The Huddersfield Industrial Society Limited: Fifty Years of Progress (1910) by Owen Balmforth

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THE HUDDERSFIELD INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY LIMITED.

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THE HUDDERSFIELD Industrial Society Limited.

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HIS TORY -

- OF --

FIFTY YEARS' PROGRESS. 1860-1910.

By OWEN BALMFORTH.

MANCHESTER : Co-OPERATIV 'E WhHoLESALE SocIETY' s Prerntinc Works, Rp., Loxastant.

1910.

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Prefatory Stote.

T is unfortunate that all the men who took any part in l the first formation of our Society should have passed away before the Jubilee celebration. This fact has rendered it impossible for me to obtain any first-hand information with respect to the preliminary work necessarily undertaken in the establishment of the Society. I have, however, carefully read all the books and records which are available, in order to present a complete and accurate historical account of an institu- tion which, it must be admitted, has had a singularly successful career, and which has grown from small beginnings to a concern of enormous magnitude, with multifarious ramifications.

Having myself, for over thirty-two years, taken a somewhat active part in the affairs of the Society, I trust that I have written the following pages in an impartial spirit, and, as Shakespeare says, " Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice."

The first and second chapters, although not directly relating to our Society, will, I hope, be found interesting and useful as affording a glimpse of the social and indus- trial conditions which formerly obtained in this district, and the efforts our forefathers made to propagate the principles of Co-operation.

I wish to thankfully acknowledge the valuable and cordial assistance I have received from Mr. J. T. Prentis (the Secretary of our Society) in my work of compilation.

O. B. Huddersfield, October, 1910.

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Contents.

CHAPTER.

PrefatOLy NOt@ evere e e eee eek I. The Dark Days before it Began ............... II. Earlier Local Efforts in Co-operation ......... III. The Beginnings of our Society .........

IV. Resolutions: Interesting, Curious, and | Saile (o ae

V. Early Progress of the Society, 1860-1870 ... VI. Progress of the Society (cont'd), 1871-1880 .

VII. $, $, $, $, 1881-1890 . VIII. $, $, $, $, 1891-1900 . IX. $, ), ), IQOI-IQI0 . X. Early Educatlonal Work 1860-1892 ......... XI. The Present Educational Dept., 1893-1910... XII. The Women's XIII. The Jubilee Celebrations =........................ Appendices :- I. List of Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and SeCretaT1@3 ........................ 2. 00}, k...}.

,, -_ Present Branch Storekeepers ... p» -_ eee ees

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47 58 72 94 133 170 207 213 220 236

24] 248 252

254

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j llus trations. PAGE.

James Broadbent, President ........................ Frontispiece Shears INN =...... .. se.. es as se ee e e e e e e e e e ee e e e e e e e ee e es 33 Edwin Rothwell, an Original Trustee ............ ek 0k kk e..}. 35 Jonas Horsfall, an Original Trustee ... ..................... 35 Abraham Horsfall, the First Treasurer...................... 35 R. S., Walker, the First Secretary........................ .. 39 John Netherwood, Member of First 39 Wm. Ashworth, Member of First Committee ................ 39 Jas. T. Prentis, Secretary ...se ses ek es ee ee ee ee es 61 Mirfield Branch (Grocery and Butchering).................. 67 Milnsbridge Branch (Grocery) 73 Primrose Hill Branch (Grocery). 717 Moldgreen Branch (Grocery and Butchering)................ 79 Lindley Branch (Grocery and Butchering) .................. 83 Rashcliffe Branch (Grocery and Butchering) ................ 85 Lockwood Branch (Grocery and Drapery) .................. 89 Marsh Branch s ske s kkk. ks 91 Lowerhouses Branch (Grocery) ....................s}k...... 95 Northumberland Street Branch (Grocery) .................. 97 Paddock Branch (Grocery and Butchering).................. IOI Newsome Branch (Grocery) | 103 Greenside Branch (Grocery) 107 Stable Yard ss ak se ve r e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e ee e ees 109 Aspley Branch (Grocery) cok kk} Cliffe End Branch (Grocery and Butchering) ................ I1I5 Outlane Branch (Grocery and Butchering) .................. I1Q Kirkheaton Branch (Grocery and Butchering) .............. 123 Oakes Branch (ButcheriNg) es ese ske eee 0s. 127 Marsh Branch (Butchering). . ..... }}. 127 Bradley Branch (Grocery and Butchering) .................. I 3 I Oakes Branch (GrOC@ry) ese sess ee sees se sek 0s 135 Thornton Lodge Branch (Grocery and Butchering) .... ..... I 3 Primrose Hill Branch (Drapery and Butchering) ............ 143 Almondbury Branch (Grocery) 149 Almondbury Branch (Butchering) . ......................... 153 Lockwood Branch (Butchering) ............................ 153 Milnsbridge Branch (Drapery and Butchering) .............. 157 St. Thomas's Road (Property) 159 Beech Street, Paddock, Branch (Grocery) .................. 163 Bakery, De@dw@Aters ................ sess ss es ee ee e e e e ee eee s 165 Birkby Branch (Grocery, Drapery, and Butchering).......... I7I Furnishing Show Room, Buxton Road...................... 177 Boot Repairing Room, Buxton Road 183 Restaurant, Buxton Road 187 Central Premises, Buxton Road ............................ IQI Former Central Premises, Buxton Road .................... 193 Laundry, Princess Street ..........s. ees se es s ee ekke 197 Departmental Managers 199 Board of .s se ce es ee e e e e e e ee e ee ees 203 Educational Committee. .k sess es seek ek .} ss 225 Women's Guild Committee sess s ese se.. 233

Jubilee oe 237

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CHAPTER I.

Obe Dark Days before it Regan.

When wilt Thou save the people ? O God of Mercy, when ? Not kings and lords, but nations ! Not thrones and crowns, but men ! Flowers of Thy heart, O God, are they- Let them not pass, like weeds, away- Their heritage a sunless day ! God, save the people ! -Ebenezer Elliott.

UR Society was founded in the year 1860-just ‘ fifty years ago. The men and women of that

day had lived through some very dark and evil times. The social and economic condition of the people was deplorable in the extreme. The working classes were deprived of the Parliamentary franchise; they had no share in the closer and more important matters of local self-government. The conditions of labour were degrading in their severity, working hours were long, and wages low ; child labour was rampant to a degree which nowadays seems almost unbelievable. The prices of food and other necessaries were extraordinarily high; poverty prevailed to an alarming extent ; disease and death rates reached a very high figure. As for education, this, alas ! was a luxury quite beyond the reach of working people.

As a natural result of this sad condition of things, the people were sullen, bitter, and resentful. Any agitation on constitutional lines was difficult and almost futile-so

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much so that some, in their helplessness and ignorance, like the extreme Chartists, had recourse to physical force ; or, like the Plug Rioters in 1842, wreaked their vengeance upon employers of labour. With bread at famine prices, work scarce, and little hope of political or social reform, the feelings of the people found expression in the poem from which the above verse is taken.

Let us glance a little in detail at the conditions of life among the working classes at this period, and we will

confine our illustrations to the state of things existing locally, in Huddersfield and district.

LABOUR CONDITIONS.

From a printed document dated September Ioth, 1829, the following extract is copied :-

n consequence of repeated entreaties the principal masters met a deputation at the Rose and Crown Inn,* Huddersfield, on Tuesday, the 21st of July last, and, after a patient hearing of the unexampled sufferings then detailed, it was unanimously agreed that an inquiry into their state should take place, under the management of the Committee of the operatives and the several parish officers and other respectable neighbours who might feel disposed to assist the undertaking. The meeting of the masters and the deputation of operatives was adjourned from time to time until the returns were completed ; and after careful exami- nation it appears that in several townships, mostly occupied in the fancy business, there are upwards of 13,000 individuals who have not more than 2%d. each per day to live upon, and find wear and tear for looms, &c. Whatever be the cause of such distress, it is feared that the agonising condition of families so circum- stanced cannot long be endured.

In 1834 Mr. E. S. Cayley, who represented the North Riding of Yorkshire in Parliament, wrote some " Essays on Commercial Economy,"" in which he quotes from the foregoing report on the state of the population in Hudders- field in 1829 these figures :-" 660 inhabitants each earn 6s. IId. per week, 421 earn 3s. 6d., 2,439 earn 2s. and 13,226 earn only Is. 3d."

Let us refer to handloom weaving, which was our staple industry. Before a Select Committee of the House

*This Inn stood on the site now occupied by the Palace Theatre,

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. II

of Commons, which sat in 1825, it was stated in evidence by a John Swift, of Newsome, that Mr. Joshua Boothroyd, of Almondbury, who employed 300 men upon looms in their own homes, paid those who were weaving ° checks " an average wage of tos. 6d. per week, and out of that each man had to pay his winder. Referring to another employer, Mr. Eli Chadwick, who had sixty men as shaw! and waistcoat weavers, witness said that a sober and steady man might average, with a winder, 20s. per week, which would leave him about 19s.

Another witness named Amos Cowgill, of Lepton, said the weekly wages in his neighbourhood, for a twelve months' book, would be about ISs. He was weaving a low quality of " toilinettes," and he could make 12s., independently of winding. He had to work fourteen or fifteen hours a day. He said the woollen cloth weavers about Huddersfield were kept well employed at that time, and their earnings, when all was cleared off, would be 12s. 6d. for a full week. Therefore about the year 1825 we may set down the net average earnings of the hand- loom weavers in Huddersfield as ranging from 9s. to I7s., the wide margin being due to the irregularity and varying qualities of work.

Coming down later to the years 1852-3 we have most trustworthy evidence of the earnings of a young married couple-both handloom weavers-who lived within a mile of the Huddersfield Town Hall. Both are now dead, but they were friends of mine when living, and I can vouch for their character as being industrious, upright, and honourable. The man was a remarkably intelligent and public-spirited citizen.* I have seen the original manu- script record of this couple's earnings for two years. It is headed, " The following is a correct account of our incomes in the years 1852-3." And then follow each sum

___ * At a later date he was a member of our Society's Committee. Hepublished, in 1880, a 22-paged pamphlet, entitled "The Village Co-operative Tea Party; Dialogues on Co-operation.'"'

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they both received week by week. The totals are added up, and they show that for the 104 weeks the wife earned £24. 1o0s., or 4s. weekly, and the husband £66. 7s. 7d., or 12s. qd. weekly, making a combined total of 17s. 5¥d. per week for the labour of two adult human beings. In any civilised state of society it ought to be impossible to find a married woman engaged in earning her own bread, and yet, if this woman had not been so engaged, they would have been obliged to subsist upon qd. per week. What opportunity is there upon such a miserable income for living that full, free, and higher life which ought to be within the reach of every child born ? _ I have also a letter written by the same man to a friend in America two years later, dated May, 1855. I give one or two extracts to show what the conditions of life were like among the artisans of Huddersfield fifty-five years ago. The writer says :-

I deeply regret not having written you sooner, though it would have cost me my bread for the time to have paid the 2s. postage. Things have been so bad that I was obliged to work on Christmas Day. During the last eighteen weeks my work has been as follows :-I have had from Mr. Beaumont about fifty-six yards of weaving at 6d. per yard. I had three weeks at Shaw's, of Lockwood, at the power looms, working partly in the night, they having two sets of hands to complete some orders for the Crimes. Here I earned about 15s. a week. I have also had thirty hours at Benj. Hanson's, at Paddock, at an order from the same quarter, but of an inferior quality of goods. I carned fourteen pence in that time-short of a halfpenny per hour! I was no learner, either. I then gave it up as a bad job. I have also had a hand- loom job for Hanson's, which took me more than five weeks to work, yet the earnings only amounted to 51s., out of which I had to pay for healds and slay (as per note) 16s. rod., and for winding 7s., leaving about 27s. 2d. And you must understand that I have been one of the fortunate, for there are very many that have done worse than this. . . . This has been the hardest winter for weavers in my day-work scarce, provisions high, and the weather severe. Power-loom weavers have been reduced 20 to 25 per cent. Hand weavers, also, are reduced. I1 must leave you to judge how those with families manage to live. Many of those who have no families have got so tired that they have gone and entered the army. Not less than thirty have enlisted from Almondbury, and five have gone from Lowerhouses and Longley. [Here follow some of their names..

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CHILD LABOUR.

The excessive hours and unhealthy surroundings in which little children of tender age were employed must have left their mark upon succeeding generations, and would prevent any moral influences from exercising their due power in the development of character. If, as the poet tells us, " the child is father to the man," what kind of men and women can we expect as the outgrowth of children who pass their lives shut off from all oppor- tunities of education or recreation ? We do not expect to gather figs from thistles, and when Robert Owen first directed attention to the early education of infants he advocated a method of training human character which our statesmen at length wisely and completely adopted.

I have examined the Huddersfield Overseers' book, in which was entered the list of parish apprentices from 1800 to 1810, and find that a number of little children were apprenticed from the Huddersfield Workhouse, to go to work at the early ages of seven, eight, and nine years. Listen to the story of what should be " the happy days of childhood," as told before a House of Commons Select

Committee in the year 1832. The witness is named Abram Whitehead. He says :-

I am a clothier, and reside at Scholes, near Holmfirth, which is the centre of very considerable woollen mills for three or four miles. The youngest age at which children are employed is never under five ; some are employed between five and six as pieceners. I live near to parents who have been sending children to mills for a great number of years, and I know positively that these children are every morning in the winter season called out of bed between five and six, and, in some instances, between four and five. I have seen children of tender years employed as late as to p.m. in the winter season. I have been in mills at all hours, and I never in my life saw the machinery stopped at breakfast time at any of the mills. The children get their breakfast as they can ; they eat and work ; there is generally a pot of water-porridge, with a little treacle in it, placed at the end of the machines, and when they have exerted themselves to get a little forward with their work they take a few spoonfuls for a minute or two, and then to work again, and continue to do so until they have finished their breakfast. This

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is the general practice, not only of the children, but of the men in the woollen mills in the district. There is not any allowance for the afternoon refreshment, called " drinking," more than for breakfast. In summer some of the mills allow an hour for dinner, and others forty minutes. There is no time allowed in winter, only just sufficient to eat their dinner, perhaps ten minutes or a quarter of an hour ; and in some cases they manage the same at noon as they do at breakfast and " The children are employed as " pieceners;'' when at work they are always on their feet-they cannot sit and piece. The only interval the children have for rest is the very short time allowed for dinner. ._ When I have been at the mills in the winter season, when the children are at work in the evening, the very first thing they inquire is, '' What o'clock is it ? '' If I should answer, " Seven,' they say, " Only seven ! It is a great while to ten, but we must not give up till ten or past."" They look so anxious to know what o'clock it is that I am convinced the children are fatigued, and think even at seven that they have worked too long. My heart has been ready to bleed for them, for they appear in such a state of apathy and insensibility as really not to know whether they were doing their work or not. They usually throw a bunch of ten or twelve cordings across the hand, and take one off at a time ; but I have seen the bunch entirely finished, and they have attempted to take off another when they have not had a cording at all. They have been so fatigued as not to know whether they were at work or not. _. . ._ It is a very difficult thing to go into a mill in the latter part of the day and not to hear some of the children crying for being beaten. - Some have been beaten so violently that they have lost their lives in consequence. There is a mill at Smithy Place, three miles and a half from Hudders- field, and that mill worked so long, about two years ago, that a boy at the mill actually hanged himself, because he said he would sooner do it than work so many hours a day as he had done.

