... 14007 1874 383 ... 15519 1875 394 -> 15424 1876 426 ... 16603 1877 454 .. 18250 1878 481 ... 20609 1879 525 .. 20442 1880 559 .. 23755 1881 606 ... 25415


Joun C. Hirst 1871 to 1873. DAVID eee eee eee eee es 1874 to 1875. Joun Wirkinson 1875 to 1880.

Joun BroapxEaD 1880 to 1881.

Page 37

Co-operation in Meltham.

SECRETARIES. Joseru Hirst THomas Hirst

TREASURERS. Wirrram Harcx

CHartEes Hirst




WALTER BUCKLEY ee eee eee aaa eek

Bex Sykes

Dax Horroyp James Hirst

CHARLES POGSON eee eee eae ee

WricHt THorpE

DAVID PATTERSON ++ +e reer reek kerk

James Horrovyp

MANAGERS. Hamer Hirst

Jor HarcH

1871 to 1874 to

1871 to 1875 to

1871 to 1871 to 1874 to 1874 to

1871 to 1879 to

1880 to

1871 to 1879 to

Co Ui

1874. 1881.

1875. 1881.

1874. 1874. 1881. 1881.

1874. 1881. 1881. 1881. 1881. 1881. 1881. 1880. 1881.

1879. 1881.

Page 38


1881 to 1891.

HE year 1882 was a very uneventful one, and, as a consequence, the duties of the Committee were very light, one of the late Presidents having stated that many times the whole business was transacted in from twenty minutes to half an hour's time. - Two of the main items which commanded their skill and sound judgment were the testing of tea, which was then not bought in the packet as it is to-day, but in the bulk; also the purchasing of horses. The testing of tea required the skill of the whole of the Committee, but the purchasing of horses was confined to three of the best judges of horseflesh, along with a veterinary surgeon. On September 7th, 1893, the Committee decided to subscribe two guineas to the testimonial fund which was being raised to Mr. Thomas Hughes, in honour of his great services rendered to democracy and the Co-operative movement. Thomas Hughes, who afterwards became Judge Hughes, was a great author and a deeply impressive and eloquent speaker, and as such rendered invaluable service in advocating the social questions of the day. As an author he will ever be remembered by the youth of England as the writer of " Tom Brown's Schooldays." The following is an extract from a speech delivered by Mr. Hughes on the occasion of the presentation of the Hughes Scholarship, which was founded by Co-operators in recognition of the yeoman service he had rendered them :- Forty years ago I was a youth fresh from Oxford. You may imagine the effect upon me of a plunge into one of the worst quarters of London (Lincoln's Inn}, peopled by thieves, beggars, and slop workers. I saw that the comparative struggle of hie had brought them to this pass, and I almost became a physical-force Chartist. Mr. Maurice (Chaplain, Lincoln's Inn) gathered a

Page 39

Co-operation in Meltham. 37

number of young students around him, and within a year I had become a Christian Socialist, and was hard at work establishing associations among the London slop workers.

The following is an extract from one of his

What doss democracy mean to us English ? Simply an equal chance for all; a fair field for the best men; a clearance out of sham governors and all unjust privileges in everv department of human affairs. The psople will have compulsory education, organisation of labour, and utilisation of public lands, and other reforms of an equally decided character. All the signs of our time tell us that the day of earthly kings has gone by, and the advent to power of the great body of the people, those who live by manual labour, is at hand. The Co-operative movement and the trade societies should be enough to prove this. In another generation the sovereignty of the country will virtually pass into their hands. Upon their patriotism and good sense the fortunes of the kingdom, of which Alfred laid the deep foundations a thousand years ago, will depend.

To have subscribed two guineas to a testimonial to a man with such ideals was an act which we can all commend.

At this time many of the leading citizens of the village had under consideration the erection of a mill for the spinning of cotton. Many meetings had already been held, and a company was to be formed called the Meltham Cotton Spinning Company. Canvassing for the taking up of shares had already commenced, and the Society had been approached upon the matter, the result of which was that on October 9th, 1893, a Special Meeting of members was held in the Oddfellows' Hall, to take into considera- tion the advisability of taking up shares in the proposed Cotton Spinning Company. Mr. Joseph - Mitchell Moorhouse proposed, and Mr. Samuel Wilkinson seconded, " That this Society take up 1,000 £5 shares in the proposed Cotton Spinning Company." About 400 members were present at this meeting, and, after a long discussion, an amendment was moved that 500 shares be taken up. The result of the voting was as follows:-For the taking up of 1,000 shares, 99; for the taking up of 500 shares, 83; majority, 16. On February 23rd, 1885, it was decided to build a cottage in the yard behind the Stores, following in a line

Page 40

38 Co-operation in Meltham.

with the other two cottages already erected. - Messrs. Charles Hirst, James Earnshaw, John Taylor, and Frank Pogson were appointed as the Building Committee, and to have power to prepare plans and specifications and any other information which was requisite for that purpose. The plot of land upon which the cottage was to be built belonged to Edward Brook, Esq., head of the firm of Jonas Brook & Bros., cotton thread manufacturers, Meltham Mills. The Committee thought that if Mr. Brook was approached he might be persuaded to transfer the land to the Society as a gift. - It was decided he should be interviewed upon the matter, and a deputation was appointed for that purpose. He was eventually waited upon, and the deputation was successful, Mr. Brook deciding to hand it over to the Society as a gift. Mr. Charles Hirst (Treasurer) was appointed to wait upon Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, solicitors to Mr. Brook, respecting the transfer. It afterwards transpired upon closer investigation that the land belonged to the Society, and not to Mr. Brook. _ The successful tenders for the building of the cottage were as follows:-Messrs. G. and J. Mellor, masons, £72; Mr. David Turner, joiner, £24; Mr. James Wilkinson, plasterer, £5. 9s.; Mr. W. E. Jowett, slater, £6. tos.; Mr. Francis Drake, plumber, £53. 148. The Society from the commencement to this time had conducted its business on the fortnightly payment system, giving to each member the option of a fortnight's credit. The Society had flourished and grown upon this system, yet it would appear that many of the members were favourable to changing the system to strictly ready cash payments. - It is evident that some agitation was taking place and that dissatisfaction existed among the members. The cause for this, no doubt, was the statement in the balance sheet for the half year ending June, 1885, that the accounts owing by the members, who numbered 674, amounted to £1,825. 19s. old.-rather a large sum.

At the Committee Meeting held on July 20th, 1885, a resolution was passed that 700 copies of Hines' pamphlet

Page 41

Foster Manchester. David Broadbent. F. W. Dyson. Joe Dixon. John Battye. T. Wadsworth. Geo. Moorhouse. Joe Hartley. Wm. Dixon. Wilson Brook. Geo. Hy. Hirst J. Slater. Wm. Carter. Thos. Hy. Mellor. Seth Brook. PAST OFFICERS.

Page 42

40 Co-operation in Meltham.

on " Ready-money v. Credit " be sent for and distributed amongst the members. On the balance sheet for December, 1886, it was stated that the Committee intended commencing on the ready- money system on the second Monday in July, 1887.

At the General Meeting held on January 3rd, 1887, the balance sheet was passed with the exception of the ready- money clause, and a resolution was adopted that it be considered at the next Half-yearly Meeting. This meeting was held on July 4th, 1887, and the former resolution that ready-money be commenced was rescinded, and the question was allowed to drop for the time being.

On July 27th, 1885, it was decided to take up five shares of {1 each in the Paisley Co-operative Manufac- turing Society, the manufactures produced by this Society being chiefly all varieties of shirtings and skirtings, and these materials made up into garments. - This productive Society had always received a portion of our trade, and has been very prosperous.

For some time now the Committee had had under consideration the opening out of another branch of business, namely, boot repairing and clogging. The new cottage which was being built, and which was now nearing completion, was thought suitable for carrying on this branch of business, and Messrs. Moorhouse & Taylor, joiners, were appointed to fit it up for the purpose. In the meantime a competent man to manage and carry on the work was advertised for in the Huddersfield Chronicle and Huddersfield Examiner. From amongst the appli- cants Mr. William Wright was appointed as the first Manager of this new department.