Here is the evidence of another Huddersfield witness (before the same Committee), himself an actual worker in the mill. His name is Joseph Habergam. He says :-

I was seven years of age when I began work at Geo. Addison's, Bradley Mill, at worsted spinning. The hours of labour at that mill were from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., with one interval for rest and refreshment of thirty minutes only at noon ; we had to eat our other meals as we could, standing or otherwise. I had 144% hours daily actual labour when seven years of age, and my wages were 2s. 6d. per week. I attended to what we called the throstle machines ; this I did for 2% years, and then I went to the steam looms for half a year. In that mill there were about fifty children of about the same age as I was. We were often sick and poorly.

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There were always, perhaps, half-a-dozen regularly that were ill because of excessive labour. . . . There was one overlooker kept on purpose to strap. He is continually walking up and down with the strap in his hand, and his office is to strap the children on to their labour. The children could not be kept so long to their work if they were not so treated ; they would have fallen asleep. Accidents were frequent. Towards the end of the day the flies of the machines would burst their knuckles ; the flies go so swift they cannot stop them with their hands, they have to stop them with their knees. . ._. When I gave over attending the throstles I worked at bobbin-winding at the steam looms. - When trade was brisk I have worked from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. - For this additional hour's labour each working day I received for the whole six months roid. Soon after I went to Mr. Brook's, Upper Mill, and remained nearly four years. I worked at Lewis's machine in the dressing department. There I was often compelled to work from 5 a.m. to 10-30 p.m., sometimes till 11, for four months together, and on one occasion I worked all Friday, Friday night, and Saturday. My regular wages was 5s. a week, and they gave 1s. extra for the overtime. I left that mill, and went to Mr. Wm. Firth's, Green- head, and they began the rule of stopping the boys 1$d. and a man 3d. for being six minutes late. I was beaten as well as fined for being too late. The longest hours I worked at Mr. Firth's were from five in the morning till nine at night.

Here is the testimony of a local clergyman. A public meeting was held in Huddersfield on November 22nd, 1843, addressed by the late Mr. Walter, of the Times newspaper, and others. Among the speakers was the Rev. Wyndam Madden (Incumbent of Woodhouse, near Huddersfield). He said he could remember, in 1825, seeing from his residence (being on a hill that overlooked Huddersfield) the factories of Huddersfield illuminated all night. He would relate an instance which had come under his own observation. He had visited one of his poor people, and saw a girl in bed. He asked what was the matter, and if she was sick. The answer was, " No, she was tired, and had been working too hard." He asked for particulars. That child had been in the factory from six in the morning on Monday until six o'clock on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning she again went to work till Thursday night. Thursday night she came home, and slept that night if she could. She went on Friday, and remained until five o'clock on Saturday night.

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He observed that this was cruel. She replied, " If I don't go they will get another, and some must do it." He said, " It was impossible, and that they could not subsist thus," but they said, " The men and the children worked, and got rest at different times beneath the machines."

Sir Robert Peel, addressing the House of Commons in February, 1818, said, " It was his intention, if possible, to prevent the recurrence of such a misfortune as that which had lately taken place. He alluded to the seventeen poor children who were lately burnt in the night in a cotton factory." This sad fatality occurred in that month at a mill at Colne Bridge, Bradley, within this borough, and the monument erected over the victims may be seen in Kirkheaton churchyard.

Such were the conditions of child labour in Hudders- field in the early years of last century. Well might Mrs. Browning write that touching poem, " The Cry of the Children," wherein she says-

* For oh," say the children, " we are weary, And we cannot run or leap ; If we cared for any meadows, it were merely To drop down in them and sleep. Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping, We fall upon our faces, trying to go ; And, underneath our heavy eyelids droopm The reddest flower would look as pale as snow ; For, all day, we drag our burden tiring Through the coal-dark, underground- Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron In the factories, round and round."

Now let us compare, to some extent, the I

Cost or

in Huddersfield to-day with ninety years ago. - The grocery book kept by the Overseers of the Poor in Huddersfield in the years 1816 to 1819, in which are entered day by day the purchases of provisions made by them for the Workhouse, contains the following figures. In the second column are the prices charged to-day by

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 17

our local Co-operative Store. Of course, there are various qualities and various prices, but we will take the price for

a good article :- Prices paid in Huddersfield- -

In 1819. In 19:0. s. d. s. d. Black Tea.............. per lb. 8 o __ .... 2 2 Raw Sugar ............ p, Io O 000 ...... e Lump Sugar........... p, Io 4 ..... 3 Candles ................ &, O Q 00 o...... o - 6 Mustard ............... 6, 2 O 000 ...... I - 8 .................. $ 3 6 = o...... I 8 Starch .................. p» I O 000 ...... - 5 Currants ............... p, I O 00 o...... o 4} GiN&geP................... per oz. o 2} | ...... I Pepper ................. $ O 3 o..... o - I} Nutmegs................ $) I 6 o...... _ 3 Vinegar............. per quart o 8 - ...... o - 31} Salt .................. per stone 5 4 ...... _ 3 Brown Soap ...... $, IIT O 00 ...... 3 Mottled Soap ...... $ I3 O ...... 3 6 PINS. .................. per sheet o 6 ...... o - 2j}

Poor-Law RELIEF.

As an indication of the amount of poverty existing in those early days, I may point out that the poor-rate in Huddersfield in the year 1815 was 16s. in the £; to-day it is only rod. The amount of outdoor relief actually paid locally in 1863 was £14,008, and in 1908 only £13,766, or a decrease of £242. The total number of persons in receipt of relief, indoor and outdoor, in 1863 was 4,557, and in 1908 only 2,892, or a decrease of 1,665, notwith- standing an increase of the population of the Union during that time of 35,000.

DISEASE AND DEATH RATES.

The condition of things fifty years ago, from a sanitary and health point of view, were very lamentable indeed. For the three years immediately preceding the incorpora- tion of the borough-1865 to 1868-the death rate was 23%q per thousand ; last year the death rate was only 1630 per thousand, a saving of about 700 lives per year.

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18 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

According to eminent statisticians, every individual life represents an average value of £150. If this be applied to the 700 lives saved last year, there is a saving of no less than £105,000 in one year, without reckoning the loss caused by sickness and consequent loss of wages. In- fantile mortality and deaths from consumption were nearly double what they are to-day, and the mortality from scarlet fever has decreased in a greater ratio still. Men and women live longer, sickness is diminished, scientifically equipped hospitals and infirmaries now exist, while efficient and kindly nurses make regular w:sits to the homes of the poor.

EpUCcATION.

Lastly, how few were the opportunities of obtaining even the rudiments of education ! Fifty years ago the facilities for education were very meagre indeed. Before the House of Commons Select Committee (already referred to), which sat in 1832, the following statements were made by the two Huddersfield witnesses. Abram Whitehead said :- There is not any possibility of children employed in the mills obtaining any instruction from day schools ; but since this factory bill was agitated, when I have been at mills, the children have gathered round me for a minute or two as I passed along, and have said, " When shall we have to work ten hours a day :? Will you

get the Ten Hours Bill ? We shall have a rare time then ; surely somebody will set up a night school. I will learn to write, that I

will ! *" The other witness, J. Habergam, said :-

When at the factory I had not any opportunity of learning to read and write-only a little on the Sabbath Day. I have tried to learn to write within these last ten or eleven weeks. I do not think there is above one in a hundred in the factories that can write.

The Government Blue Book for 1864 gives the total attendance at elementary schools in the borough as 2,500, while for last year (1909) the average attendance

in the borough was as follows :-Council Schools, 8,192 ; Denominational schools, 6,049; total, 14,241; and the

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average number of names on the books reached 16,090. There was no school accommodation in Huddersfield for several thousands of children of school age, and actually one-half the children were either running about the streets or at work, receiving no education at all. And of those comparatively few children whose names were on the books only about one-half were in regular attendance. How different to-day, when practically every child is at school !

The Mechanics' Institute was begun in the year 1841, in the Old British School in Outcote Bank. From the Annual Report, dated May, 1844, I find there were at that time 410 students, now there are 1,600 ; library, 458 volumes, now 9,000 ; yearly income £83, now £12,000.

It is almost a wonder that amid all these difficulties, this physical suffering, and this overwhelming poverty both of body and mind, there should be found even a few choice spirits, possessing, may be, a little more public spirit and determination of character than their fellows, who should dream dreams and see visions, and in their endeavours to catch the gleam, should find a way out of this slough of despond.

How a few men in Huddersfield strove in their day and generation to improve the lot of their fellow-men will be told in the following pages.

ene gil

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CHAPTER II.

Karlietr Local Efforts in Co-operation.

sum- n

Have the elder races halted ? Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas ?

We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson.

Pioneers! - O Pioneers!

See my children, resolute children, By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter,

Ages back in ghostly millions, frowning there, behind us urging. Pioneers! O Pioneers! -W alt W hitman.

WING to the lapse of time, and to the fact that all the original founders of our Society are now dead, it is impossible to say how far they were influenced in their thought and action by the earlier pioneers of Co-operation. It is perfectly true that a number of those who were at various times members of our Society's Committee were enthusiastic and zealous followers of Robert Owen and George Jacob Holyoake, who each did a great work, both by tongue and pen, in propagating the cause of Co-operation before our Society began. Robert Owen, the founder of Co-operation, and G. J. Holyoake, his disciple and missionary, travelled the entire country advocating Co-operation and progressive ideas, and often visited Huddersfield and district to address public meetings. - The principles and ideas thus

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expounded would, in some instances, no doubt, be like the seeds which " fell upon stony places," while others

" fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold."

The modern form of Co-operation may be spoken of as dating from the efforts of the twenty-eight Pioneers of Rochdale in 1844, and its distinguishing feature is the distribution of profits among the members in proportion to the amount of their purchases. But from 1824 to 1840 there was great activity in the Co-operative world, owing to the immense propagandist labours referred to above. These earlier Societies, with few exceptions,. either dis- tributed their profits among the shareholders only, or, as Mr. Holyoake says, " The profits were not divided, but were allowed to accumulate for the purpose chiefly of reconstituting the world."* A high and noble ideal, without doubt! The Societies at this period, though numerous, were only small and financially feeble, consequently many of them, after the first enthusiasm had spent itself, soon languished and died. Among these early failures in this district were the following thirteen Societies:-In 1829, one each in Huddersfield, Almondbury, and Cumberworth ; 1830, Armitage Bridge, Shelley, Milnsbridge, Stocksmoor, and Thurstonland ; 1832, Lindley, New Mill, and Holmfirth ; 1833, Farnley Tyas; and 1834, Lowerhouses. All these have ceased to exist. Of the ancient Societies still exist- ing in the district are the following four :-Meltham Mills, established in 1827 (this has the honour of being the sixth oldest in England) ; 1830, Kirkheaton ; 1840, Hepworth and Netherton. Co-operative Societies, like trade unions, in their early days were not protected by law, and we find that in 1830 Mr. Haigh, of the Milnsbridge Society, wrote to the British Co-operator that " they were obliged to discharge their storekeeper, as he had defrauded them of much property during the quarter." They could not prosecute him. The Meltham Mills

* History of Co-operation,'' vol. ii., p. 315.

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22 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Society has paid dividends on purchases ever since its formation, thus anticipating the Rochdale Pioneers by some seventeen years. At a later date two other local societies were established, which are still in a very flourishing condition, viz., in 1847 Close Hill, and in 1848 Berry Brow.

The first Co-operative Society in Huddersfield was established in 1829, and took the form of a combined Co-operative Trading and Manufacturing Association, occupying a shop in Westgate, near the Wellington Hotel, for some years after our own Society had begun. Their printed rules were prefaced with the following sensible motto from Isaiah : " They helped everyone his neighbour, and everyone said to his brother, ' Be of good courage." " The late Mr. Thomas Hirst, of Granby Street, grandfather to the present Mr. Westwood Hirst, hoster, in Buxton Road, was one of the leading officials of this Society, and an intimate correspondence passed during 1832-3 betwixt Mr. Hirst and Lady Noel Byron, wife of the poet. Lady Byron was actively interested in this first Hudders- field Co-operative Society, taking the trouble of lending it (and inducing her friends to lend it) considerable financial assistance. Mr. Amos Cowgill was the first President, and among the Committee were the names of Charles Cockcroft, John Earnshaw, William Schofield, Benjamin Gledhill, James Waring, Thomas Hirst, and Samuel Glendinning, a relative of the late Alderman Charles Glendinning. Some curious resolutions appear in the old minute books of this Society. At one time they resolved to limit the number of members to 2530. At another they resolved to purchase a candlestick and a pair of snuffers ! They evidently had not got the electric light in those days. One member was expelled for an '" obvious crime," which, apparently, was too obvious to be specified. It was resolved that every person proposing to become a member should attend before the Committee, in order that the said Committee might be able to deter- mine whether they possessed sufficient confidence in the candidate. It is recorded that a vote of thanks was

Page 23

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 23

awarded to Lady Byron with three times three and unbounded applause. One rule stated that any member not complying with the rule " to purchase all he can at the Society's Store must show cause to the Committee how it has so happened." The late Mr. William Smith, afterwards a prosperous cotton spinner, was engaged as a shop boy at the Store at 8s. per week. - The Society carried on also the business of woollen cloth manufacture, and for the six years ending 1839 its profits averaged over £2,000. There is a reference to this Society in No. 12 of the " Lancashire and Yorkshire Co-operator," published in 1832. Describing the first Manchester Co-operative Society, which was formed in 1830, it says, '" They had a shop well stocked with provisions, linens, stockings, flannel, and with woollen cloth manufactured by the Co-operators of Huddersfield." The members

apparently designated one another as " brothers." One minute records :-

Brother Charles Cockcroft proposes, and Brother Joseph Woodhouse seconds, a proposition that Brothers John Jessop and

John Earnshaw be empowered to provide suitable books for the Committee.