The great work which was being done by the Central Board in furtherance of the Co-operative movement was very much valued by the Committee, and on February 22nd, 1886, to show their appreciation they increased the yearly subscription from two to three guineas. - The tendencies of the Committee during the year must have been very generous, as they decided to forward weekly

Page 43

Co-operation in Meltham. 41

a copy of the Co-operative News to the Liberal Room, Conservative Room, and Mechanics' Institute. On June 22nd, 1886, the contracts were completed for the erection of a new mill for the Meltham Cotton Spinning Company, and on June 30th the first sod was cut. The Society at this stage had advanced them the sum of £1,000. In this same month the Treasurer (Mr. Charles Hirst) contracted a serious illness, which necessitated him resigning the position, and his resignation was accepted by the Committee on July 5th. At the General Meeting of members, held the same evening, a vote of thanks was accorded to him for his services. - It was also passed at this meeting that the Huddersfield Banking Company be Treasurer for the Society for the following six months. After a brief illness Mr. Hirst died on July 16th, aged fifty-six years, having held the office of Treasurer for eleven years. On August 2nd another advance of £1,000 was made to the Cotton Spinning Company, and £500 on January 17th, 1887. In March, 1887, a decision was come to that the name of William Haigh and Company should be discontinued, and that all future transactions should be entered in the name of the Meltham Industrial Co-operative Trading Society Limited. In consideration of the warehousemen and assistants, to make their burdens a little lighter, it was decided to purchase a crane for the loading and unloading of goods from Mr. D. Haigh for the sum of £7. Postal facilities had very much improved since 1861, so much so that they now allowed for a delivery on Sundays, which was thought by many in excess of the requirements, and they were opposed to it. A petition was drawn up for its abolition, and was presented to the Committee as a body for signature, and a resolution was passed that it should be signed. In due time the petition was presented to the authorities, and was successful in obtaining a discontinuance of this Sunday labour.

Page 44

42 Co-operation in Meltham.

In the August of 1887 a quantity of drainage was required to be done in connection with the Stores, and at a Special Committee Meeting it was passed that the drain contract be let to Mr. William Taylor for the sum of £54 19s., providing he found bond to the amount of £20 before signing the contract, namely, to complete the work in the specified time of six weeks. Mr. Taylor complied with these conditions and carried out the work.

On September 19th, 1887, two coal wagons were bought from Mr. James Battye for the sum of £33.

The question as to whether the Society should again commence in the butchering business had been occupying the minds of the members for some time. - The Committee took the matter in hand and arranged for a Special General Meeting to be held on October 6th for the following business:-Ist, the butchering question; 2nd, whether we join the proposed corn mill scheme at Slaithwaite; 3rd, the revision of the rules. This meeting took place with the following results:-Proposed that we commence the butchering business: carried by a large majority. - Pro- posed that it be carried on on the ready-money principle: carried. Proposed that we take some shares in the Britannia Corn Mill, Slaithwaite: lost by a large majority. The meeting was adjourned three weeks for the question of the revision of rules, in order that a copy might be printed and perused by the members previous to the meeting.

The Quarterly Conference in connection with the Huddersfield District Co-operative Association was held in the Baptist Schoolroom on December 3rd. The Society provided the tea and entertained the delegates.

At the Committee Meeting held on December 19th, 1887, it was proposed that a butcher be advertised for in the Huddersfield Chronicle, Huddersfield Examiner, and Co-operative News, personal application to be made on Tuesday evening, December 27th. On December 30th Mr. Jonas Manchester (Meltham) was appointed to this position.

Page 45

Green Armitage. David Haywood. Fred Pogson. Cromwell G. Creaser. Joe Beaumont. - Fred Batley, Vice-President. - George Hy. Holroyd, President. - Hubert S, Kaye, Secretary. Samuel Lindley. Geo. F. Bastow. Crispin Kenworthy. COMMITTEE AND SECRETARY.

Page 46

44 Co-operation in Meltham.

The Half-yearly General Meeting of the Society was held on January 2nd, 1888. Mr. Henry Holroyd was appointed Treasurer at this meeting. Messrs. Appleby and Wood, Chartered Accountants (Manchester) were also appointed as Auditors, local gentlemen having audited the accounts of the Society to this date. - Messrs. William Wrigley, Thomas A. Haigh, and D. A. Bamford were also re-appointed Arbitrators. In order to enhance the sale of the Co-operative News the Committee ordered 500 copies for March 26th, 1888, to be distributed gratuitously to the members. On April 8th, Mr. William Wright, Manager of the Boot and Shoe Repairing Department, gave notice to leave the Society's service. The notice was accepted, and he left on April 20th. Mr. Abraham Bardsley (Old- ham) was the next man to receive the appointment.

At the General Meeting held on July 2nd, 1888, on the motion of the Chairman (Mr. John Wilkinson) the meeting gave a cordial vote of thanks to Mr. Wood (Auditor) for his attendance, and for giving such a lucid explanation of the balance sheet.

Mr. Bardsley, who had been appointed Manager to the Boot Repairing Department on April 30th, gave notice to leave the Society's service on August 20th, which was accepted, and on August 25th Mr. Wm. Strickland (Dewsbury) was appointed his successor.

On September 8th a great event took place at Meltham in the opening of a Recreation Ground, the gift of Edward Brook, Esq., to the Meltham Council, for the free use of the inhabitants. The ground consisted of 134% acres, and cost the sum of £1,185, and was presented on November 16th, 1887, in honour of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. At the opening ceremony the Society decided to decorate the whole of the premises. On. October 22nd, 1888, shares were taken up to the amount of £5 in the Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society, £5 in the Hebden Bridge Fustian Society, and £5 in the Co-operative Printing Society.

Page 47

Co-operation in Meltham. 45

A members' Knife and Fork Tea and Meeting was held in the Oddfellows' Hall on Saturday, December 15th, 1888, the Stores being closed at 3 o'clock for the occasion. It is not recorded who addressed the meeting, but the following very forcible speakers on Co-operation were invited:-Messrs. Wilberforce (Leeds), T. Swallow (Leeds), Mitchell (late Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society), and Alfred North (Batley), late Director of the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Txs Tare or a Doc.

At this period the back premises of the Stores, and the two houses then occupied by the Grocery and Butchering Managers, were very much more isolated from the public than they are to-day. On that account the Committee thought it advisable and necessary that a dog should be kept, to give the alarm should anyone be prowling about in the vicinity. On September 5th, 1887, it was moved " that we have a dog, and that Messrs. J. W. Kinder and A. Quarmby see about it." - On January 3rd, 1888, it was moved " that we provide a muzzle for the dog, and also that the dog is not to be taken out by anyone." - On August 6th, 1888, it was moved " that the dog ' Joss ' be under the entire control of the Manager, and only let loose at his discretion, and by nobody else." - On March 5th, 1889, it was moved " that our dog ' Joss ' be shot at once." On making inquiries I am informed the dog became so ferocious that he was not fit to be at large, which accounts for the order for him to be shot. After all, he was not shot, but hanged.

To show their appreciation of the excellent services rendered to the movement by E. V. Neale, Esq., i the capacity of Secretary of the Co-operative Lmon Co-operators throughout the kingdom were establishing a scholarship in his honour at one of the Universities. At the General Meeting held on April 22nd, 1889, it was decided to subscribe two guineas to the scholarship fund.

In June of that year another change was made in the Butchering Department, Mr. Jonas Manchester tendering

Page 48

46 Co-operation in Meltham.

his resignation, and ceasing to be Manager of this depart- ment. At a Committee Meeting held on Whit-Monday morning, June 1toth, 1889, Mr. Batley was installed as Managing butcher, and holds the position up to the present time. Under Mr. Batley's management this department has always been more prosperous than at any time previously, and has received a fair share of members' support. The loyalty of the Meltham Society to the Co-operative Wholesale Society and its productions has always been an outstanding feature, for as far back as January, 1890, there is a minute to the effect that all goods produced by the Wholesale Society be handed over the counter, unless other productions are particularly asked for.

A Saleroom in connection with the Co-operative Wholesale Society had been established at the Lion Arcade, Huddersfield, for the convenience of the buyers in the Huddersfield district. On March 18th, 1890, the formal opening took place, the Society being represented by Messrs. Fred Beaumont, Henry Holroyd, Thos. Hirst, and the Manager (Mr. Joe Haigh).

Fortune did not always smile with favour upon the Society's transactions. Some litigation took place between the Society on the one hand and Messrs. Lock- wood Bros., carriers, on the other. _ This arose through the loss of a piece of linsey, which was being conveyed from a Mr. Iredale, manufacturer (Linthwaite), to the Society, and was handed to Messrs. Lockwood Bros. at Huddersfield. During transit the linsey got lost. The case went against the Society, and they had to pay the costs. As a result the trading account was closed with Mr. Iredale and Messrs. Lockwood Bros. ceased to be carriers for the Society. At the General Meeting held on April 28th, 1890, the members present decided to increase the subscription to the Huddersfield Infirmary from £3. 3s. to £6. 6s., also to subscribe £2. 2s. to the Lifeboat Fund for the building of the lifeboat, which was to be named " Co-operator No. 3," this being the third lifeboat built by Co-operators.

Page 49

E. V. Quarmby. G. Dixon. C. Broadbent. - Miss M. Marsden. C. H. Pogson. L. Creaser. C. F. Shaw. H. Wright. - Fred Berry. Miss C. A. Thompson. . A. Haigh, Gen. Man. A. A. Lodge. Miss L. Butterworth. S. Bosomworth. J. Mellor. EMPLOYEES.