In 1830 the whole Committee of thirteen persons signed promissory notes to repay loans of £50 from Chas. Wood, £60 from James Whitestaff, and £30 from Henry Naylor, of Huddersfield. On May 3st, 1830, Mr. Abraham Taylor was appointed salesman at zos. per week, and Mr. Charles Glendinning was asked to prepare rules for the establishment of a Sick Society.

In May, 1831, the subject of promoting a Community was considered, and it was decided to be impracticable at that time, particularly in regard to the cultivation of land at Chat Moss. In July, 1831, Mr. Hirst was sent as a delegate to a Birmingham Congress. He also attended the London Congress in 1832, and again at Liverpool in 1833. At the London Congress Mr. Hirst occupied the chair on certain days, and he was appointed a missionary to disseminate the principles of Co- operation. In October, 1831, it was resolved "" to apply

Page 24

24 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

to the sister of Lord Harewood, or to Lady Byron, for a loan of £400 to carry on the manufacture of woollen goods." On December 13th Amos Cowgill was appointed a local missionary at 18s. per week.

In August, 1832, a public meeting was called in the large Union Room in the Swan Yard for the discussion of Co-operation, and one hundred bills were ordered. The minute book further shows that David Green was employed to take a card of patterns into the country, " where he may think likely to make sales, and Benjamin Brearley is requested to take what pieces he thinks he can sell for the Society."" The brown olive pieces made by the Society were ordered to be dyed by Mr. David Heys (Huddersfield). Mr. William Hodgson, for labour performed by him for the Society, was remunerated with a suit of clothes, taking in both hat, shoes, and shirt. It was early resolved to subscribe one penny a month each member towards aiding the missionary cause; that a meet- ing be called to discuss the propriety of establishing a Co-operative school, and that at the annual meeting on Christmas Day the first subject of discussion should be education. There were high ideals in those days !

On August 12th, 1834, the Committee were recom- mended to purchase two looms and a jenny, and to employ others as soon as opportunity offered.

In 1836 it was decided to purchase a horse and cart, and that " young men from Halifax who desire to join the Society be admitted." Mr. James Wimpenny was to be employed as permanent manufacturer to the Society at 25s. per week, together with a suit of cloth of his own choosing every year. The Society resolved to enter a Money Club at the White Hart Inn, to the amount of £500, for the benefit of its business. In the rules it was forbidden to curse or swear at any of the Society's meetings, or to cause any quarrel so as to get to blows.

It is curious to note that in 1832 £3 was ordered to be given to Captain Wood's Committee to defray the election expenses. That would be the first Parliamentary

Page 25

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 25

election in Huddersfield. Here is a little electioneering experience in those far-off days. _ Mr. Thomas Hirst writes :-

When I got home the election for the borough commenced, and, being one of the constables, I was compelled to assist in keeping order. The magistrates sent for the soldiers, and swore in about 250 special constables, the sight of which enraged the populace. Stones were thrown, and windows were broken, and I apprehended the consequences would be loss of life either to the soldiers, the constables, or the people. At this juncture William Stocks, Esq., the Chief Constable, and myself, advised the magis- trates to take themselves, the soldiers, and the constables away, to which they agreed on condition we would take the responsibility of the peace of the town on our own hands, which we readily did for half an hour, and I am happy to say we two succeeded in clearing the town and restoring peace and order without either staves or swords. The time has come when the voice of the people must be heard !

We learn that such was the respect in which he was regarded by the mob, that when the fighting was furious the assailants cried out, "" Don't hit Tom Hirst!"

On March 29th, 1833, Lady Byron wrote to Mr. Hirst :-

I was at Brighton lately, and conversed about you with Dr. King [another active Co-operator], who was gratified by your letter. I proposed to him to visit you both as a friend and physician, and offered to defray the expenses of his journey if he could make it. He would like to do so, but it is very uncertain whether he can leave Brighton.

On April 12th there follows a letter addressed to

DEar Mrs. Hirst,-It is with great sorrow that I receive your account of your husband's situation. Tell him not to doubt that God will raise up friends to the " widow and fatherless," and I pledge myself to be one of them. Tell him, too, that as his life has been the means of doing good, his memory shall be so like- wise. =. _. _. I write this with tears, and will only add-God bless you and yours !-A. I. Nort

Lady Byron was true to her nobly expressed sympathy. She sent to Mr. Hirst's widow £50, and educated both his sons, giving each three years' education at a cost of £50 per year each, at a school kept by Mr. E. T. Craig (another Co-operator) at Ealing Grove, Middlesex. To illustrate

Page 26

26 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

the deep interest taken by Lady Byron in the Co-

operative movement I quote the following extract from a letter sent to Mr. Hirst, dated March 26th, 1832 :-

The cause of the poor is indeed my first interest in life, and Co-operation has afforded me the hope of doing some good with the means placed in my hands. I have not been discouraged by finding that the assistance which I gave to some of the earliest Societies was not productive of beneficent results, for their failure seemed to be owing to inexperience and miscalculation, which might be prevented by the diffusion of more practical knowledge. For some time past my chief object has been to turn the attention of persons of intelligence in the different ranks of society to the principles of Co-operation, and to prove that the scheme had no real connection with those errors, which, as you observe, have been falsely associated with it. Co-operation should stand aloof from sects and parties, both in Church and State, whilst they cordially receive into their body all, of every persuasion, who will join them in good

works. _. . . The Lancashire and Yorkshire Co-operator, of which I have seen the last number, promises to be a useful publi- cation _. . . and I should be glad to assist the publishers

by defraying the expense of a certain number of copies until the circulation shall be increased.*

The present series of National Co-operative Congresses only date from 1869, but the early Co-operators had a series of seven Congresses ending in 1835.

The fifth of these early Congresses (says Mr. Holyoake) was held in Huddersfield in April, 1833, when a public meeting took place in the White Hart Inn, and one was held at Back Green (Ramsden Street) called by the town crier. Numerous delegates from the various Co-operative Societies throughout the kingdom gave encouraging accounts of their progress, and it was reported that the Societies in the West Riding of Yorkshire alone had accumulated a capital of £5,000, which was thought a great sum then in the North. Mr. Stock (High Constable of Huddersfield) spoke at the meeting, and Mr. Owen moved a vote of thanks to their patriotic High Constable. Mr. W. R. Wood, of London, was appointed one of the Secretaries of the Congress, and a Com-

mittee was appointed to immediately engage premises for a Labour Exchange.t

It was about 1838 when the followers of Robert Owen erected a Public Hall in Bath Buildings, known as the Hall of Science, where they continued for some time to propagate their opinions. This hall was re-opened in

*This information regarding the first Huddersfield Co-operative Society, Lady Byron and Mr. Hirst, is abstracted from a series of six articles written by Mr Holyoake, which appeared in the Co-operative News, January and February, 1892.

{ History of Co-operation, vol. i., p. 190.

Page 27

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD 27

1845 as a Baptist chapel, until the congregation removed to their new chapel in New North Road. Subsequently it was used by Mr. Conacher as an organ-building factory, and at the present time is used by the Railway Mission. An old friend of mine, long since dead, often told me about his visits to this hall ; how he revelled in the social and dancing parties held there ; and how he heard from time to time lectures eloquently depicting in glowing language '' the good time coming," when people would live in " Communities," where everybody would do their share of work, and hours of labour would, consequently, be reduced to about four per day! The rich people left outside, with no one to work for them, would then come and plead to be allowed to come in and join ! " Joyful news,"" he said, " eagerly listened to and welcomed by the poor working people of those days." - Mr. Holyoake says that at this time " Rationalism " was the legal name of Co-operation, the Societies then known to the public being enrolled under an Act of Parliament as Associations of "* Rational Religionists." Presumably it would be for the use of these Societies that a hymn book was published. A copy is in my possession, which contains the name of "" Edward Lunn," written on the inside cover. I can just remember Mr. Lunn when I was a little boy, and my father telling me that he had a cork leg. The hymn book was printed in 1838, but it is still neat in appearance, bound in leather, with gilt edges. It is entitled, " Social Hymns for the use of the Friends of the Rational System of Society." It contains 165 hymns, besides giving a few pages of " The Fundamental Facts on which the Rational System of Society is Founded." Here is a verse from one of the hymns, which shows that the people of those days had hope and faith :-

The skies are clearing from the gloom Which have our spirits long oppress'd ; Old things are passing to their tomb, And brighter prospects cheer the breast ; For hark! we hear the millions cry, * No more shall man despairing roam, And weep beneath a foreign sky-- The glorious Social Age has come."

Page 28

28 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD

In 1841 Robert Owen and his friends acquired at a cost of many thousands of pounds an estate in Hamp- shire, and started there the famous Queenwood Com- munity. Mr. Owen had the mystic letters " C.M." placed conspicuously outside the hall, which meant '"Commencement of the Millennium." But, as Mr. Holyoake says, "the obstinate millennium, however, declined to begin its career there." In five years the scheme failed, and was thrown into the Chancery Court. I mention this because, twenty years, after, by order of . the Court the assets were distributed, and I find in the list of creditors two Huddersfield gentlemen, my late friend Mr. Samuel Mitchell, and Mr. Samuel Shepherd, whose widow I had the privilege of knowing some thirty years ago. -

From 1846 to 1872 Mr. Holyoake issued The Reasoner, a journal in which, he says, " the advocacy and vindication of Co-operation were almost uninterruptedly continued." When Mrs. Shepherd died, and her furniture disposed of, some old copies of The Reasoner came into my possession. From these I find that on Monday and Tuesday, October Ioth and 11th, 1853, Mr. Holyoake lectured in Hudders- field, and at a later date he lectured at Holmfirth and Honley. About this -time the advanced social reformers met in the Christian Brethren (or Barkerite*®) Rooms, Albion Street. The journal records that in 1853 a Joseph Bowker, of Rashcliffe, advertised himself as a " book canvasser, who travels a circuit of twenty miles round Huddersfield," with books written by advanced thinkers. In 1856 Mr. Bowker's death is recorded. He is described as a man " whose constitution was shattered by poverty and physical suffering," and it is stated that he was active " in the Chartist movement, and was imprisoned in 1848 for eighteen months for the delivery of a speech which he never uttered nor conceived, but which was kindly con- cocted by our constitutional Government spies." In the

* So named after Joseph Barker, the lecturer.

Page 29

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSEFIELD. 20

number for March, 1860, there is announced a Convention to be held in Huddersfield on Monday and Tuesday, May 28th and 29th, at to a.m., 3 and 8 p.m., to discuss the following programme :-

buf

. Co-operation and its Advantages. ._ The Press and the Platform ; or, the means of Diffusing Information. . Education. ._ Temperance and the Maine Law : How to be Obtained. Health. Recreation and Amusements. ._ Political Economy.

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Among the Committee appointed to organise the gathering are the names of G. J. Holyoake, Jos. Barker, Charles Bradlaugh, Dr. F. R. Lees (the temper- ance advocate), Dr. John Watts (the Co-operator), Joseph Thornton and W. R. Croft, of Huddersfield, and J. Jagger, of Honley. Unfortunately, the journal con- taining a report of this interesting Conference is missing from my collection. There also appears in this number an account of the first anniversary of the well-known Co-operative Society of Blaydon-on-Tyne. In the number dated May 13th, 1860, there is a long list of subscriptions acknowledged from various towns, amount- ing to £292. 7s. 1od., for the " Robert Owen Memorial." Among these are eleven subscriptions from Huddersfield and fourteen from Honley. In Mr. Holyoake's " History of Co-operation "' mention is made of two other Hudders- field men-Mr. Joshua Hobson, formerly of Leeds, who printed the " New Moral World "' for Robert Owen, and The Northern Star, the organ of Feargus O'Connor, the Chartist. Mr. Hobson was subsequently associated with the Huddersfield Chronicle and also the Weekly News. The other is " Lawrence Pitkeithley, alike regarded by Chartists and Socialists." As a boy I can just remember the latter, a tall, spare man, of refined and gentlemanly demeanour. He was a member of our Society in its early days.

I can best conclude this section by quoting the following from an admirable chapter in Mr. Holyoake's

Page 30

30 . CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

"History of Co-operation," entitled, " Forgotten Workers." He says :-

The pioneer period is the period in every great movement which best displays the aims and errors, the generosity of service, the impulse of passion, the mistakes of policy, the quality and force of character, of leaders and followers. . ._ My last care is for the honest unobtrusive workers. - These are they who drudged without ceasing in the cause-who devoted the day of rest to correspondence with unknown inquirers; who spent their strength, and, as far as it would go, their means in journeying to distant villages and towns, lecturing or explaining Co-operative views, so that they might stir up the helpless to act upon them. - They poured out their time and health and thought-which made up their wealth-without stint and without conditions to all who sought it or might profit by it. _. . __. They lie in unremembered graves. They never heard the first cry of confidence at assured victory raised by their survivors. It was denied to them to see the signs of its approach. . . . Though the distant footfall of the coming triumph of their order never reached their ear, they believed not less in its march. They knew knowledge and patience and purpose would bring conviction and success, and they sowed seed with earnest voice and untiring hand, and were not dismayed when it was trodden over before their eyes. They never lost their trust in the vitality of truth. Far more than they who gave of their abundance, which brought them applause; far more than they who gave of their wisdom, which won them fame, do I honour those who worked, though they obtained neither plaudit or repute, who listened and laboured unrequited ; who by their vigorous and unselfish zeal taught their order by their example the possibility of self-help, and made the movement-of which I venture to write the history-what it is. -

Page 31

CHAPTER IIL.

Obe Beginnings of Our Society.

All before us lies the way, Give the past unto the wind ; All before us is the day, Night and darkness are behind. -R. W. Emerson.

P Amd

condition of the working classes has been their adoption of the principles of Co-operation. In the early acceptance of these principles, and in the phenomenal success which has attended their growth, the working classes of Huddersfield and district may be highly congratulated. These Societies have abolished all the evils of credit, and introduced the more enlightened practice of cash payments ; they have encouraged habits of thrift; enabled many working men to become the owners of their own dwelling-houses ; they have trained large numbers of artisans in business methods and the government of industrial undertakings, and they have supplied to the consumer genuine and unadulterated articles of food and clothing. There can be no doubt that by raising the standard of comfort among the workers they have increased the stability of social order and con- tributed to the well-being of the State.

In the two previous chapters I have endeavoured to throw some light upon what Carlyle called "the condition of the people question," as it appeared in the Huddersfield district early last century ; and also to record some of the

NE of the greatest factors in improving the social

Page 32

32 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

earliest efforts made in our town to extend the cause of Co-operation. These efforts, in a certain direct sense, failed, but doubtless their influence was felt in after years. I now come to deal with the establishment of our own society, which certainly has been a brilliant success, and

whose Jubilee is the occasion of the publication of this book.

The Society was founded in the year 1860, just fifty years ago. - It was first talked of by the members of Lodge 241 of the Bolton Unity Order of Oddfellows, after their other business was concluded, at the Albion Hotel, Buxton Road. Discussions had been taking place at the house of Mr. Jonas Horsfall, who kept the Victoria Inn, Victoria Lane, then known as the Pig Market, with a view to the establishment of a Co-operative Society, and a deputation was sent to the Oddfellows to see if they would agree for both parties to join in the movement, which was readily agreed to. They decided to send circulars to places in the town where the subject was likely to be well received. A meeting was called at the Shears Inn,* Beast Market, and adjourned for a week.. At the adjourned meeting it was decided to establish a Society, and thirteen members joined on that evening. What a wonderful contrast between the number of thirteen and the 14,507 members of to-day ! When men are denounced as " impracticable dreamers '' let them take hope from the history of the Co-operative movement. Application was made to a Society established at Hinchcliffe Mill, for rules, &c., for guidance in the formation of the Society. A tem- porary Committee was appointed to look after premises suitable for the Society, and the shop was taken which formerly existed on the site now occupied by the Grocery Department of the Central Stores. _ A meeting of the members was held on August 1860, to appoint

* The Shears Inn was the small old-fashioned building next door to the present Spotted Cow Inn. It was closed by the Licensing Authority in 190g.

Page 33

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Page 37

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 37

officers. Mr. George Holmes was elected President, Mr. Thomas Brook, Vice-President, and Mr. Rochford S. Walker, Secretary. Not having sufficient capital to begin the business with, the Committee accepted loans from various parties, £200 being lent by Mr. Jonas Horsfall, without any security from the Society, and he repeatedly lent money to the Society in the same way during the first few years of its existence. The minute book also records that in August, 1860, loans were accepted as follows :-£40 from the Economy Lodge No. 185 Bolton Unity of Oddfellows, and £100 from Mr.

Isaac Schofield. Several Friendly Societies assisted the new Society with loans during its early years. _ Among these were the Prosperity Lodge, No. 208, £40 ; Lodge No. 241, £50 ; Honesty Lodge, No. 204 ; all of the Bolton Unity Oddfellows; Ancient Order of the Golden Fleece, £80 ; Woollen Spinners' Society, £20 ; and the Bonny English Rose Lodge, No. 1,083, Grand United Order of Oddfellows. All loans, however, were paid off by the year 1870.

The first rules of the Society, which were registered on August 9th, 1860, and signed by James Crowther, William Haigh, James Greenwood, and Rochford S. Walker (Secretary), contain some rather curious clauses. The original name of the Society is set forth as " The Huddersfield Industrial Co-operative Flour and Provision Society," which leads one to infer it was never con- templated at that time that the Society might embark in such businesses as drapery, shoes, tailoring, furniture, chemists, or laundry. It was stipulated that no member should hold more than forty £1 shares. No member over sixty years of age, nor anyone residing more than two miles from the Committee-room, or who had filled office within three years, were eligible to take office. The rules contain a form of bond to be given as security for loans, signed by three members of the Committee and the Secretary. The following rule might be found useful at times, even to-day :-'"Fines shall be levied by the

Page 38

38 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Chairman of each meeting upon members, in case of disorderly conduct or interruption. After being called to order by the Chairman, a fine of not exceeding one shilling shall be levied on each offence." Other rules stated that " The President shall retire yearly, and the Vice-President previously elected shall become President." '* Subscription meetings shall be held fortnightly for the entering of new members, and receiving subscriptions." '* Shares may be paid in full, or by instalments of not less than 8d. per fortnight or 4d. per week." " Not more than five members (to be taken in the order of their notice) shall be allowed to withdraw within any one quarter, except by leave of the Committee." Cash withdrawals were paid according to a scale set forth, viz., £1 on applica- tion, £2 in two weeks, and so on up to £16 to £40 after two months' notice.

Any person not a member of the Society may be employed as a hired workman on its account, so that every such person shall receive the same payment as a member of equal skill would be entitled to receive for the same.

The rules were printed by G. and J. Brook, Hudders- field.

The first quarter's balance sheet-which is a very small-sized sheet-was signed by the following three members as auditors :-Wm. Berry, Wm. Dearden, and Jno. Bickerdike. It was not thought necessary at that time to employ professional or duly certified auditors. The treasurer was Abraham Horsfall, father of the present family of Horsfall's, formerly dyers in Colne Road. The other members of the Committee, besides the officers previously named, were :-Wm. Ashworth, David North, James Johnson (Moldgreen), Thos. Todd, Richard Gledhill, Wm. North, Thos. Haigh (Rashcliffe),* Robert Waddington, Jno. Netherwood, Jas. Crowther, Jas. Greenwood, and Wm. Haigh. There were five

* Thos. Haigh very soon resigned, and Joseph Lever, of Stables Street, was elected in his place on September 25th, 1860.

Page 39

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Page 41

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 4 I

trustees :-Jonas Horsfall, Jno. Beardsworth, Joseph Cooke, Daniel Dyson, and Edwin Rothwell (Moldgreen), who died in December, 1908. There were also five arbitrators appointed :-Wm. Leech, gentleman, South Street ; Jonas Hellawell, surgeon, Buxton Road ; Wm. Aston, cloth dresser, New North Road (father of Alder- man Aston); W. B. Dayson, St. Paul's Street; and Jno. Dyson, shopman. Mr. Wm. Thos. Hibbert-who had served with Messrs. Bentley, a leading firm of grocers in the town-was the first storekeeper.

On Saturday, September Ist, the Grocery Store was opened in Buxton Road. From the first quarter's balance sheet, dated November 30th, 1860, I take the following figures :-Sales, £1,982. Iss.; profits, £60 Iqs. share capital, £801. 7s.; No. of members, 301 ; dividend, Is. 3d. Contrast these figures with those for the quarter ending July, 1910 :-Sales, £105,224; profits, £15,112 ; share capital, £191,639 ; No. of mem- bers, 14,507 ; dividend, 3s.

During the first few years of its existence the Society had to struggle hard against the difficulties caused by want of experience and lack of capital. Indeed, stories have been handed down to the effect that when creditors called for payment of their accounts, the then Secretary found it convenient to elude them by being at the time '" not in.'" Co-operation in those days was not fashion- able. The members of the Society were denounced as Socialists, which was deemed by many at that time to be a very serious stigma. Some were timid and shy at being seen trading at the Store; but the bolder spirits advocated, when the shop was first opened, that the Committee should frequently walk in and out of the shop, to give the general public the idea that plenty of customers were about. When the Committee sent up a buyer to London to make large purchases of tea and groceries, some wholesale dealers refused to do business with a '" Co-op.," and even when they were promised ready

Page 42

42 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

money they were still reluctant to have any dealings with such a strange and revolutionary institution. The original sign over the shop door bore the name of " Jonas Horsfall and Co.," because the licensing authorities and various creditors would only deal with some substantial personage. A Co-operative Society was then too in- definite and shadowy a body to be trusted.

I give below an exact copy of the first balance sheet issued by the Society :-

HUDDERSFIELD INDUSTRIAL CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY. (Enrolled According to Law.)

CENTRAL STORE, 31, Buxton Roap. No. 1 BRAaANcH, LInNDLEY. No. 2 BrRraNnNcHx, MoLDGREEN.

THE FIRST QUARTERLY REPORT OF THE SocIETY's Accounts, FOR THE QUARTER ENDING NOVEMBER 30TH, 1860.

FELLOW-MEMBERS,

We, the Committee, cannot present to you our first Quarterly Report without expressing our thankfulness that our Society has surmounted its first difficulties, and we warmly con- gratulate you on the unexampled progress it indicates, which has far exceeded our expectation.

The business of the Society continues to increase, and members are being constantly added to the list, and we feel satisfied that we are benefited by it, for in proportion as the business increases we expect to be able to work out the interests of the Society to greater advantage. This Society commenced receiving subscrip- tions, and entering new members, on Monday, the 6th day of August last. The total number of members entered from the 6th of August to 30th day of November last are 301, taking up 1,709 shares, and paid subscriptions to the amount of £1,218. 15s. The Society opened the shop, 31, Buxton Road, on Saturday, the Ist day of September last. The total amount of goods sold from the 1st of September to the 30th of November inclusive, is £1,982. 159., which shows the progress this Society has made since its com- mencement.

Page 43

Dry.

KECEIPTS. £ To Cash Balance, August 30, 1860.... _ 425 Goods Sold Retail ................... 1906 Wholesale............... 76 Received by way of Loans ............ 560 ,, - Contributions from Members _ To PropOoSitiOn$ ........................... 8 iin Ce o

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£ 2669 Paid for Carriage of ditto ......... 30 Fix StOCK 159 Rent ........ ae eee eee ess se eee eee }} IO Wages .............. aes ev ese seee eae ek . 48 Assistance in Shop and Overtime 5 Expenses in Travelling to Pur- chase Goods ............ seee ee... 18 12 L@QDOUTL eevee see eee eek 2 6 Sundries, including Stamps, Note Paper, Envelopes, and Print- 1M kkk kee ee ee eee 66 e see eee ees 5 Advertising in Chronicle EXQMLIMEY \......... .v scv cv vs sev ees INtereSt e ee eek} I L1C@NC@ sess se eee eee ee 00s INSUT@ANCE@ ke kkk. k.}. I Cash in Bank ......................... Treasurer's hands .........

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Page 44

GENERAL STATEMENT.

d. _ AssETS. £0 S. 6 | By Goods in Stock ....................... 955 9 I 6;,,CashinBank......................... 7000

LIABILITIES. £ To Members' Claims, as per Ledger... 417

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,, In Treasurer's hands ............... 123 - I ,, Owing by the L. & N.W. Rly. Co. 2 15

)) - FIX StOCK kkk eek}. 159 7

LOANS. 00s seee ee 560 Interest due thereon ................ 4 Owing for Goods ..................... 91 16 | o ,, Contributions during the Quarter - 8or 7 | ,, Balance Profit ........................ 60 19 6

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M

PROFIT ACCOUNT.

£ s. d. ’ ' £ s. d. Dividend on £946 Purchases at Is. I To Balance brought down ............. 60 19 6% 3d. in the £ .}. 59 2 6 | 0006 eek eek eek} I I7 0}

nos....

WILLIAM BERRY, ___ WILLIAM DEARDEN, } AupItors. __ J. BICKERDIKE, ___ R. S. WALKER, SECRETARY.

{60 19 6% i Members having in their possession tin cheques to the amount of One Pound must bring them to the shopman to be changed for a Pound Cheque. All cheques issued during the ensuing quarter to be returned with the Contribution Book, from February 26th to 28th inclusive. Due notice will be given of the opening of No. 1 and No. 2 Branch Stores. The next General Meeting will be held on the Second Friday in March, 1861.

G. AND J. BROOK, PRINTERS, STATIONERS, ETC., WESTGATE, HULCERSFIELD.

£60 19 6%

44

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Page 45

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 45

Mr. Abraham Horsfall was the first Treasurer of the Society. At that time he was a dyer at Messrs. Taylor's, Colne Road, and he resided in Queen Street South. Subsequently, he began business as a dyer on his own account in Colne Road. In the years 1875-6 he was a member of the Town Council, and he died on June 9th, 1878. He was a brother of Jonas Horsfall, one of the original trustees previously mentioned. A son of Abraham-named John-was the first shop assistant employed by the Society ; so that the Society owes a great deal to the Horsfall family during its early struggles. I have had an interesting interview with Mr. John Horsfall, who now lives in retirement near to Beaumont Park. He informed me that Mr. Thos. Hibbert was the first Store Manager. Mr. Hibbert was previously employed in Mr. Bentley's grocery shop at the top of King Street, and at one time he had a business of his own in the shop now occupied by Messrs. Hellewell Carter and Co., Buxton Road. Jno. Horsfall had been apprenticed with Mr. Adam Oldroyd, another local grocer, and leaving there at eighteen years of age he worked under Mr. Hibbert on the opening of the Co-operative Store, remaining there for three and a half years. The trade increased, the staff was limited in number, and John says that he, along with his father and Uncle Jonas, worked overtime for hundreds of hours in the Store. He says he was often engaged " breaking sugar until his fingers bled." I see by the minute book it was not until March, 1862, that it was resolved : * That a sugar-chopper be bought for the Central Store." He remembers making up the first parcel of groceries, which was bought by Mrs. Joseph Dyson (Marsh), mother of the present Mr. Hiram Dyson, manufacturer (Milns- bridge). On one occasion, Mr. Schofield, a member of the Committee, probably presuming on his official position, demanded the opening of the shop door after the closing hour. John refused to comply with his request, and Mr. Schofield threatened to report the matter to the Committee, but John expressed his willing- ness to go before the Committee, and so the matter was not proceeded with any further. John was a useful and

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46 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

handy youth, and was often sent out to assist at the Branches, because, as he says, " they were badly handi- capped for staff." At one time, Mr. Jas. Sykes, the shopman at Moldgreen Store, went away for his holiday, and John was sent to look after the shop while he was away. Mr. Jno. Horsfall's wife told me that her father, Mr. J. B. Best, was an early auditor of the Society, and that he was very particular in satisfying himself that the accounts were correct before signing them. During our conversation Mrs. Horsfall repeated the following admirable maxim :-" While walking up the hill of Prosperity may we never meet anyone coming down.""

ten

TNF

Page 47

CHAPTER IV.