Page 50

48 Co-operation in Meltham.

The Co-operative Congress of 1890 was held in Glasgow, and Mr. A. Quarmby, who was President at that time, was appointed as the Soaetv s representative. At this time the Committee consisted of men who must have been very careful indeed in their habits, and intended that the servants of the Society should be so also. They passed a resolution " that we have a bag to preserve the old paper and one for old band, &e." It was in the year 1890 that the Bent Ley Silk Mills were being formed into a company. The Committee had under consideration the advisability of taking up shares. A Special General Meeting of the members was held on August 5th, and it was decided to apply for 200 shares of £5 eac The busmess of the Society at this time was increasing rapidly, and if it continued the Committee foresaw that in the near future further extensions of the premises would have to be made. In anticipation of this, negoti- ations were pending with Edward Brook, Esq., the owner of the plot of ground immediately adjoining the Society's premises, with a view to purchase. Mr. Brook agreed to sell, and the ground, which measured 312 square yards, was purchased for the sum of £177. 8s., the transfer taking place on June 30th, 1891. The ground is now occupied by the butcher's shop and cart shed. The Co-operative Congress of 1891 was held at Lincoln, and the Society appointed to attend as delegates Messrs. F. Beaumont and Thomas Hirst, on Whit-Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, May 18th 19th, and 20th.

On June Ist, 1891, Mr. Joe Haigh, who had served the Society as assistant and Manager for a period of twenty- one years, tendered his resignation, having been appointed as Manager to the Brook Lane Co-operative Society, Golcar. During Mr. Haigh's term of management the Society had grown apace, the membership having increased from 505 to 808 and the sales from £12,400 to £33,000 and the members' claims from £5,062 to £10,061. These figures show that the Society had been under very capable management. - To tide over the difficulty caused

Page 51

Co-operation in Meltham. 49

by Mr. Haigh's retirement Mr. Septimus Bosomworth was appointed as temporary Manager in the Grocery Department, and Mr. Captain Schofield as clerk and cashier. _ This position was eventually offered to Mr. Schofield as a permanency, but he refused to accept it. After this refusal the Committee decided to advertise for a Cashier and also a Drapery Manager. On June 16th Mr. John Yearsley was appointed as Drapery Manager, and on July 2nd Mr. Samuel Wood was appointed Cashier. These vacancies being filled, matters settled down again for a little while.

At a meeting held on July 20th it was resolved to increase the share capital invested in the Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society from £5 to £50.

The three closing months of this year (1891) brought much disturbance and agitation to the Society. The old question of ready-money trading was being revived and vigorously advocated by the faction of the members in favour of its adoption, and much bitterness and strife prevailed. Many special meetings of the Committee were held to discuss the matter, and a Special General Meeting of the members was held in the Oddfellows' Hall on Monday, November 23rd. Mr. Owen - Balmforth (Huddersfield) and Mr. Ambrose Wood (Milnsbridge) were requisitioned as speakers, and at the close of speak- ing and discussion the following decision was arrived at :-

That we commence the ready-money payments on Monday, March 28th, 1892, and the Committee adopt a system of check, to come into force on the above date.

The voting on this resolution was as follows:-For, 146; against, I4. Many remained neutral. It was resolved on December 28th ' that we commence the ready-money on the Eccles system." - Thus we find the thirtieth year of the Society's existence passing away amid a disturbing element, but which, happily, passed over without any disastrous effect.

Page 52

50 Co-operation in Meltham.


MEusBers. REcEipts. [

1882 638 ... 27326 1883 652 ... 28002 1884 655 ... 26149 1885 685 ... 25883 1886 699 ... 25943 1887 gar .l. 25951 1888 737 ... 28500 1889 756 ... 30000 1890 808 _... 32800 1891 826 ... 33640 PRESIDENTS. Dax Horroyp 1881 to 1883. JOHN WILKINSON 66666666 errr errr ee eee eee ees 1883 to 1884. EDWIN S. MELLOR errr eee eee ee eek 1884 to 1885. Joun Tavror 1885 to 1886. JOHN WILKINSON errr reer eee eee e ees 1886 to 1890. A. QuarMBY 1890 to 1891. SECRETARY. THomas Hirst 1881 to 1885. FirtH 1885 to 1888. THomas Hirst 1888 to 1891.


Hirst 1881 to 1886. HENRY HOLROYD kkk rrr rr reer eres 1886 to 1891. AUDITORS. I M. FirtH 1881 to 1885. J. ScatER 1881 to 1885. J. Stater 1885 to 1887. Hy. MErLOR 1885 to 1887.

Messrs. APPLEBY AND WOOD 666+ 1887 to 1891.

Page 53

Co-operation in Meltham. 5T


James Hirst. Wricut THorp. Possoxn. Jamuss Horrovyp. Dax Horrovp. Bex Sykes. Davin CaIRNsS. D. PatTERSON.

Warter BuckLEy.

Frank Possox. E. G. Merror. JorL Jouxn Tavyror.

James EarnsHaw.

FrED Kaye. Josepu ParKIN. Sam Euuis. Jor Harcx. J. W. Kinper.

James Possox. Dax THorpE. A. Joun Possox. Joxas Hirst. Wirrram Lunn. Tom SHarRp. J. W. KEenxwortHy. WELLINGTON Wartsox. RockuEy BattyE. Hy. PattERsoN. FrEp BEAUMONT. Joun WoopxEap. AxtHoxny PaTTtERSON. SamuEL Woop. Moorxouse. N. ArmitaGE. S. Hopkinson. A. BROADBENT.

Jor Dixox.

Page 54


1891 to IgoI.

THE spirit of unrest prevailing at the close of 1891 continued for several months into the year 1892. Although the General Meeting held in November decided strongly in favour of adopting the ready-money system of payment, and notwithstanding the arrange- ments made by the Committee for its commencement, it was again to be abandoned. The agitation against its adoption grew very strong, several special meetings of the whole of the members being held. The climax and settle- ment of the matter, for a long number of years, came at a Special General Meeting held in the Meltham Church Schoolroom on Friday evening, March 18th, 1892, when it was resolved that the resolutions passed at the Special General Meetings held on November 23rd, 1891, and February 17th, 1892, be rescinded, and that the fort- nightly payment system be continued. There voted for the resolution, 158; against, 85. As a result of this decision many members of the Board of Management resigned their position.

In the meantime Mr. Yearsley had sent in his resigna- tion as Manager of the Drapery Department, and the Committee decided to advertise in the Co-operative News and Huddersfield Examiner for a General Manager, one with a good knowledge of drapery preferred. - Out of many applicants Mr. Haigh (the present Manager of the Society) was finally selected and installed as General Manager at this critical period of the Society's history. After a time the turbulent spirit gradually settled down, and things again became normal.

On Saturday, July 16th, the Meltham Agricultural Society held their first show, the Society granting the use

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Co-operation in Meltham. 53

of two fields for the purpose. They also granted the use of a field free of charge to the Musical Demonstration Committee on Feast Sunday, 1893, for a sing to be given for the benefit of the Huddersfield Infirmary and Thornhill Colliery Disaster.

The employés at this time thought the hours worked by them were too long, and could be reduced a half hour per day without having any injurious effect upon the Society's business. A petition was forwarded to the Committee requesting this to be granted. They received it favourably, and promised to place it on the business agenda for the next General Meeting, which was to be held on October 23rd, 1893. The intervening time between the presenting of the petition and the General Meeting saw many converts to this early closing movement, so that when the meeting took place there was no lack of advocates in its favour, and the following resolution was passed :-

That the hours of closing the Stores be as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 7 o'clock, and on Saturday at 6 o'clock in the evening; Wednesdays, as usual, 12 o'clock noon.

Thus the reduction of hours granted was far in excess of what the employés asked for. This early closing of the shop commenced on December 4th, 1893, and there has been no necessity to change up to the present time.

From the commencement of the Society in 1861 to April 23rd, 1894, all those who had served on the Com- mittee had rendered their services voluntarily. - It was now thought by many of the members that this ought no longer to continue, and at the Half-yearly Meeting held on this date it was decided that the nine Committee-men and President be paid £1 each as wages for their services, making a total of £10 per half year.

The dried fruit sales which had now been held for a number of years in connection with the Co-operative Wholesale Society had not hitherto been attended by any- one in connection with the Society. It was passed at the

Page 56

N. Brook. C. Castle. E. Brook. M. Robinson. D. Turner. L. Mosley. J. Garlick. F. Garside. G. Turton. W. H. Hirst. J. Wood. J. Batley. Chas. Eastwood. J. K. Haigh. F. Taylor. EMPLOYEES.

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Co-operation in Meltham. 55

Committee Meeting held October Ist, " that the Manager attend the fruit sale to be held on Saturday, October 20th." At the General Meeting held on October 22nd, 1894, on the Committee's recommendation, it was passed to subscribe {10 to the Co-operative Congress Fund, to be held in Huddersfield in 1895; also that a General Meeting be held in four weeks' time to take into consideration the advisability of alteration of rules and the extension of premises. This meeting was held, and the Committee were instructed to prepare plans for the alterations, and some of the existing rules were altered. The services of Mr. William Carter, Architect, were employed for the preparing of plans for the alteration of premises. - When ready they were presented to the Com- mittee for inspection and were approved. At the General Meeting held on April 22nd, 1895, they were submitted to the members, and it was passed that the alterations take place. Power was given to the Committee to sell at any time which they considered best any shares of the Society's investments. A motion that we commence with one uniform dividend was defeated by 104 votes to 72. At this meeting the rate of percentage paid on share capital was reduced from 5 to 4} per cent per annum, the same to commence from April Ist, 1895. Quantities for the alterations were prepared forthwith by Mr. Carter and submitted to Meltham contractors only. The following tenders were accepted:-Masons, Messrs. J. Moorhouse & Sons, £359; joiners, Messrs. Garlick Bros., £130; plasterers, Messrs. J. Wilkinson & Sons, £26. tos.; plumbers, Mr. J. W. Kaye, £52. 1os.; slaters, Mr. Jowett, £25; total, not including ironwork, £593. - Butcher's shop fittings, Mr. J. W. Lees (Hudders- field); painting and graining, Messrs. J. Preston & Sons; drapery shop fittings, Mr. John Taylor, £66. 1os.; new warming apparatus and boiler, Messrs. J. W. Thornton (Huddersfield); crane and hoist, Messrs. Jackson & Ogden (Oldham), £35.

Page 58

56 Co-operation in Meltham.

The Committee at this time purchased a horse from Mr. Joseph Greenwood for the sum of £48.

On August 12th, 1895, Mr. Samuel Wood ceased to be Cashier to the Society, and the duties were transferred to the Manager, Mr. George Cowgill being appointed as assistant. It was decided on October 28th to take up the follow- ing shares in Productive Societies and increase the share capital in Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society to £250 :-Five {1 shares, Airedale Co-operative Manufacturing Society; five £1 shares, Keighley Ironworks Society ; five £1 shares, Dudley Bucket and Fender Society; fifty £1 shares, Brownfields Guild Potteries. The Committee also received instructions to prepare a method of voting by ballot for the officers of the Society at future meetings.

Mr. William Strickland (Manager of the Boot Repair- ing Department) had tendered his resignation on October 21st, and on November 4th Mr. C. Senior (Dodworth) was appointed to the position. On December 30th, 1895, the Society presented a Co-operative Annual to the Conservative Room, Liberal Room, and Mechanics' Institute.

A most important transaction, and a very profitable one to the Society, took place in January, 1896. The Town Hall had been built in a line with and closely con- necting the Stores, and it was found that the land in their possession was not sufficient to allow for a back entrance to the building. Edward Brook, Esq., the donor of the plot of land upon which the Town Hall was built, and who afterwards paid all costs in connection with the building and furnishings when completed, was acquainted with the matter. The portion of land they required belonged to the Society, having been bought from Mr. Brook in 1891. Mr. Brook made an offer to the Committee that he would transfer to the Society a plot of land consisting of 4253 square yards, and closely adjoining the Society's premises, in exchange for the small strip of land required to make the Town Hall premises complete. A Special General

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Co-operation in Meltham. 57

Meeting of the members was called to consider this offer, and it was unanimously carried that the offer be accepted, and that the best thanks of the meeting be forwarded to Mr. Brook for his generosity. Being present, along with Mr. Brook and his agent, when measuring out the ground, I found him to be most generous to the Society, and


heard him state to his agent that the ground must be well fenced in by a good substantial wall at his expense. The ground in question is now occupied by the stabling, slaughter-house, and other out-premises. The extension of the premises which was being carried out at this time consisted of making the Grocery and Drapery Departments into Grocery Department, the building of new Drapery, Boots, Crockery, and Butchering

Page 60

58 Co-operation in Meltham.

Departments, also the furnishing of a new Boardroom, completing the frontage as we see it at the present time. These extensions were now nearing completion, and it was arranged that the opening take place on Easter Saturday, April 4th, 1896. A meat tea and meeting was held, which proved a great success. Mr. Maxwell (at that time Chairman of the Scottish Wholesale Society) being the principal speaker. A Women's Guild was formed at this time, which existed and carried on its work for a number of years, but has now become extinct. At the April Half-yearly Meeting it was decided to increase the share capital in the Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society to £500, and the system of voting by ballot, as introduced by the Committee, was accepted. On September 4th, 1896, it was passed in Committee to subscribe tos. towards the Evening Continuation Classes held at the Mechanics' Institute; also in February, 1897, a loan of £6 was granted for the same purpose. Another tea party and entertainment was held on Saturday, February 27th, 1897. _ Addresses were delivered by George Thompson, Esq., J.P. (Huddersfield) and George Thorpe, Esq. (President of the Dewsbury Co- operative Society). The artistes were as follows:-Miss M. D. Bishop, soprano (Dewsbury), Mr. Arthur Calvert, humorist, and the Meltham Orpheus Quartette Party, consisting of Messrs. D. Wood, A. Pogson, C. Kenworthy, and J. W. Kenworthy. Mr. Senior (head of the Boot Repairing Department) sent in his resignation on March 15th, and we again find this department without a Manager. After advertising in the Co-operative News, Mr. David Oliver (Queensbury) received the appointment. Mr. Carter, Architect, had been instructed to prepare plans for the erecting of new stables, slaughter-house, cart shed, coal places, &e., which, after completion, were presented at a Special Meeting of the members held on July Ist, to pass the same or otherwise. It was moved and passed that they be accepted and that the Committee

Page 61

Co-operation in Meltham. 50

be given power to alter or modify as they thought best for the benefit of the Society. For the erection of these buildings the following tenders were accepted:-Mr. James Mellor, mason's work, £449; Mr. J. M. Kinder, joiner's work, £165. 1os.; Mr. James Wilkinson, plastering, £13; Mr. John W. Kaye, plumbing, £46. I5s.; Mr. Alfred Bower, slating, £54. The tender of Messrs. Murgrave & Co. (Manchester) was accepted for the internal fittings. In September of this year two coal wagons were purchased, one from Messrs. C. Roberts & Co. (Horbury), for the sum of £46, and one from Mr. James Kenworthy (Lockwood), for the sum of £55. At the Half-yearly General Meeting held in October the sum of £5 was granted to the lecture scheme fund. A motion was also passed that any member purchasing under £5 value of goods per half year be paid interest on their share capital at the rate of 2$ per cent only. At this meeting the office of Secretary was made permanent. On January 3rd, 1898, Mr. Fred Barker was instructed to build a two-horse wagon for the sum of £24. The Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society had sent out invitations to shareholding Societies to inspect the mill, which inspection was to take place on March 1st. Messrs. Haigh (Manager) and Hirst (Secretary) were appointed the deputation to attend this function. On Saturday, February 19th, 1898, a knife and fork tea and public meeting was held in the Oddfellows' Hall. An address was delivered by Frank Ardern, Esq. (Old- ham). The following artistes were also engaged :-Miss H. D. Bishop, soprano (Dewsbury), Mr. H. Land, ventrilo- quist (Huddersfield), Mr. Jacob Roberts' Glee Party; accompanist, Mr. John Wood. The chair was taken by Mr. John Wilkinson (President of the Society.) At the April Half-yearly Meeting the abolition of the office of Treasurer took place. The voting was as follows:-For abolition, 148; against, 86; majority, 62. It was also passed by a large majority that one uniform dividend he paid with the exception of butchering.

Page 62

60 Co-operation in Meltham.

In anticipation of building cottages for the members, the Committee had for some time been looking out for suitable building land with a view to purchase. _ On June 27th, 1898, it was agreed to purchase a plot of ground situated at Wet Lands from Messrs. Hall and White (Huddersfield), the price being 2s. 6d. per yard. This ground is now occupied by twenty-six cottages. The whole plot contained 3,202 square yards, the cost being £400. 55.


In the early part of July the new stables, slaughter- house, &c., were nearing completion, and on Saturday, the 23rd, the whole of the buildings were open for inspection by the members.

To make the way more easy of access to the drapery stockroom and furnishing, which were situated upstairs, it was decided to erect a spiral staircase leading direct from the Drapery Department to these rooms. Messrs. W. C. Holmes & Co. (Huddersfield) fixed the staircase for the sum of £16. A crane was also purchased from

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Co-operation in Meltham. 61

Messrs. Jackson & Ogden for the sum of £9. 1os., for the unloading of hay in the stables. - The new buildings were also insured for the sum of £830.