MAesolutions: Interesting, Curious and VJrudent.

Nothing useless is, or low ; Each thing in its place is best ; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest. -H. W. Longfellow.

HE following resolutions are copied from the earlier minute books of the Society. The years in which they are passed are given ; there is no necessity to give the actual month. In a few cases names are omitted-where identification is not essential-in order that no offence may be given to surviving relatives. At this far-off date many of the resolutions are humorous reading, and sound somewhat quaint. But they were, doubtless, adopted with grim earnestness, and at the time they were passed the Committee would feel they were absolutely necessary in the interests of the Society. They certainly show that our forbears applied themselves to their duties with great seriousness of purpose, not neglecting the smallest detail in their prosecution of the Society's welfare. This chapter may serve a useful pur- pose in incidentally revealing the many diverse steps taken by successive Committees in building up the Society, although it does not deal with any of the great epoch- making events of its history.

1860.

The first minute book in our possession gives no in- formation about any meetings for the election of officers,

Page 48

48 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

adoption of rules, or engaging of shop premises. On the first two pages is given a list of the officers and Committee, and the first resolution is bluntly recorded as follows :-

August and seconded that twelve tea and coffee canisters be ordered for the use of this Society.

It is very singular that this is the only resolution entered on this date. At rapidly succeeding meetings the following resolutions appear :-

That half a gross of quart and pint cans be ordered.

That Joseph Cooke be empowered to get the Act of Parliament relative to Industrial Societies.

That Geo. Holmes (President) accompany Mr. Hibbert (sales- man) to London to purchase grocery for this Society.

That 100 bills be printed and posted, stating the time when this Society will open, and 1,000 handbills to be distributed in the street.

That no person connected with this Society shall have credit.

That sickness or a sufficient apology shall only exempt the Committee from being fined.

That no dividend be allowed on sugar or treacle sold from this Society on and after the 10th of September.

That five packs of flour be ordered from the Halifax Co- operative Flour Society, and ditto from the Sowerby Bridge. [This ten packs is rather different to the 8,000 packs ordered some years afterwards.]

_ That any member, dfficer, or servant of this Society giving orders without the consent of the Committee will be fined 5s.

That no member shall have his goods carried home or else- where, purchased from this Society. [How different to-day !]

That the Secretary be instructed to write Mr. Holyoake to give him an invitation to visit our Store, previous to him giving the lecture on " Co-operation ' on Wednesday next, November 14th.

That three of the Committee assist the Secretary to take stock, and that they be paid 4d. per hour for their services. [Not extravagant wages, truly !]

That any member connected with this Society using any abusive language to any officer or servant in the execution of his duty,will be fined for the first offence at the discretion of the Com- mittee, and for the second they 'will be expelled the Society.

That the pig offered for sale by John Stocks be bought by this Society at 9s. per stone.

Page 49

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 40

1861.

That the premises offered by Friend Berry be taken for a slaughter-house, and that the said F. Berry agrees to let, and this Society agrees to take, the said premises, and to give the manure for the rent for the first twelve months.

That the slaughter-house at Nook be fitted up for killing as soon as possible.

That the Auditors have 5s. each for auditing the books for the quarter ending November 30th, 1860. [What a contrast to-day '!]

That any officer or Committee-man belonging to this Society informing any person of what transpires in the Committee-room, without authority, shall be fined the sum of £1, and if not paid within three months the person so offending shall be suspended from office until the same be paid.

That Jonas Horsfall accompany the butcher to Wakefield to buy six to ten sheep and two fat beasts.

That an estimate be tendered to the Board of Guardians to supply the several workhouses with groceries for six months from March 25th-Huddersfield, Golcar, Honley, Kirkheaton, and Almondbury. [Where are these Workhouses now ?]

That the butcher have 1s. allowed for his dinner on attending Leeds or Wakefield markets.

That the Auditors be requested to look through the books again, and if the error be not found, that the stock be taken again.

That the complaints laid before the Committee by the sales- man at No. 2 Branch, against Mr. Hibbert, were frivolous, and that for the future servants are requested to work more friendly together.

That we write to the candle manufacturers in the neighbour-

hood to send in estimates to supply the Society with twenty dozen per week up to Christmas.

That smoking be strictly prohibited on the premises of the Central Store, and for each and every offence the party so offending be fined 3d., and that the said law come into force on and after the 9th day of October next.

That the deficiency on the tea party be paid by the Tea Com- mittee. [Rather hard on the Committee !]

That Jonas Horsfall and John Bradley be appointed to examine the premises of the Central Store every Sunday morning.

That the salesmen at the Branch Stores be not allowed to purchase any goods of any description, only yeast.

That the persons appointed to assist in stocktaking have sufficient to eat during the time of stocktaking.

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50 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

1862.

That all the salesmen be noticed that they are liable to make good any credit that may be given by them.

That each Committee-man have Is. for his attendance on a General Committee night, if in attendance before 8 p.m.

That bills be posted in the streets offering a reward of £5 for the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons who broke into No. 2 Branch on the night of April 21st.

That the black worsted on hand in the Drapery Department be worked up into stockings by the cheapest stocking weaver.

That a looking-glass be purchased for the Drapery Depart- ment, and three Committee-men buy it.

That the Officers and Committee be retained in their present position until the Society's and members' accounts be audited and found correct.

That the horse be not lent to anyone on a Sunday, and also that the company alone work the same.

That no pigs be bought only by the Committee.

That 7s. be given to the shoe workmen, if allowed by the other shoemakers. [Itis customary for a gift to be made on St. Crispin's Day, October 25th-the shoemakers' patron saint.]

Moved that we have a rat trap.-Carried.

That all shop till drawers be kept locked up at noon or other times if the shopman be absent.

That the horse be clipped by a competent person.

That the shopman at Barkisland be required to sleep on the premises.

1863.

That the name of the Society be painted on the outside of the buildings the whole length of our premises.

That we commence selling black cloth.

That the Central Stores and Branch shops close on Tuesday, March 10th, in honour of the marriage of the Prince of Wales.

That the office and Committee-room floors be washed after the dividend be paid.

That a boy be got to stop in the shop when Mr. Myles is upstairs, and to be upstairs when Mr. Myles is down. [This was in the Shoe Department.]

That Jonas Horsfall look very sharply after the young men in the shop, and endeavour to prevent the shameful waste and negli- gence that is now practised by them,

Page 51

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 5I

That we elect Auditors from our own members. That the election of Auditors be left with the Committee.

That the sausage be conveyed to Lockwood by John Nutter on the 'bus, not later than 6 o'clock every Friday evening. [No electric cars in those days.]

1864.

That our shopmen be told this Committee consider it was careless of them leaving the tea in the passage after dark, and request they will be more careful in future.

That we give J. Haigh 5s. for informing about the tea being stolen.

That the four Committee-men [named] parade the town to-morrow night, and examine the style of the gas lights, and decide, according to the best of their judgment, what kind to have

in the new shop.

That ----- be requested to withdraw from being a candi- date for Committee, and if he does not that we tell the meeting about him getting credit.

That all retail customers pay for their goods on delivery, and that if any shopman gives credit he be dismissed at once.

That no shutters be put up at the Central till half-past ten on Saturday nights.

That the parties that have agreed to make up the loss of the tea party have tins for the goods bought in the shop. [Meaning checks.]

That if any person buying eggs at our Store finds bad ones amongst them, and brings them back, that they have them exchanged.

That the delegate attending the Sowerby Bridge meeting have his railway fare paid and 6d. for expenses.

That we allow Mr. Myles (shopman) 7d. per week for cat meat. That we have a lurry.

That the above be rescinded, and that we sell the grey horse the first opportunity.

That our shopman at Moldgreen be instructed not to let any member assist him unless appointed by the Committee.

1865.

That we allow Dr. Wilson to put a signboard on the end of our Stores, and that he pay 1d. per annum for the same.

Page 52

52 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

That J. Lowe pay Is. per week till he has paid the 10s. he lost of the Milnsbridge money.

That the shops close at 3 p.m. on Monday, February 20th, for the men to go to the tea party.

That the shoe lad in future shovels the coals into the place.

That if anyone divulge this night's proceedings they be fined IOs.

That onions be sold 2lbs. for

That if any of our servants who have charge of a till have either 3%d. too much or too little any night when the cash is balanced, he shall be fined 6d., the fines to form a fund, and be distributed in prizes to those who have made the least mistakes at the end of the half year.

That we have a report each week of what work the horse does. That the shoemaker engage a boy at not more than 3s. per week.

That no storekeeper be allowed for anything that has gone bad unless a Committee-man sees it.

That if any Committee-man is a quarter of an hour late on three Committee nights, that he be marked one night absent.

That our servants be allowed to go to the Wakefield Exhibition until they have all been.

That we don't buy another horse till we have sold the old one.

That we sign the requisition for our letters not to be delivered on Sundays.

That if other shops close during the time of Lord Palmerston's funeral that we do the same.

That Billclifie take the old horse to Halifax to-morrow, and get the best price for him he can.

That we have a new paraffin lamp for the office. [Why not gas ?]

1866.

That J. Johnson inquire into the matter of the cartman being drunk.

That smoking be prohibited during business hours in this Committee.

That we give the workmen at Mirfield new Stores £2 for a ' rearing

That during the time of auditing we allow such refreshments as are necessary during late hours.

Page 53

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 53

That Messrs. Gledhill and Lancaster be empowered to sell or exchange the horse at the Fair on Thursday next, and if they sell it to buy another, and that they do not give above {10 more than they get for the old one.

That our Branches be allowed to buy idle-backs for them- selves.

That if the horse gets any worse that the cartman take him to Mr. Astin (veterinary surgeon).

1867.

That we write to J. Sanderson about the treacle that was lost in removing.

That we allow Mirfield ijcwt. of treacle for what was lost, and that we don't entertain the claim for sugar at all. [Rather singular that both treacle and sugar were missing.]

That the latch be put on the office door off the Committee- room.

That we have a new latch for the office door. [This was ten days later.]

That we sign the petition for incorporation. [I suppose of the Borough.]

That the cartman be cautioned to be more civil. That we have a nosebag for the horse.

That one man is only allowed to speak twice on any subject. [This was at a quarterly meeting.]

That we do not buy butter to-night.

That the Committee-men be paid 6d. per hour for stocktaking, finding their own provisions.

That we don't buy pigs to-night.

That we vote for Messrs. Whitworth, Watkinson, Thornton, and Worth for the Marsh Local Board.

1868.

That candles be reduced 4d. per lb.

That ----- come before this Committee about keeping his horse standing so long.

That the ----- delegate see the storekeeper about keeping

the shop clean, and tell him he is not to close the shop at dinner times.

That marmalade be reduced $d. per pot.

That we reduce the Sowerby Bridge flour to 3s. 1d. per stone. [The price to-day is Is. 8d.]

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54 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

That we discontinue the wine licence.

That none of our servants be allowed to use any obscene language on our premises.

That Mr. Schofield see about getting a dog for the Central.

That we reduce the wine to 10d. per bottle and the champagne to Is. 6d. [Not an extravagant price.]

That the Moldgreen storekeeper sell the old potatoes at what he can get for them.

That Lockwood have a wash leather and a scrubbing brush.

That Mr. Watson be requested to feed the dog, and Mr. Kenny to bring it in at nights.

That we allow the cartman 4d. per week for stabling the horse at Mirfield.

That Mr. Sidebottom be requested to remove Miss from the premises altogether.

[Passed at a General Meeting.] That the Committee-man from Mirfield be paid the price of a return ticket, in addition to his

wages. That the device on the seal be a dove with olive branch.

That the Secretary see Mr. Withers (Chief Constable) about keeping an extra watch on our shops during the time the shutters are away. [There have been no shutters for many years now.]

That we have an ounce and half-ounce weight for Moldgreen, a piggin for Lockwood, and a brush for Paddock.

That Messrs. Brook and Schofield see the shopman, Mr. about coming to the Committee when he is " fresh,'"' and tell him that if he comes in that state again he will be dismissed.

1869.

That the cartman come to the Committee for the rug, and he be told that if he loses it he will have to pay for it.

That we have a lurry of Bellarby.

That the storekeeper at ----- be informed that he must weigh tea and tobacco without paper, and he is to be civil and obliging to the customers.

That we allow R. Carlton 1s. for the bad elastic in the boots he has bought.

That the storekeeper at - be informed that we cannot allow him to spend so much time in Huddersfield.

Page 55

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 55

1870. That any person using the currant-cleaning machine, and leaving it uncleaned, be fined 2s. 6d.

That we sign the requisition for J. M. Ludlow's election as Registrar [of Friendly Societies.]

That we buy two wood spoons, one for Moldgreen and the other for Lockwood, and that the President look after them.

That the Mirfield storekeeper be requested to have his goods ready for delivery when the cart goes, and if he has not them ready the cartman must leave them.

That we have another doctor to the horse if required.

That each Committee-man request the storekeepers to keep their shops clean.

That we buy a cask of snuff. [Very little snuff is sold nowadays.]

That the President see about getting the horse to work. That we buy twenty boxes cigars. That we take a daily newspaper of Isaac Abbot.

That no shopman be allowed to sell more flour than they have in stock when the markets are advancing.

That we advance wages Is. per week, on condition he comes at the proper time in a morning.

That we buy one cask tobacco.

That if T. Parker likes to come at his own expense to apply for the situation he may do so on Tuesday next.

1871.

That we give £5 to the Mansion House Relief Fund in aid of the French, and that it be sent to the Working Men's Committee.

That we pay Thorpe 9s. for the assistance he had when he was kicked by the horse.