An episode of " light and air," involving the Society in much litigation and heavy pecuniary loss, had just come to a termination. - The case arose out of bad smells from a nuisance on some adjoining property entering the keeping cellar and living-room through an aperture about twelve inches square of one of the Society's houses. The property owners, on being informed by the nuisance inspector, did not remove the nuisance, but erected a strong wall at very considerable expense close to the Society's building, entirely taking away the right of light and air. Although there was no real value attached to it, the Society was determined to maintain its rights, and therefore put the case in the hands of Messrs. Ramsden, Sykes, & Ramsden, Solicitors (Huddersfield). Eventually the case was tried at Huddersfield, the verdict being given against the Society. - On appeal the case was tried at Leeds, and again the verdict was against the Society. - The whole costs of the case amounted to £450.

The Committee, having been empowered to prepare plans for the building of cottages, had interviewed Mr. Berry, Architect (Huddersfield), and instructed him to prepare plans showing various kinds of cottage houses. After completion the plans were exhibited for inspection by the members. At a Special General Meeting held on December 28th, 1898, it was passed to build twelve cottage houses to plan No. 1, the probable cost to be about £240 per house. The successful tenders were as follows:-Masons, Mr. James Earnshaw, £1,282. tos.; joiners, Messrs. Garlick Bros., £518. tos.; plumbers, Mr. J. W. Kaye, £109; slaters, Mr. James Wilkinson, £162; plasterers, Mr. James Wilkinson, £144; painters, Messrs. Joseph Preston & Sons, £32; concretors, Mr. J. Cooke, £95. 2s 6d.; total, £2,343. 2s. 6d. It was also decided at this meeting that the share capital, which had hitherto been limited to £25, should be extended to £50, all capital over £25 to be paid at the rate of 3 per cent per annum.

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62 Co-operation in Meltham

The opening of a Small Savings Bank had been under the consideration of the Committee for some time, and all necessary arrangements had been made. The opening of this department for small investors took place on January 7th, 1899, the rate of 3 per cent per annum being paid on deposits. In connection with the lecture scheme a lecture was delivered in the Liberal Hall on Thursday, February 9th, 1899, by the Rev. R. Roberts (Bradford), subject, " The Right to Live." On Saturday, February 11th, the Committee received Mr. Shillito (Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society) as a deputation from the Banking Department, with a view to the Society banking with the Wholesale Society. A decision to bank with the Wholesale Society was arrived at. On June 12th, 1899, it was passed to take up five shares in the Co-operative Insurance Society.

As a result of the lecture scheme being carried into effect more attention was being given to educational matters, and another lecture was arranged to be given by Mr. Roberts on October 11th, subject, " The Meaning and Worth of Co-operation." Mr. Roberts was an ardent educationalist, and was a member of the Bradford School Board. - The lectures he gave were of a highly intellectual character and were appreciated, but the attendance was only meagre.

At the Half-yearly Meeting held on October 23rd, 1899, a motion to take up five £1 shares in the Huddersfield Co-operative Brush Society was carried, and motions to take up too {1 shares in the Co-operative Insurance Society and to increase the shares in the Dudley Bucket and Fender Society to £30 were negatived.

On February 3rd, 1900, Mr. David Oliver (Boot Repairing Manager) left the employment of the Society, having obtained the management of the Holmfirth Co-operative Boot Society. Mr. A. Bowker (Crosland Moor) was appointed to the position, but only held it for

Page 65

Co-operation in Meltham. 63

about two weeks. On the recommendation of Mr. Bowker Mr. William Hinchcliffe (Huddersfield) received the appointment. A lantern lecture was given on March Ist by Mr. T. Moorhouse (Director of the Co-operative Wholesale


Society) on " The Productive Works." There was a crowded audience, and the lecture was a great success. At about this time a movement was on foot amongst Co-operators to commence coal mining. - The movement emanated from the West Yorkshire Coal Federation, who advocated very warmly that this was the time for Co-operators to become owners of their own collieries.

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64 Co-operation in Meltham.

An estate near to Wakefield, called the Upton Hall Estate, and on which it was the opinion of experts that a good quality of coal existed, could be bought, and this was the opportune time to purchase. - Meltham Society was in favour of the scheme. Bills were posted and handbills distributed to the members announcing a Special Meeting to be held in the Oddfellows' Hall on April 6th, 1900, to consider the advisability of taking up shares. At this meeting a motion to take up sixty £5 shares was carried unanimously. The support required to carry out this scheme was not forthcoming, and for lack of capital to enter upon a hazardous venture of this kind the scheme was allowed to lapse.

On April 23rd the General Meeting decided to increase the capital in the following Productive Societies to £50 :- Dudley Bucket and Fender Society, Keighley Ironworks Society, Leicester Hosiery Society. Loan to the amount of £300 was also placed with the Colne Vale Corn Millers' Society, and it was passed that we join the West York- shire Coal Federation and take up five £1 shares. This meeting also decided that the Society commence in the millinery business. The annual Co-operative Congress was to be held this year at Cardiff, and Messrs. Joe Dixon and Thornton Wadsworth were appointed as delegates. Not being able to secure a suitable building for the holding of the exhibi- tion of Co-operative productions, which is held in connection with the Congress, a temporary building had to be erected, and the Society subscribed £1. 1s. for this purpose. At a Special Meeting held on June 28th, 1900, it was decided to have the back yard paved with setts. The tender of Messrs. George Hirst & Son for £29. tos. was accepted. The loan of £6 standing against the Evening Con- tinuation Classes was at this time presented to them by the Society. Preparations for the commencement of the millinery business were being pushed forward. Plans for the

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Co-operation in Meltham. 65

erection of a showroom had been sent out, and Messrs. Garlick Bros.' tender of £92. tos. was accepted for the joiner's work, and Messrs. J. Preston & Sons for the decorating. The building of more cottages on the vacant land at Wetlands had been under contemplation for several months. The Committee had been empowered to get plans prepared, and the work had been given to Mr. Carter, Architect (Meltham). At a Special General Meetmg held on January 17th, 1901, plans were submitted for inspection, and it was decided to build fourteen cottages to plan known as No. 1. The successful contractors for the erection of the cottages were as follows:-Masons, Messrs. J. & J. Mellor, £1,525. 14s.; joiners, Mr. J. M. Kinder, £631. 9s. 6d.; plumbers, Mr. J. W. Kaye, £247 18s.; plasterers, Mr. Samuel Wilkinson, £143. 18s; pamtmg Mr. L. Armitage, £33. 12s. ; ironwork, Mr. James Kilburn, 12s.; slating, Messrs. Pickles Brog £164 5s 7zd.; tiles, Messrs. Armitage & Armitage, £8. ISS.; Mr. Edgar Lockwood, £2. 9s.; gates, Mr. T. H. Raynor, £15. IIs. 6d; total, £2 785. 4s. 7d.

At the April Half-yearly Meeting the share capital in the Huddersfield Co-operative Brush Society was in- creased to £20, and a loan account was opened to the limit of £50 per member, the rate of interest to be 3 per cent per annum. - It was also passed that the remunera- tion of the Committee be advanced £1 per member per half year. Messrs. J. Wilkinson and Wilson Brook were appointed as delegates to the Co-operative Congress to be held at Middlesbro' in Whit-Week.

On June 15th a horse was purchased from Messrs. Clarke (Chesterfield) for the sum of £64.

At a meeting held on August 23rd for the purpose of receiving tenders for the painting of fourteen new cottages Mr. Lewis Armitage's tender for £29. 8s. was accepted. No further event of importance being recorded to the end of tgor, we drop the curtain at the close of another ten years of the Society's history.

Page 68


1892 812 ... 31955 1893" 814 .s 33451 1894 830 ... 32821 1895 846 ... 332538 1896 886 ... 35054 1897 gog _... 36020 1898 928 ... 36383 1899 960 _... 37210 1900 960 ... 39197 I9OT 980 _... 40416 PRESIDENTS. A. QL ARMBY 1891 to 1892. A. ADBENT 1892 to 1893. WELLINGTON WATSON aaa rere erea ces 1893 to 1894. J. Wirkinson 1894 to 1898. G. H. Horrovp 1898 to Igor. SECRETARY. THomas Hirst 1891 to TREASURER. Henry Horrovyp 1891 to 1898. AUDITORS. Messrs. AppEsy & Woon.

Co-operation in Meltham.

The October report states that the membership had reached to almost 1,000, the exact number being 980, and the sales to the amount of £20,523.


MEaxBers. Receipts.



Grorce Hirst. . H

W HarcH. F. Beaumont. C. Kippax. F. RocHarpsox. Wirsox BrooKk.

SamuEt LinpLEy,

J. M. Kinper,

A. BRoADBENT. G. H. Horrovp. SEtH Brook. J. R. M. stHALL. Posso GEORGE MOORHOL SE. R. C. Wirrram Possox. Jor Dixox. THorxtox WapswortH. Foster MaxcuEstER. J. J. W. KexwortHyv. C. G. CrEaser.

Page 69


Iqor To IQII.

S we enter upon the last ten years previous to the A Society attaining its Jubilee, there is nothing event- ful to record until the Half-yearly Meeting held on April 28th, 1902. The International Co-operative Alliance Association had been formed, the objects of which were to bring Co-operators throughout the world in closer contact, and, through the International Congress, for the members to have intercourse with each other, with a view to spreading the principles of Co-operation to every part of the world. The members at this meeting were in sympathy with this movement, and granted tos. as membership and £1 subscription to the International Congress fund. Messrs. William Dixon and James A. Holmes were appointed delegates to the Co-operative Congress, which was this year held at Exeter. Mr. George Henry Holroyd (the President of: the Society) was nominated as a Director of the Meltham Cotton Spinning Company, ten shares of the Society being transferred to his name. Festivities in connection with the Coronation took place in June of this year. Messrs. Samuel Lindley and Seth Brook were appointed to represent the Society on the Coronation Committee. For this event the horses and wagons were decorated and lent for the use of the children. The premises were also decorated and the shops closed all day Friday, June 27th, and at 4 o'clock on Saturday, June 28th. The members at the Half-yearly Meeting held on April 28th empowered the Committee to erect a cart shed, which was very much needed at this time, the carts and wagons having to be left exposed to the weather. - The following tenders for this work were accepted :-Mason,

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68 Co-operation in Meltham.

Mr. Tom Hirst, £11. 3s. 6d. ; joiner, Mr. J. M. Moorhouse, £15. 12s. 8d.; plumber Mr. J W. Kaye, £7. 5s. ; ironwork, Mr. Jas. lelburn £18; slating, Mr. James w ilkinson, £13. 10s. gd. The tiling of the backyards in connection with the whole of the twenty-six cottages was required to be done, and an estimate for this work was sent in by Mr. Carter on June 16th, 1902, and accepted, the cost to be 21s. per house.

In this year (1902) an organised system of boycott by private traders against Co-operative Societies prevailed in various parts of the country, and, for the purpose of defence, a fund was being raised. - The Society having been appealed to, the members at the Half-yearly Meeting held on September 27th, made a grant of 1s. per member if it should be required. Happily, the boycott gradually subsided, and only two calls of tos. and one of £1. tos. were pald to this defence fund. At this meeting shares to the amount of {10 were invested in the Bradford Co-operative Cabinet Makers' Society, and an additional £20 invested in the Huddersfield Brush Society.

The sum of £20 was granted to Captain Schofield, one of the Society's employés, in sympathy with his being incapacitated for a long period through a serious illness.

On January 17th, 1903, a tea and entertainment was held in the Oddfellows' Hall. Mr. J. Shillito (Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society) addressed the meeting. The Baptist Choir provided the musical portion of the entertainment, with Mr. John Wood as accompanist.

At a Special General Meeting held on February 18th, 1903, was called for the purpose of considering the advisability of taking up forty additional shares in the Bent Ley Silk Spinning (ompam A resolution that forty additional shares be taken up in this company was passed.

The Co-operative Wholesale Society having issued an invitation to Societies to visit the Luton Cocoa Works

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Co-operation in Meltham. 69

and the London Tea Warehouse, the President (Mr. G. H. Holroyd) and the Manager were appointed delegates to inspect these works. On April 27th Messrs. Samuel Lindley and Ben Sykes were appointed delegates to the Co-operative Congress to be held at Doncaster in Whit-Week. _ The Committee were also empowered to arrange for the enlargement of the warehouse. On June 15th a horse was purchased from Mr. White- head for the sum of £41. At the Agricultural Society's Show, held in July, the Society was successful in obtaining first prize for decorated horses and wagon.

At the Half-yearly General Meeting held on October 26th, 1903, it was resolved to take up fifty £1 shares in the North Wales Slate Quarries, to grant £10 to the Con- tinuation Classes, and £1 to the Doncaster Congress. It was also decided at this meeting that the extensions of the warehouse should be carried out. The meeting thought that the carrying out of these extensions would entail too much responsibility upon the Committee, and the following members were appointed to act along with them until the whole of the enlargements were completed :- Messrs. Wilson Sykes, F. W. Creaser, G. W. Redfearn, John Pogson, and Mark Hollingworth. Along with these new additions to the Committee there came new ideas and many complications, and the original intention of extend- ing the warehouse only was abandoned, and ultimately the following alterations were decided upon and carried out:-The pulling down of the old warehouse and flour room in a line with the Grocery and Drapery Depart- ments, and extending the whole of the building about fifteen yards back into the yard ; excavating for crockery and grocery and corn stock rooms in the basement; flour room and warehouse and extension of drapery and boot room on ground floor, and the whole of the top room for corn storage; fixing large hoist for the use of these departments; also fixing new and up-to-date flour and sugar bins in warehouse; building engine-room and fixing

Page 72

70 Co-operation in Meltham.

engine, and erecting glazed roof shed for the loading and unloading of goods; and the fixing of warming apparatus. The costs incurred in carrying out the whole of these extensions were as follows:-

£s. d. Masonry-Fred Earnshaw, Meltham ...... 515 7 6 Joinery-Garlick Bros., Meltham ...... ... 263 o o Ironwork-James Kllburn Meltham 228 8 7 Warming \ppardtus—Tomlmson & Milan, Hud'rsfield 50 5 o Belting & -T. Plckersglll Huddersfield 3 I4 6 Metal for Concrete-Motley & Green, Leeds ............ 42 50 Slating-Pickles Bros., Huddersfield 73 o o Concrete-]J. E. Dyson, Huddersfield IIL 4 Plumbing-J. W. Kaye, MelthaM ...... kk 36 17 2 Gas Engine-Crossley Bros., Manchester ................ 65 o Flour Bins-Hall & Kaye, AShtOM 108 12 o Bradford Fireproof Plate Wall CO. eee eee I3 40 Plastering-J. Wilkinson & Sons, Meltham ............ 25 o o Hoist, &c.-Wm. Wadsworth & Sons Bolton ...... 91 20 6 Counter and Shelving-George Pogson, Meltham ..... 83 15 o Counter-]J. M. Moorhouse, MelthaM ...... 10 8 o Pavement Lights-George Wright & Co., Rotherham to 3 8

1731 6 IT

It was during these alterations the limit of share capital was extended from £100 to £200.

On November 23rd, 1903, Mr. Lodge was appointed as Drapery Manager, which position he still holds. Under his supervision this department has shown steady and continued progress.

Edward Brook, Esq., who had in many ways been a great benefactor to the village of Meltham, and with whom the Society had had many profitable transactions, died on January 29th, 1904. _ The funeral took place on Wednesday, February 3rd, and to show due respect to a generous citizen the premises were closed the whole of the day. Some property, consisting of two shops with land and warehouse at the back and closely adjoining the Society's premises, was at this time offered for sale to the Society by Mr. Lydall, the owner. The Committee, after due consideration, concluded that this property should be

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Co-operation in Meltham. 7I

secured, and although it was not immediately required, it was another outlet for the members' capital, would pay good interest on the amount expended, and would also prove most valuable to the Society when opening new branches of business. At a Special Committee Meeting held April 7th, 1904, it was unanimously carried that the offer made by Mr. Lydall should be accepted subject to


confirmation by the Half-yearly Meeting, and that the property be purchased for the sum of £1,125. This action of the Committee was approved by the General Meeting, and Mr. G. G. Fisher, Solicitor, was appointed to carry out the conveyance.

This year the Co-operative Congress was held at

Stratford. - Messrs. Geo. Hy. Holroyd and Stead Lunn were appointed as delegates.

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72 Co-operation in Meltham.

Wednesday, June 8th, 1904, stands out as a red-letter day in the history of the Society to the employés. The Committee allowed the shops to be closed all day, and granted the sum of 5s. to each employé in order that they may visit the Luton Cocoa Works and London Tea Warehouse. The visit was most enjoyable and interesting, and will ever be remembered with pleasure by every person who took advantage of it.

The first Children's Gala in connection with the Stores was held on Saturday, August 13th, 1904. The children formed in procession at 2 o'clock, and marched through the village headed by the Meltham Mills Brass Band and the officials of the Society. On reaching the field each child was presented with a packet of chocolate, and afterwards regaled with buns and coffee. Sports had been arranged for boys and girls, and prizes were given for each event. Punch and Judy performances took place at intervals, and the band played selections of music.

From this time these Gala days have taken place yearly, and have been a great success when the weather has been favourable.

On September Ist, 1904 the horse " Gilbert" was bought from Mr. John S. Lockwood for the sum of £28. 18s. The time for the taking of stocks was altered at this period to the last Saturday in January and the last Saturday in July.

In the balance sheet for the eighteen weeks ending January, 1905, there is a report given of the half year's work of the Women's Co-operative Guild. During the last half year the Guild has held some very successful meetings and lectures, the first of the series being a lecture by Miss Gration (Leeds), subject: " How to Make Life Worth Living;" also one by the President of the Society (Mr. George H. Holroyd) on " The Balance Sheet." We have also had two by Dr. Gellatly (our medical officer) on " Health;" also one each from Mrs. Shillito (Halifax),

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Co-operation in Meltham. 73

Miss Goodall (Leeds), Mrs. Knowles (Cleckheaton), and Messrs. W. Dixon and S. Lindley (members of the Board).