That we try and get a licence for the sale of fireworks, and that Mr. Bland see about it.

That we agree for our shops to be closed on December 26th if the storekeepers wish it.

1872. That the dog be fastened in the shed at day time, and brought up at nights.

That any servant taking money from persons we trade with, either as Christmas box or gratuity, be dismissed.

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56 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

That any members who do not trade with us be noticed to draw their money out.

That Ramsden Balmforth come as check clerk, on trial, at 55s. per week.

That we pay Tom Power his wages for the two days he was lame.

That we don't allow the Mirfield storekeeper his railway fare for coming with his cash.

That we have green meat for the horse another week.

That we get advice of Mr. Learoyd (solicitor) about the Income Tax.

18793.

That we have a tea meeting for the whole Society.

That we write to Dr. Rutherford, and Thos. Hughes, or Dr. Watts, asking them to attend a tea meeting.

That J. Heywood prepare some mottoes for the tea meeting. That we pay 6d. each for pigs salting at the Central Stores.

18794.

That in future we pay Committee-men 8d. per hour for stock- taking ; that only one go to each place, and we allow nothing for refreshments.

That we invite R. M. Carter [one time M.P. for Leeds], A. J. Mundella, Lloyd Jones, S. Learoyd, Dr. Rutherford as speakers, and Hy. Brooke (ex-Mayor) as Chairman to the tea meeting next January.

That we engage H. Hirst and Wm. Bartin as singers, also Albert Craig as reciter. [The latter lived in Huddersfield. Subse- quently he became famous as a poet on the London cricket grounds, and died a year or so ago.]

1895.

That we boil the American hams for the tea meeting. That we have the currant and seed bread from the Wholesale.

That a deputation go to Lindley, and see if they think the chapel that is for sale would be suitable for us.

That we buy clogs, as per list, from T. Towlson. That we don't sell more than two hams to one person. That we buy three clothes props for Primrose Hill.

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CC-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD 57

That we give 2d. each for rats catching. That the deputation to Bradley go in our own cart.

That we inquire of E. V. Neale about women's shares. [There was a women's question then as now.]

[Passed at a General Meeting.] That we contribute £5 towards the new bridge at the bottom of Queen Street South.

1876.

That we have the dog offered at ros. [In March.]

That the shops close at 5 p.m. on Easter Monday and Tues- day. [Very different to-day.]

That we have a woodcut of the Central Stores. That we dispose of the dog. [In October.]

1877.

That we don't give checks on meat this week. That we have S. Noble to cut the meat up.

That Mr. Wood sell the trees on Moldgreen freehold. [The balance sheet shows they realised {£2.]

That we give 5s. to the men for getting the horse out of the water.

That the horses be clipped, and that Peter do them, if he will do them at 6s. each, and not to do them on Sunday.

1878.

That we give John Beaumont the dog.

That the shoemakers be allowed to work all night on March 13th.

That all our shops close at 12 on Easter Monday. That we have a horn to give the horses medicine with. That Mr. Woodhouse be foreman haymaker.

That Mr. Hatch take a view of the full front of the Central Stores.

That the butcher go to Wakefield by himself.

1879.

That the question of keeping the mice out of the corn room at Primrose Hill be left to Mr. Shaw.

Page 58

CHAPTER V.

Progress of the Society: 1860-1870.

Say not the struggle nought availeth, The labour and the wounds are vain,

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking, Seem here no painful inch to gain, Far back, through creeks and inlets making, Comes silent, flooding in, the main, And not by eastern windows only, When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright. -A. H. Clough.

Eight Branch Stores Opened and one Closed-Butchering and Shoe Departments Opened and Closed-Drapery, Millinery, and Coal Departments Opened-Tea Party and Trip-Shop Hours-First Horse and Cart Bought-Mr. Prentis appointed Secretary-Divi- dend of 5d. in the {, but to Non-members 6d.-Six per cent for Loans-Solicitor - appornted-Toll-bars-Infirmary - Subscrip- tion- Joins the C.W.S.-Price of Coal-All Loans Paid off.-

Ten Years' Trade.

HE first Committee did not allow any grass to grow under their feet. Having faith in their principles,

they were energetic and enterprising. The second Quarterly Report, dated February 28th, 1861, says :-

From the rapid increase of the trade your Board of Directors will, during the ensuing quarter, have to make extensive alterations in the back premises of the Central Store, so as to make it more convenient to carry on the increasing business of the Society.

Without waiting to see how the Central shop prospered they opened within four months two Branch Stores at Lindley and Moldgreen. These were opened in December,

Page 59

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 59

1860, Mr. John Netherwood being appointed salesman at the Moldgreen Branch. The butchering business was begun in January, 1861, a shop being taken at No. 15, South End, Shambles, and a slaughterhouse at " Nook."

Mr. George Womersley (Kirkgate) was appointed butcher, but he was discharged in the month following. His successor was also discharged in May. The third

quarterly report, dated May 31st, 1861, says :-

The Butchering Department, your Directors are sorry to report, is in a very unsatisfactory condition. At the same time they feel certain that blame does not properly rest upon them, as the members have not traded so as to employ the capital profitably, hence work- ing expenses have absorbed an undue ratio of profits.

In June the Committee resolved to keep the shop open for three months longer, but in July this was reconsidered, and it was decided " that the shop be shut up until the next General Meeting." This was held on September 5th, when it was resolved " that the Butcher- ing Department be closed entirely." Meanwhile, the Committee had been busily occupied in other directions. The Drapery Department was opened in the spring of the same year in one of the upper rooms of the Store at Buxton Road, and in the balance sheet after it was opened the Committee stated that it had more than realised their expectations, although the premises were inconvenient.

In June, 1861, the shop next door was taken, so that the drapery business could be carried on with greater advantage, and the shoe business was begun in a part of this shop in the following autumn. Even yet the Com- mittee did not rest satisfied. The sixth quarterly report,

dated February 28th, 1862, says :-

During the past quarter there has been opened Branches at Lockwood, Mirfield, Barkisland, and Paddock, all of which are in

a most prosperous condition.

Four Branches in one quarter! This was business enterprise with a vengeance. It was also found necessary at this time to enlarge the Central Store by adding more

warehouse room at the back.

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60 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Amid all this activity the Committee did not neglect the social side of Co-operation. In September, 1861, it was resolved " to hold a tea party or annual soirée," and again in June, 1862, it was decided to " arrange a trip to Liverpool on Monday, June 30th, at Is. 6d. for children and 2s. 3d. for adults;" also that all the Society's " shops be closed, to give the servants an opportunity of going on the trip."

The Committee at this period were not paying extrava- gant wages. On December 11th, 1861, the minute book records °" That the three salesmen at Nos. I, 2, and 4 Branches have their wages advanced to 22s. per week."

The report for July 31st, 1862, discusses the question of the amount which should be allowed as dividend to non-members, and says :-

Your Board are of opinion that the greatest drawback to what otherwise appears a fair and satisfactory arrangement to both members and non-members is the cupidity of the former, who purchase the cheques of the latter at a small advance on the Society's allowance, and return them as their own, on purpose to pocket the difference betwixt the two dividends. Your Board think it requisite that some means should be adopted to prevent such traffic.

This traffic, of course, is impossible under our present system. - The following singular entry appears among the receipts in the cash account for the same quarter :-*" Blot paper, one penny." - On July 9th it was resolved to close the Central Stores at 8 p.m. five nights, and at 10 p.m. on Saturdays ; and in winter at 7-30 p.m., the Branches to close at 8 p.m. and II p.m. on Saturdays. What a differ- ence compared with the present weekly half holiday, and

earlier closing each day !

Mr. R. S. Walker (the Secretary) having resigned his office, it was decided to have one to devote the whole of his time to the duties, and Mr. William Slee was appointed at a special meeting on August 12th, 1862.

It was agreed that in future the accounts should be balanced and the profits divided half yearly, instead of

Page 61

James T. Prentis,

«/

Secretary.

Page 63

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 63

quarterly, as they had been up to this time, and from the first half-yearly balance sheet, dated January, 1863, I find the profit, amounting to £898, enabled the Committee to declare a dividend of Is. 3d. in the £. At the General Meeting, some doubt being thrown upon the accuracy of the accounts, the meeting was adjourned for the purpose of the books being re-audited, but the parties selected by the members to go over the books declined to do it unless they could have the Society's books at their own place of business. The President called the members together again, and explained the reason why the books had not been re-audited, when it was decided to pass the balance sheet as it was. In October, 1862, the Committee decided to purchase a horse and cart, and George Colley (Paddock) was engaged as teamer at I7s. per week. In December Mrs. Tidswell was engaged, and she was in- structed to " commence the millinery business forthwith."

Early in 1863 the then Secretary not giving satisfac- tion, his services were terminated, and in March Mr. J. T. Prentis, the present excellent and hard-working Secretary, was appointed. Mr. Prentis at that time was, of course, only a young man, and assisted his father, who was the Secretary of the Leeds Co-operative Society. -This experience was helpful to him, and fully equipped him for taking up his new and more responsible position. It has been of immense advantage to our Society to have the valuable services of Mr. Prentis throughout all these years. His quiet, unassuming manner, coupled with integrity of character, assiduous attention to duty, and intimate knowledge of the Society's ramifications, have placed the members under great obligations to him.

In June the Arbitrators were re-elected with two changes, viz., Messrs. George Brooke, jun., and James Cowgill taking the places of Messrs. William Leech and John Dyson. In July a Branch Store was opened in Northgate, and Mr. Benjamin Kaye was appointed the Manager. This Branch did moderately well for a time, but the receipts afterwards got down so low that it was

Page 64

64 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

passed at two General Meetings of the members, in 1869 and 1871, to close it, but the Committee did not carry out the resolutions, and they were eventually rescinded. It was afterwards removed to Northumberland Street, and is now one of our largest Branches.

The doubt as to the accuracy of the January balance sheet, prepared by the late Secretary, which was expressed at the general meeting, as before mentioned, evidently proved correct. The report issued in July says, " The Committee are sorry to have to state that they have discovered some serious errors in the last balance sheet."

These errors reduced the profit in the July half year to £265 and allowed a dividend of only 5d. in the £. This is the smallest dividend ever paid by the Society. In this connection I may say that Mr. Simeon Burdon, who is one of the oldest members of our Society, informs me that he well remembers the dividend being 5d. in the £, and he pointed out how singular it was that the dividend to non-members at the same time was 6d. in the £! Mr. Burdon also said that he joined the Society in 1862, when Mr. Slee was the Secretary, and he recollects purchasing flour at the Store when it was 2s. 6d. a stone. Another of our old members, Mr. J. W. Wardall, tells me that, about this time, he lodged with a Mrs. Moorhouse, in Swallow Street. She told him of the advantages of Co- operation, and how delighted she was to have drawn a dividend of 5d. in the £. " There was nothing like it anywhere else," she triumphantly declared. How sur- prised the old lady would have been had she been living now to receive a 3s. dividend! Mr. Wardall also mentioned to me a little incident which impressed itself upon him at the time it happened. Many years ago he was making his purchases at the Store, and after the assistant had served him the then Manager came up and reprimanded the assistant for serving a customer on a dirty counter. The Manager was evidently alive to the importance of making his shop clean and attractive. Mr. Wardall's venerable form is well known at our

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 65

Society's quarterly meetings, at which he is a most regular attender. His humorous and pungent criticisms are much enjoyed, even though one may disagree with him.

In January, 1864, the Committee secured an adjoining shop for the Drapery Department, this making three shops-Grocery, Shoe, and Drapery-and shortly after- wards the entire premises were leased to the Society for a term of years. The Society became shareholders to the amount of {10 in the Sowerby Bridge Flour Society in June, and has purchased flour, &c., from them from that time, although the Committee had to continue having some from private millers for a considerable time after, as many of the members would not purchase the Sowerby Bridge Flour. The Barkisland Branch was given up in July of this year on account of the smallness of the receipts and the distance from the Central Stores. The members in that district, however, established a Society and purchased the stock from us. The " leakage " system, for checking the accounts in the Grocery Depart- ment, was established in August, 1864, and is believed to have been one of the greatest improvements ever introduced into the working of the Society. The Store at Milnsbridge was opened in December, and, although only a cottage could be got for some time, it proved a valuable addition to the Society's Branches. In October the Committee evidently felt a shortage of money, and they decided to " give six per cent to any person that will lend us any money for three months." In December Messrs. Floyd and Learoyd were appointed solicitors to the Society, and this connection has continued down to the present time, with the brief exception of about eight months in the year 1879.

In July, 1865, the dividend was only tod. in the £. The report gives figures showing how an increased turn- over would realise a dividend of Is. 1od., and concludes by saying, " Other Societies can do it, and why not we ?

Page 66

66 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

If the members will only exert themselves we can do it as easily as others can." - The same balance sheet contains the following items in the expenditure account :-Loss by tea party, £9. 17s. I1%d. ; licences, £7. 13s. 44d. (which seems a large sum) ; cat's meat, 14s. 7d. ; and (following the item for horse keep), bars, £4. 4s. 4d. These toll-bars, of course, have been swept away long ago. In September it was decided to subscribe £2. 2s. to the Infirmary annually. In the same month there must have been a large number of withdrawals from the Society, as the following resolution is recorded in the minute book :- * That we invite those members who have given notice to withdraw, to attend the Committee meeting six at a time." On September 14th the following important resolution was passed :-*" That on and after the 27th inst. all our shops close at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays." Locally, the

Society was the pioneer in this half-day holiday move- ment.

About this time the Shoe Department was not

answering expectations. - In the half-yearly report, dated January 31st, 1866, the following paragraph occurs :-

The result of the last half-year's business in the Shoe Depart- ment is a loss of £14. 8s. which your Committee cannot dwell upon without feelings of humiliation and shame, because they know that it is caused by a want of support on the part of the members, and that they have the power within themselves of making it a success. Your Committee, as working men who have to earn their money before they spend it, beg to express their opinion that for quality and cheapness this department is not surpassed by any similar one in the town. In order to supply the wants of members and extend the business, we have added the clog and patten trade to this department.