The question of Collective Life Assurance was freely discussed at the Half-yearly Meeting on October 24th, 1904, and it was decided that a Special General Meeting of the members be held to consider this scheme. The meeting took place, and a representative from the Insurance Society attended to explain all details relative to the scheme, but failed to make a favourable impression upon the majority present, and the question was allowed to drop for the time being.

An interesting ceremony took place on Thursday, June 22nd, by way of christening the new gas engine. This performance was enacted by the President (Mr. G. H. Holroyd) in a manner worthy of the event, and he pro- claimed that henceforth the engine should be named "* Unity." The Committee had been engaged for some time in making inquiries respecting the greengrocery business, and making all preparations for commencing this branch of business as a department, separated from the grocery, with which it had hitherto been connected. The shop belonging to the Society occupied by Messrs. Wallace, had been fixed upon as suitable for this business. Having had due notice, Messrs. Wallace removed by the time the notice expired. All necessary alterations were made to make it as attractive as possible for carrying on a good business. Suitable wagons for the display of green fruit were purchased. On August 4th, 1905, Mr. Walter Ingham (Batley) was appointed Manager, and the department was opened for business on August The carrying of these commodities to their doors a few times per week has proved a great boon to the members.

At this time Mr. George Cowgill, Assistant Cashier, who had acted as Minute Secretary to the Committee for a few years, left the Society's employment, having received an appointment as Manager of the Disley

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Co-operation in Meltham. 75

Co-operative Society, which position he holds at the present time. The elaborate extensions to the premises previously mentioned were now nearing completion. The additional Committee appointed in October, 1903, had been suspended, and arrangements were being made for a formal opening to take place on Saturday, November 18th, 1905, in the shape of a Public Tea and Meeting. Mr. Philip Snowden addressed a splendid meeting of the members, and the following artistes contributed to a most successful entertainment: The Crosland Moor United Handbell Ringers, and the Meltham Orpheus Quartette Party, consisting of Messrs. D. Wood, George Singleton, Earnshaw, and M. Watson. The President (Mr. G. H. Holroyd) occupied the chair. When the whole of the alterations and fittings were fully completed, the question of insurance arose, and, after due consideration, it was decided to insure the buildings and fixtures with the Co-operative Insurance Society to the amount of £11,000. On February 26th, 1906, the Half-yearly Meeting granted £1 donation to the National Lifeboat Institution and tos. 6d. to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The old question as to whether the Society should commence on the ready-money payment system was again brought to the fore at the Half-yearly Meeting held on August 27th, 1906, and a decision was come to that a ballot be taken of the whole of the members. On September 19th it was moved : "That we send out a voting paper to each member for or against ready-money payments, and whether we shall sell exclusively C.W.S. soaps." - The result of the voting on these questions was as follows: For ready-money 405, against 323, majority in favour 82; for the sale of C.W.S. soaps 241, against 405, majority against 164. Ready-money payments commenced February, 1907. In November, 1906, two fields situated at the back of the Stores and consisting of about 24 acres of

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76 Co-operation in Meltham.

land were purchased from Charles Brooke, Esq., for the sum of £885. The Employers' Liability Act having become law, it was decided on July 22nd, 1907, that all the Society's employés be insured with the Co-operative Insurance Society.

Having been selected from a number of applicants, Mr. Charles Eastwood was appointed Manager of the Boot Repairing Department as successor to Mr. William Hinchliffe, who had resigned the position on October 14th, 1907. On November 25th, 1907, all railway wagons belonging to the Society were insured with the Co-operative Insurance Society. In December, 1907, a Window-Dressing Competition was arranged in connection with the Huddersfield Branch of the Co-operative Employés' Union, open to all the Societies in the Huddersfield district. The Society's employés entered this competition, and the Committee placed the window at their disposal. - They were successful in obtaining second prize, and the Committee granted tos. to the prize given by the Union. At the invitation of the Co-operative Wholesale Society to visit the productive works at Pelaw the Manager and Mr. J. W. Kenworthy were appointed as the Society's respresentatives on Monday, May 4th, 1908. On Wednesday, October 28th, the Manager and Mr. J. Wilkinson (President) visited the productive works at Silvertown, London. The system of ready-cash payments had now been in operation twelve months, and the results were not satisfactory, the sales having decreased with great rapidity. As a consequence, at the Half-yearly Meeting held on March Ist, 1909, it was moved : " That a ballot be taken of the whole of the members as to whether the Society shall again adopt the system of fortnightly payments." - This ballot resulted in the fortnightly payment system being again established, the voting being

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78 Co-operation in Meltham.

as follows: For fortnightly payments, 383, for cash payments, 334, majority 49. At this meeting a notice of motion : " That the Grocery and Drapery Departments remain open on Friday and Saturday until 8 p.m. was passed over without comment. Mr. Thomas Hirst, who had been Secretary of the Society from the year 1874 (a period of twenty-five years), was at this time in a state of very indifferent health, and could not fulfil the duties which the office demanded. Having reached the age of seventy years, he decided to resign the position and give place to a younger man.

Mr. H. S. Kaye, who had been in the employ of the Society for nineteen years, was selected out of a large number of applicants, and appointed as Mr. Hirst's successor. The retirement of Mr. Hirst meant that the line of veteran Pioneers counted one less for active service. Joining the Society in 1865, he had rendered yeoman service and been a faithful servant. Deeply interested in the Society's welfare, he had worked for its success with untiring determination, both as member, Committee-man, and Secretary. Alterations had been made to the vacant rooms over the Greengrocery Department, making them suitable for boot repairing and clogging, and were occupied at the end of December, 1909, by this branch of business. The cottage in the yard, which had been used for this purpose, was to be converted into a dwelling-house. At the Committee Meeting held on December 30th, 1909, the following tenders for alterations were accepted :- Masonry, J. Moorhouse & Co., £8. tos.; joinery, J. M. Moorhouse, £22. 18s.; plasterers, J. Wilkinson & Sons, £7. 19s.; plumbing, J. Canney, £5; painting, F. Snowden, £3. I5S. Voting for Officers of the Society previous to the Half-yearly Meeting took place for the first time in February, 1910.

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Co-operation in Meltham. 79

On June 27th, 1910, the following tenders were accepted for the erection of piggeries, which had been contemplated for a considerable time: Masonry, J. Moorhouse & Sons, £45; joinery, J. M. Kinder, £15. 1os.; slating, Alfred Bower, £10. 15s. At the Half-yearly Meeting held August 29th, 1910, a resolution was passed: " That a ballot of the members be taken to ascertain whether they are in favour of adopting




or otherwise the Collective Life Assurance Scheme, the result to be declared at the next Half-yearly Meeting." During the intervening time handbills advocating and explaining the scheme were distributed to the members. The result of the ballot was in favour of adopting the scheme, which is now in operation. Many deaths have taken place since its adoption, and various sums have been paid to families of deceased members, who have felt it a great help to them at a time when much needed.

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8o Co-operation in Meltham.

It was also decided to grant the sum of {4 as a subscription towards the expenses in connection with the Co-operative Congress to be held at Bradford in Whit- Week; also to give a donation of £20 to the Huddersfield Infirmary and £5 to the Meltham Sickness and Accident Aid Association out of the Jubilee Fund.

The Manager of the Greengrocery Department (Mr. Gladstone Turton) tendered his resignation on March 13th, 1911. On March 27th Mr. Fred Leader (Brighouse) was appointed his successor. Having now recorded all the principal events which have transpired during the fifty years of the Society's existence, my “rr‘cmgr like most things in this world, must come to an end. Preparations for the Jubilee Celebrations are well in hand, and are being pushed forward. A record of the proceedings being given in a later chapter completing this history.

ConcLusION. If we confine our remarks to the progress which has been made during the past fifty years to the Meltham Co-operative Society alone, we exclaim : " How marvellous has been the growth, considering the limitations of its operations." But if we extend our vision to the whole of the Co-operative movement, and still beyond to Science, Art, Industry, Invention, and Education, we are amazed at the marvellous advancement that has been made. This means that the young Co-operators of to-day have facilities within their reach which did not exist, and which were impossibilities, with the old Pioneers.

The Co-operative movement, like science and invention, is only on the fringe of its possibilities. Let each Co- operator gird on the Co-operative armour and fight for the extension of the great principle, " Each for 111 and all for each," also to adopt the w ell known maxim of the movement, " Labour and Wait.

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Co-operation in Meltham. 8t


Receipts. p

1902 1OIO _... 44666 1903 1034 =... 45401 1904 1080 ... 46381 19053 (44 WE@KS) eevee e eee eee k. 1082 ... 39198 1906 1120 ... 48859 1907 1140 =... 40746 1908 II34 .. 45049 1909 1149 \... 43839 1910 II40 \.. 47805 I9IIT II7O ... 49100 PRESIDENTS. GEORGE HY. HOLROYD keke eee to 1906. J. Wirkinsoxn 1907 to 1909. A. QUaRMBY 1910 to I9IT. G. H. Horrovyp IQIT. SECRETARY. TrHomas Hirst Igor to 1909. H. S. Kave 1910 to LQII. AUDITORS.

Messrs. AppEsy & Woop.

COMMITTEE. Foster MaxncuEstsR. D. BroaADBENT. THorntoxr WapswortH. J. J. SoutuErx. SetH Brook Jor BEAUMONT J. M. Kinper D. Haywoop Jor Dixon B. BriEgruEy. Jor Hartcey. G. W. ReprEarx. Wirson FrEp Possox. SamnuEt A. QUaRMEBYy. J. W. KEnwortHy. F. W. Dysox. C. G. CrEasEr. i. F. Bastow. Joun BattyE. G. ArmrraGE.

Frep BatcEy.

Page 84


EFORE the close of the year 1910 the Committee had under consideration as to how the Jubilee should be celebrated. To arouse some interest amongst the members' children and the members generally, it was proposed to hold an Essay Competition for members' children under seventeen years of age; subject, " The Best Method of Celebrating the Jubilee." - Six prizes were offered, as follows:-First, tos.; second, 8s.; third, 6s.; fourth, 4s.; fifth, 2s.; sixth, Is. - Leaflets announcing the competition and conditions were printed and distri- buted from the various schools in the district; the essays to be sent in on or before January 2nd, 19II.

The number of competitors was disappointing, seven papers only being sent in for examination. The task of the adjudicator (Mr. J. S. Armitage, Huddersfield) was a light one, and be had no difficulty in deciding the awards. In his remarks he stated that, on the whole, the papers were good, and that the best papers showed merit in their composition. The Committee in their deliberations on carrying out the celebrations no doubt received some help and suggestions from these papers.

After much discussion and due consideration it was finally decided that the Jubilee should be celebrated as follows:-A history of the Society to be written and presented to each member in book form. _ A handsome teapot to be presented to each member, and mugs to all members' children under fourteen years of age, the teapots and mugs showing a view of the Society's premises on the one side and on the other side a badge with the following inscription: " The Meltham Industrial Co-operative Trading Society Limited. A Memento of Society's Jubilee, 1861 to 1911." A Children's Demonstration and Gala Day to take place on the first Saturday in July. On

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Co-operation in Meltham. 83

the second Saturday all members of the Society and their husbands or wives, sixty-five years or over, to be invited to tea and entertained in the evening. Preparations for these events occupied much of the Committee's time for several months, and, as the Ist of July approached, all was in readiness. The frontage of the buildings was gaily decorated with shields, flags, and coloured draperies. A white scroll, lettered in red, and extending from one end of the building to the other, declared to all who saw it that it was the Society's Jubilee, and that the sales in 1861 amounted to £3,600, and in 1911 to £48,000. _ Much atten- tion and labour had been given by the assistants to the internal and window decorations, and both inside and outside had a gay and neat appearance, and the display was very creditable throughout. Three wagons were decorated with goods from the Grocery, Drapery, and Green Fruit Departments, which were much admired in going round in the procession. The stablemen also spent much time and energy in getting up their horses, harness, fittings, &c., which added very much to the brightness of the procession.

The morning of July Ist, which was the children's day, opened out very unpropitiously. Showery weather pre- vailed, and the outlook was dark and gloomy. - The children were timed to meet at two o'clock to form into procession, and so late as one o'clock a shower of rain came on much heavier than any previous ones, and there was every appearance of a spoilt day, but happily the unexpected happened. After a shower of about a quarter of an hour's duration the sun shone forth in all its brilli- ancy, and from this time the day continued to be beautifully fine.

Fully three-quarters of an hour before the appointed time groups of prettily dressed children, with faces beam- ing with pleasure, could be seen making their way from all parts of the village to the place of assemblage at the back of the Stores. By two o'clock over 400 girls and close upon 400 boys had assembled to take part in the procession.

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84 Co-operation in Meltham.

Preceded by the Meltham Mills Brass Band, and marshalled by the President (Mr. Holroyd) and Vice- President (Mr. Batley), the procession started off through the village by way of Towngate, Station Street, Westgate, Greensend, Calmlands, and returning to the field.

A good many of the inhabitants, and many strangers, witnessed the procession, and declared it the best that had yet taken place. At one part of the route each child was presented with a tea ticket, tea being provided at the Oddfellows' Hall and Liberal Hall.

On returning to the field the children's sports were commenced, which consisted of the following events :-

GIRLS. . 50 yards flat race, under 8 years. . Egg-and-spoon race, 8 to 11 years. . 80 yards flat race, 12 to 14 years. . Potato-gathering race, 12 to 14 years.

Js Co N H

Boys. . 50 yards flat race, under 8 years. . Potato-gathering race, 8 to 11 years. . 80 yards flat race, 12 to 14 years. . Obstacle race, 12 to 14 years.

4 Go bo H

After a few races had taken place the children were marched off to tea-girls to the Oddfellows' Hall and boys to the Liberal Hall. Having partaken of a good sub- stantial tea, they returned to the field and the sports were resumed. A Pelaw Boot Polishing Competition for boys and a Pelaw Liquid Metal Polishing Competition for girls had been arranged. The value of the prizes for both competitions were as follows:-First prize, value 7s. 6d.; second prize, value 5s.; third prize, value 3s. _ Much interest was taken in these events, which caused much amusement. A " Hermes" Baking Competition also took place, prizes being given as follows for the best loaf baked from " Hermes " flour purchased at the Stores:-- First prize, ten 3%lb. bags of " Hermes;" second prize,

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86 Co-operation in Meltham.

eight bags of " Hermes;" third prize, six 3¥lb. bags of " Hermes." There were four entries only for this event.

During the afternoon and evening Punch and Judy performances and ventriloquial entertainments were given at intervals, and the band played various selections of music, and at dusk played for dancing. Permission had been obtained from the vicar and warden to have the church bells rung by hand. A set of competent ringers were engaged specially for the occasion, and merry peals were rung throughout the day, giving pleasure and enjoy- ment to all who heard them. All the arrangements were got through very satisfactorily, and nothing occurred to mar anyone's pleasure. At the close of the day's pro- ceedings both young and old appeared to have had a day of thorough enjoyment, and from commencement to finish the first day's celebrations were a great success. _ On Wednesday and Thursday, July 5th and 6th, teapots and mugs were distributed to the members and children. Saturday, July 8th, was the day fixed for the Old Members' Treat. Over 200 tickets were issued, with an invitation to the Oddfellows' Hall to partake of tea and to be entertained in the evening. With a few exceptions, all put in an appearance. The time announced for tea to take place was 4-30, but long before this time the tables were filled up with happy old folks, who chatted away gaily until all was in readiness. The tables were well laden with good things, and artistically decorated with art muslin and plants, and at the time of commencement the scene presented a picture not easily forgotten, the expressions on the old people's faces denoting they were in for a good time.

For the entertainment in the evening the following artistes had been engaged:-The Crosland Moor Public Handbell Ringers, Mr. John Drake, humorist (Meltham}), Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Kaye (Meltham), Mr. John Mellor, accompanist (Meltham). An abundant supply of tobacco and pipes, aerated waters, and fruits of all kinds were provided to be partaken of during the entertainment.

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Co-operation in Meltham 87

At 6-30 Mr. G. H. Holroyd (President) opened the meeting by giving a hearty welcome to the old folks, touching briefly upon the conditions they had passed through and the conditions of the young folk of to-day, also relating to various phases of the Society's history. He hoped everyone would partake of the good things provided for them, and that they would have a most enjoyable evening. The various items in the programme were gone through and much appreciated. One item, " The Holmfirth Anthem," given by the handbell ringers, received special applause. Being a well-known refrain, the audience joined in singing at various parts of the performance.

As the evening was drawing to a close, the Chairman expressed that he thought a word or two from one of the audience would be very much appreciated, and he called upon Mr. John Wilkinson, who at various times had occupied the position of President of the Society for fifteen years. Mr. Wilkinson stated that he was present at the inaugural meeting in 1861 at Royd Edge Mill. He spoke of Mr. Hirst as an ideal employer, and the deep interest he took in his workpeople. He referred to the early days of the Society and its difficulties, and paid a high tribute to the Co-operative Wholesale Society as a purchasing centre. His remarks throughout were very well received, and he expressed himself as being proud to have been called upon to say a few words.

Immediately afterwards the meeting terminated, and, on leaving, the old folks expressed themselves as having been well entertained, and wished they could have it repeated every year and never mind the dividend. Thus the Jubilee celebrations, which had been carried out most successfully, were brought to a close.

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