On February Ist, at a special members' meeting, it was resolved to build a Store at Mirfield. Evidently the members were tired of paying rent. It was further decided " that the Committee borrow £500 where they can get it to the best advantage," presumably to pay the cost of the new Store. Accordingly, on March 13th, the

Page 67

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Page 69

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 69

Committee decided to " apply for a loan of £500 to the Huddersfield Equitable Permanent Benefit Building Society."

During the latter half of the year 1867 the question of joining the Co-operative Wholesale Society at Manchester was exercising the minds of the Committee and members. In September the Committee wrote to " ask Mr. J. C. Edwards to come on October Ist to give us information respecting the Wholesale Society." In December the general meeting resolved

That the question of entering the Wholesale Society be left over to the half-yearly meeting, and that the Secretary write to Societies that trade with them to see if they find it better to trade with them or not. In March, 1868, at a general members' meeting, it was resolved " that the question of entering the Wholesale Society be adjourned till the Committee have given it a fair trial." In September it was decided to " defer enter- ing the Wholesale Society for a few weeks." Four preliminary resolutions ! How cautiously they proceeded ! Eventually, on November 13th, it was decided to enter the Society forthwith. This step has undoubtedly assisted very materially the progress of our Society.

The balance sheet for January, 1869, shows that the small sum of £42. 3s. was invested in the Wholesale Society, and that the profit received from the Society was only Is. 6d.-a tremendous contrast to the figures of to-day ! The balance sheet for April, 1910, shows the amount invested to be £31,836. 16s. 5d., and the profit received from the Society was £1,387. 14s.

At the quarterly meeting held in March it was decided to close the Shoe Department in three months, on account of the small business done. The department had been open eight years, but had not proved a success. The shop was let off to Mr. Charles Billington, who continued the same line of business. In August the Society com- menced the Coal Department, which has been a very valuable addition to the Society's business.

Page 70

yil CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

It is interesting to notice from the minute book early in 1870 the low price at which coal was then sold, as compared with the present time. The price, of course, would vary owing to the cost of delivery to different districts, and it was then decided to charge IIs. 6d. per ton at Mirfield, 12s. at Lockwood, and 12s. 2d. at Long- wood. For thirds coal at Longwood the price charged was Ios. per ton. The prices charged to-day, exclusive of delivery, are :-House nuts, 19s. ; best nuts, 18s. 6d. ; various kinds of coal, such as Brights, Stanley Main, Walls-

end, Robin Hoods, Old Hards, &c., range from 16s. 6d. to 24s. 6d. per ton.

In May, 1870, the Northgate Branch was removed into Northumberland Street. The Society had now been established ten years. It had encountered many diffi- culties, especially in the butchering and shoe businesses. But there was encouraging progress in other depart- ments. The membership had slowly increased, the turnover was larger, profits were increasing, and the dividend reached Is. 5d. in the £. All the loans were repaid this year, and the sum invested in the Wholesale Society was increased. No wonder that there was quite a triumphant ring in the tone of the report, dated July 3Ist, 1870, as the following extract will show :-

The difficulties under which all Co-operative Societies must, in their early history labour, are gradually but surely giving way under the extended experience of the Committee and the in- creased faith of the members. _ Nothing, indeed, can be clearer than the fact that, if the working classes firmly and fairly rely upon each other, the Co-operative cause must grow and must prosper. . . ._ We can, in conclusion, only urge upon the members to be true to themselves, to remember how nearly and how dearly they are all interested in the success of the Society, and that not merely in its economic but in its social aspect our prosperity will not only give us the power of making the most of our means, but will materially, and at once, assist in increasing the comforts and raising the character of our families and our homes.

Page 71

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

9 I

Below I give a tabulated statement showing the business of the Society for the ten years covered by this

chapter :- Date. MiBeci CRN, | Seles _ Profin £ £ £ In the {£. .................. 538 2576 12658 641 ' 1/51 {1862 .................. 845 3469 22094 1371 _ 1/7 £18603 .................. 965 435I 34530 1129 rod. 11864 .................. 846 4712 31895 1526 | I/5 $1865 .................. 871 4461 27143 866 roijd. £18660 .................. 889 4363 30797 1204 | I/1} P1867 q22 4693 35198 1333 I /I P1868 .................. 927 5417 34261 1092 I1Id. i186Qg .................. 838 5744 29983 1IO29 | I1Ii}id. 11870 .................. 883 7134 32875 1457 | 1/3} Ten Years' Total . 201434 d 11648 * Year ended August. {+ Eleven Mont-1:5 ended July. { Year ended July.

Page 72

CHAPTER VI.

Progress of the Society (continued), 1871-1880.

The common problem, yours, mine, everyone's, Is-not to fancy what were fair in life, Provided it could be-but finding first What may be, then how to make it fair Up to our means.

-R. Browning.

cmmmmmmmmntp

Other Six Branches Opened-The C.W .S. again-Becomes Land- owner-Serious Leakage Dispute-First " Fourteen Days' Sale ""-Shoe and Butchering Departments Re-opened-Surplus Capital-First Penny Savings Bank-Non-members' Dividend -Thomas Bland-Central Premises Bought-A Demonstration -Office Clerks Apporinted-Erects Branch Stores, Duwelling- houses and Stables-Coal Wagons and Caris Bought-First Two Butchering Branches Opened-Old Meeting Places.-Ten Years' Trade.

HE Society was now becoming fixed on a firm I foundation. The report for January, 1871, spoke out in the following bold and eloquent manner :-

The mortgage on the Mirfiéld Store has been redeemed, and the Society now holds in one of its most important Branches premises of their own, erected by themselves, and adapted to the requirements of their trade. Very little dead stock now remains upon our hands. . . . The Committee ask the members to weigh the gradual but certain advances the Stores have made, to regard with increased confidence the position the Society has taken, to hail its financial soundness with pride and satisfaction. It has, the Committee believe, outlived its difficulties, and a fair and prosperous future lies before it. To make this an assured fact the members have only to be true to themselves. Friends will gather about them now their success is certain; but to make this

Page 73

Mirnxssrinar (Grocery).

Page 75

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 73

success substantial, to keep the Society firm, the old members should renew their exertions to sustain it in its career of honourable usefulness. The spirit hitherto shown has only to be continued, and with yet deeper sympathy in the work, wider influences must follow, and the Buxton Road Co-operative Society will become an honour to the town of Huddersfield, and a material aid to its industrial population.

In May it was decided at a special general meeting to build a new Store at Milnsbridge, as the cottage there occupied was very inconvenient. In September a Store was opened at No. 88, Wood Top, Primrose Hill ; and in December the members empowered the Committee to build a stable for six horses. All this is an indication that satisfactory progress was being made.

The experience of dealing with the Wholesale Society must have proved satisfactory, because, in January, 1872, it was decided to invest therein the sum of £500 as loan capital, and in March the quarterly meeting resolved to " purchase all goods for the next six months at the Wholesale Society." In May the late Mr. Walter Turner was appointed as storekeeper in the Wholesale Depart- ment, that is, in the warehouse which supplied the goods to the Branches. Many of the older members will recollect what a loyal and faithful servant Mr. Turner proved himself to be. In September it was decided to purchase the shares at present held by our Society in the Ripponden Cotton Spinning Co. This year the Society first became a landowner by purchasing a plot of freehold land at Primrose Hill. This year, also, a rather serious crisis occurred. In consequence of the excessive " leakage "' made at the Branches, the members decided to reduce the "leakage" allowance made to the storekeepers from 3d. to 2d. in the £. The storekeepers not agreeing to this, the matter was referred to arbitration, Mr. Job Whiteley (Halifax) representing the Society, and Mr. Crabtree (Heckmondwike) representing the storekeepers. This course, however, failed to bring about an agreement, and, in consequence, the storekeepers were discharged.

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76 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

The storekeepers had their friends among the members, and feeling ran so high that five independent Stores were opened in opposition to the Society at Lindley, Lockwood Road, Mirfield, Paddock, and Milnsbridge. The amount of sales went down, a large number of mem- bers withdrew from the Society, and others, in con- sequence of exaggerated rumours, doubting the stability of the Society, reduced their share capital. The Com- mittee, however, promptly meeting all the withdrawals, confidence was very quickly restored, and subsequent experience has proved the wisdom of the action taken by the Society. In October of this year Mr. Joseph Walker, the present efficient Manager of the Moldgreen Branch, was first appointed.

In February, 1873, the Committee resolved to " buy our fustian goods from Hebden Bridge." At the Septem- ber quarterly meeting the members decided not to purchase the Central Stores ; and during this month the Society held its first " fourteen days' sale " in the Drapery Department. At the December meeting the members resolved to re-open the Boot and Shoe Department, which had been given up four years previously ; and its later history has fully justified the step. During this year the Society, having plenty of surplus capital, decided to encourage Co-operative Production by making invest- ments in a number of undertakings including the Sowerby Bridge Flour Society, Co-operative Newspaper Society, Leeds and Morley Coal Co., and the Heckmondwike Manufacturing Co. Unfortunately, about three years afterwards the Coal Co. failed.

In January, 1874, the report says :-

Primrose Hill Branch has opened a Penny Savings Bank on the 3rd of January, and the deposits up to the present time amount to £20. - We hope that all our Branches will do likewise.

In January, also, the minute book records that Mr. Prentis, the Secretary, had his duties and responsibilities increased by being appointed as Manager or Overseer over the whole establishment. Early in February the

Page 77

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 8T

Shoe shop was reopened, with Miss Annie Heywood as Saleswoman. In May, tenders were accepted for the erection of a new building for the Primrose Hill Branch Store. In June, the members' meeting decided to take up fifty £1 shares in the Co-operative Ironworks Society, then being formed at Aspley. This Society, unfortunately, proved a failure. At the September meeting it was resolved to increase the dividend allowed to non-members from 6d. to 9d. in the £. In this month, also, the Com- mittee, for the first time, nominated the late Mr. Thomas Bland, J.P., as a member of the Wholesale Society's Com- mittee. As our members are aware, Mr. Bland had a very long and useful connection with that great institution.

The report for January, 1875, calls

the special attention of the members to our Co-operative-made all-wool flannels ; also to the fact that most of the best sewing machines in the trade can be had at the Central Drapery Depart- ment. Instruction free with every machine.

In August and November respectively, the two newly- erected Stores at Primrose Hill and Moldgreen were opened for business. In October it was decided to sell Silkstone Main Coal at 18s. per ton, which is much lower than the present price. This month, also, a Branch was commenced at Bradley. In November it was decided to build additional stables, and in the same month the great and important step was taken of purchasing the old Central premises in Buxton Road. As a portion of these premises, however, were occupied by tenants on lease, they were not wholly utilised for the Society's business until ten years later.

In April, 1876, the price of Flockton coals was only I6s. per ton. In May tenders were accepted for the erection of the Lindley Store. In July the corner-stone was publicly laid for the building of a new Store at Marsh, and in connection with this ceremony quite an unusual demonstration was organised, in true Yorkshire fashion, which proves there was a good deal of Co-operative enthusiasm in those days. The minute book records that

Page 82

82 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Mr. Thomas Bland was to lay the stone, that Messrs. Mitchell and Crabtree, of the Wholesale Society, were to be invited to the ceremony, that there be a tea meeting, that a procession start at 3 p.m., to be marshalled by Messrs. Hendry and Haddin Ellam (Committee-men), that the storekeepers be given leave of absence from 2 to 6 p.m., if they wished to join the procession, and, finally, that Jackson's Band be engaged for the demon- stration. The half-yearly report, dated July, announces that " the increased demand in the coal trade has necessitated the purchase of four additional coal wagons." The members having given the Committee power to open a Branch for Rashcliffe district in Lockwood Road, and the Society that was established there in 1872 in opposition to us, being wishful to give up, it was agreed to purchase the stock and building at a valuation, in September, 1876. Mr. Harris Pollard, the present respected Manager, was appointed to that post at the opening. This year further investments of surplus capital were made, including too Shares in the Co-operative In- surance Society, and also a loan of {£1,000 to the Union Land and Building Society. The latter Society, unfor- tunately, failed four years later. In September tenders were accepted for the erection of a warehouse in the yard at Buxton Road, and in October it was decided to have a coal office for Lockwood Station. In December the dividend allowed to non-members was further increased from 9d. to Is. in the £. During this year Mr. Albert Horsfall entered the service of the Society as an office boy, and this being his first situation, his whole working life has been passed with our Society. To rise from office boy to the position of chief cashier is a most credit-

able record.

The report for January, 1877, says: " The American fresh meat having been largely imported into this country we decided to give it a trial, and so far it has been a success."" In the following half-year's balance sheet there appears £1,056. 15s. 3d., amount of the sales in the American Meat Department, but there is no entry

Page 83

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Page 85

HUDDERSFIELD INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY.

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Page 87

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 87

subsequently. On April 20th Mr. W. H. Mallinson, one of the present office clerks, was appointed. On May 5th the newly-erected Branch Store at Marsh was opened, with Mr. B. Barrett as Manager. A public tea meeting was held to celebrate the opening, at which Mr. G. J. Holyoake attended. In September, the Committee resolved to increase the usefulness of the Shoe Department by engaging two men as repairers, in order that the repair- ing might be done on the Society's premises. At the quarterly meeting in September it was first resolved to give an annual subscription to the Askern Bath Charity. The No. 12 Branch at Lowerhouses was opened in October, and had to be carried on in very small and inconvenient premises until the Committee could _ get one erected that was suitable for the requirements of the business. This year is notable for the fact that the Committee began to erect a number of dwelling-houses. Tenders amounting to £2,000 were accepted for houses at Primrose Hill. Eighteen houses were also built at Paddock, and, finally, 1,148 yards of land were purchased at Lockwood.

In March, 1878, the price charged for Stanley Main Coal was only 12s. 6d. per ton ; to-day it is 18s.

In the year 1878 the Committee were busy erecting four new buildings for their Branch Stores at Lockwood, Lowerhouses, Northumberland Street, and Paddock, the old premises being found inadequate owing to the greatly increased business done. Tenders were also accepted for several cottages at Lockwood. At the September meeting the members resolved to increase the subscrip- tions to the Infirmary to £10. 1os., and to the Mechanics' Institute to £3. 3s. The Butchering business was again commenced on October 17th at No. 19, Buxton Road, and it was decided that the profit in that department should be kept separate, and the dividend declared on the business done, independent of the other departments. Mr. J. T. Beatson was appointed the Manager of this Department. The first Butchering Branch was also

Page 88

88 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

opened this year at Paddock. On November 5th it is recorded that the Committee decided to purchase 100

pigs. The year 1879 saw a continuance of the policy of house building. Twenty dwelling-houses were erected at Royd's Wood, Paddock, four behind the Rashcliffe Store, eight at Lindley, six in St. Stephen's Road, and fourteen in Victoria Road, Lockwood. In addition 2,273 yards of land were purchased at Lindley. To in- crease the facilities for carrying on the coal trade, four coal wagons and two coal carts were purchased.

The report for January, 1880, says :-

We have been in communication with Messrs. Bairstow and Sons, wholesale clothiers, who have offered to supply our members with any description of clothing, and we have decided to give them a trial. Members who wish to avail themselves of this offer can go to Messrs. Bairstow's warehouse in Fitzwilliam Street and make their own selections from either the Ready-made Depart- ment or from the piece, and on paying for their goods will receive a note, which, on presentation at the office of the Society, will be exchanged for metallic checks.

This was the first half year in which a dividend of 3s. in the £ was paid. The Butchering dividend was only Is. qd. In May the Newsome Co-operative Society requested our Committee to purchase their Store and open a Branch of our Society there. After making inquiries respecting it the Committee recommended the members to comply with the request, and a Branch was duly opened in June, with Mr. Joe Dobson as Manager. In June the Com- mittee decided to become agents for the Co-operative Insurance Society. A second Butchering Branch was opened this month at Rashcliffe. In July certain land and buildings, situated at Deadwaters, were purchased from Mrs. Cotton, and in November tenders were accepted for erecting upon the site stables for the Society's horses. Tenders were also accepted in the same month for building five houses in Bland Street, Lockwood.

During the first twenty years in the Society's history the quarterly and half-yearly members' meetings were held at seven different places as follows (several of

Page 89

Lockwoon (Grocery and Drapery).

Page 91

Marsnm Brancn (Grocery)

Page 93

CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. 93.

these, of course, are not now available):-March, 1861, at the Albion Hotel, Buxton Road ; September, 1861, Philosophical Hall, which stood on the site of the present theatre in Ramsden Street, and since burnt down ; for four years ending 1865, with a few exceptions (alternating with Senior's Schoolroom), in a room in Albion Street used by the " Barkerites ;"' for ten years ending March, 1873 (again with few exceptions) in Senior's Schoolroom, East Parade. The meeting in March, 1867, was held in the Assembly-room behind the Rose and Crown Hotel, Kirkgate, which stood on the site of the Palace Theatre. From August, 1873, to March, 1878, in George Street Schoolroom, and from September, 1878, to 1886, in Ramsden Street Schoolroom. Since then the meetings have usually been held in the Queen Street Assembly- room, the Victoria Hall, or the Technical College. - The day and hour of the meetings have also varied. From 1865 to 1872 they were held on Thursday at 7-30 p.m.; from 1873 to 1875, on Saturday afternoons; and ever since 1875 on Saturday evenings at 6 o'clock.

The following figures show the ten years' progress of the Society :-

| Average Average Date. 1311'ãfs.1 Csahpailtgl. Sales Profit. Grgchfy, Butc'ers Dividend.| P' Year ended { £ £ £ In the £] In the £ July, 1871 ........ IO81 | 9830 39223 2091 | I/6 - | ... , - 1872 ...... I435 | 12906 | 52002 2907 | I/5 ) - 1873 ...... 1348 | 12758 47595 2882 _ 1/6 ) - 1874 ...... 1604 | 17127 52688 | 4066 | 1/9i% ); - 1875 ........ 1970 | 23756 61345 5744 | 2/2 ) - 1876 ...... 2682 | 34003 78510 | 9525 - 2/6} | ; - 1877 ........ 3497 | 42409 | 106122 | 13589 | 2/8 _ , - 1878 ........ 4259 | 53351 | 125827 | 16538 | 2/8} | o... , - 1879 ........ 4773 | 60458 | 1317II | 17848 | 2/9 | 1/7 , - 1880 ........ 5540 | 69060 | 155168 | 21635 2/10%| 1/6 Ten Years' Total| ... 85o191 | 96825 3

Page 94

CHAPTER VII.

Progress of the Society (continued) 1881-1890.

Ever active, ever cheery, Hope the burden of our song ; Let us help the weak and weary On the way we move along. Brighter days than we have seen yet Dawn upon our Babels old ; Changes greater than have been yet,

Time's vast ocean will unfold. -J. M. Peacock.

Five more Branches Opened-Investments Lost-W atch Membership-T wenty-first - Anniwersary-More - Stores and Houses Busrit-Photographs-More Butchering Branches- A. G. Hendry-Weavers' Stritke-Central Premises Extended- More Savings Banks-Revision of Rules-Surplus Capital again-New Shops in Princess Street-Tailoring Department Opened-Quarterly Balance Sheets-T wenty-fifth Anniversary- Wm. Thomson and Sons Limited-New Drapery Shop- Members' Capital Reduced-Manchester Ship Canal-Insur- ance Fund-Infirmary Subscription Increased-Non-members' Dividend again Increased-Buitchering Dividend, 3s. 4d. -New Departments Opened : Dressmaking, Furnishing, Bakery, and Confectionery-Interest on Capital Reduced-Big Orders for Flour and Coal-Joins Co-operative Union-Employees' Tea Party-Thirtieth Anniversary-Christmas Fare-Ten Years'

T rade. HE report for January, 1881, contained the following item of bad news :-" Your Committee regret to

announce that the Union Land and Building Co. is now in liquidation." At this date the sum of £1,030 appeared in the balance sheet as being invested with this unfortunate company, the investment having been made in 1876. For several half years afterwards a

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. efo

portion of the profits had to be devoted towards wiping out the lost capital. In March, Mr. B. Barrett, the storekeeper at Marsh, was transferred to the position he now worthily fills as storekeeper at the Central Grocery Department in Buxton Road. Mr. David Walker was appointed to succeed him at Marsh. At this time the members of a small Co-operative Society at Greenside, Dalton, asked our Committee to take over their Store. Negotiations were concluded, con- siderable alterations were made to the premises, and it was opened as the Society's No. 14 Branch, in the month of March, with Mr. J. Ibberson as storekeeper. - In August the Committee decided to begin

the sale of watches and jewellery in the Drapery Depart- ment. A licence was obtained, rules for a Watch Club were adopted, and ten shares were taken up in the Coventry Co-operative Watch Manufacturing Co. On August 27th the new stables to accommodate twenty horses, were opened at Deadwaters, with much rejoicing, in the shape of a tea and meeting held in the Victoria Hall. At this time, also, extensive alterations and additions were made to the Central Stores. The Committee gave much con- sideration to the question of allowing joint membership in the Society. The late Mr. E. V. Neale's opinion was sought upon the matter, and the July report announces :-

We have decided to allow a man and his wife to enter con- jointly in cases where such persons have more than {50 invested in the funds of the Society, which will avoid the necessity of having to take out letters of administration in case of the husband's death.

This step has no doubt been a great boon in quite a number of cases. On December Iyth the fifteenth Branch of the Society was opened at Aspley, with Mr. J. Dobson as storekeeper, who was transferred from New- some Branch.

On February IIth, 1882, the sixteenth Branch was opened at Outlane in a cottage, no other premises being available at the time. Mr. Henry Crawshaw was

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100 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

appointed as storekeeper. .And now I have to record an interesting event in the Society's history, viz., its ' coming- of-age." It having been in existence for a period of twenty-one years, the Committee wisely decided to celebrate the fact with becoming dignity. 'The Society had now nearly 7,000 members, a capital of £85,000, and was doing a business of £98,000 in the half year, with a net profit of £13,000. - Surely there were good reasons for rejoicing ! Therefore, on Saturday, March 25th, the celebration took place. A tea was provided in Ramsden Street Schoolroom, to which 1,500 persons sat down. Tea being over, an adjournment was made to the Town Hall, where about 2,500 persons assembled, and a public meeting was held, the President of the Society (Mr. Jas. Broadbent) being in the chair. The proceedings opened with the hymn, " The Nobleness of Labour," composed by Eliza Cook, and sung to the tune of " Old Hundred." The Secretary (Mr. Prentis) read a history of the Society. Addresses were delivered by the Chairman, Mr. Samuel Learoyd, Mr. J. T. W. Mitchell (President of the Co- operative Wholesale Society), Mr. E. O. Greeaing (London), Mr. J. Crabtree (Heckmondwike), and Mr. Thos. Bland. On that occasion the President (Mr. J. Broadbent, who is still our President, though twenty- eight years have elapsed) said " If there was one thing more than another in connection with the festival that they ought to feel proud of, it was the fact that their Society had attained its present position entirely through the management of working men." Mr. S. Learoyd, the Society's solicitor, said :-*" Let their Society be a model to guide them, or at any rate a pattern that they could follow. Let this be their pattern. Unite together against all that is false and all that is unworthy ; co- operate together in all that is pure and true. Let heart be united to heart, let life be united to life in all that which could make the men and women of this vast town useful and good.'" Mr. Mitchell said " Co-operation was that noble truth which lifted the humblest out of the miry clay of poverty. It kept men out of debt. It was the

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most honest system of trading involved in these modern days. If the principle of Co-operation was more per- manently established, his opinion was that wars would be less likely on the continent of Europe and also in other parts of the world. They knew the old motto that

'Unity is Strength.'" Mr. Greening wrote a long and interesting article, which appeared the following week in the Co-operative News, describing the celebration, from which I quote the following :-

The Committee had hired the largest available schoolroom in the town ; there were four parties to take tea in succession, and it was a sight to be remembered to see the room packed full within, and the approaches crammed by a waiting multitude outside. The exits were crowded with a stream of people coming out, satis- faction and content visible on all faces, but words of grumbling on many lips. Not at the fare, but at the unparalleled squeezing which had been undergone by the guests. The grumblings were mostly from ladies, who, apparently, could boast the three " F's," fair, fat, and -; well, no, we will stop short of that last act of recklessness-the guessing at a lady's age. " I'll never go to another party as long as I live," said one buxom, ruddy-faced Yorkshire woman emphatically to a Committee-man standing by me. " Go along," he replied, " you'll all be satisfied when it is over."" And, surely enough, he proved a true prophet, if one may judge by the wondrous assemblage of pleased and happy people who subsequently filled every corner of the Town Hall, orchestra, double galleries, and floor of the hall. There were nearly 2,000 to tea. I should say there must have been nearly 3,000 at the meet- ing. And a better-tempered audience never assembled to listen to music and speeches. They cheered every song. They cheered every speech. They cheered the Secretary's report of their twenty-one years' work, as well indeed they might. They laughed heartily at Mr. Learoyd's well-timed jokes and illustra- tions. They cheered lustily Mr. Mitchell's vigorous phrases. They applauded even my own facts and statistics-a sure sign of a good-humoured audience. They greeted Mr. Crabtree and Mr. Bland like old friends doubly welcome, and they passed the vote of thanks to their Chairman and President with a Kentish fire of a kind to warm the heart of the honoured recipient. I need not say how the whole audience joined in the grand " Old Hundred " tune, to which was sung the " Hymn to Labour," or how they lent their voices to help the chorus of " God Save the Queen." Every Yorkshireman and Yorkshirewoman is a born singer, I firmly believe, and whenever Yorkshire Societies go in for educa- tion funds and establish Co-operative institutes in connection with their Stores, there will be singing classes of a magnitude to

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106 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

astonish H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and the Royal College of Music he is establishing. But here our Yorkshire Co-operators fail us. Huddersfield, with all its material prosperity, has no educational fund. Worse still, it has once had an education fund in force for two years, from 1866 to 1868, and the members have abolished it. On three occasions since they have voted by large majorities against re-establishing one. What can be the reason for this strange want of appreciation by such an eminently prac- tical people of the most valuable of all things in this world ? Is it the too great love of material wealth, of money, and the solid comforts money can buy ?: - Or is it a misapprehension of the objects of Co-operative education ? Or is it the strong Yorkshire feeling of independence which makes each man desire to have the separate spending of his own share of the common profits as far as

possible ?

The Society has, fortunately, changed its policy upon the education question 'since Mr. Greening wrote this article, as the reader will see later on in our story.

In June tenders were accepted for the erection of thirty-two dwelling-houses at Deadwaters. In August the Committee decided to begin the pork butchering business in the new premises at Buxton Road. At this time the Society had a staff of workmen on the premises capable of repairing 300 pairs of boots and shoes per week. New bespoke work was also undertaken, and in September it was resolved to open a Clogging Department as well. This year Mr. J. Wood entered the office as clerk, although he had previously acted as errand boy in the Drapery Department.

The report for January, 1883, shows the Committee had an artistic mind. It says :-

We have pleasure in stating that we have made arrangements with Mr. S. S. Priestley, Photographer, 28, Ramsden Street, whereby we can now supply family oil paintings and one dozen caries de visites for £2. 10s., and allow checks on the amount. Members may also get ordinary photographs from Mr. Priestley, upon which checks will be allowed. Specimens on view at various Stores.

What is it that Co-operation cannot do?: _ The report also says :-

The present half year will be noteworthy from the fact that for the first time in the history of the Society the turnover has

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CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD. III.

reached the magnificent sum of £100,000, the actual figures being {103,079. 19s. Early this year Butchering Branches were opened at Lindley and Moldgreen.

On February 27th Mr. A. G. Hendry resigned his position as a member of the Society's Committee. Mr. Hendry had rendered valuable services to the Society, and the Committee adopted the following resolution in recog- nition :- That the unanimous thanks of this Committee be given to Mr. Hendry for his unvarying conduct for the benefit of the Society during his connection with it, and express their deep regret at the

severance, but feel that it is through a feeling of duty to his family which causes him to withdraw himself from their midst.

Mr. Hendry was leaving the district for domestic reasons. Later on it was decided to present Mr. Hendry with a photographic group of the Committee, as a memento of their high regard, and framed copies were also ordered to be hung in the office and Committee-room of the Society. At this period the great Weavers' strike in this district was in progress, and the Committee thoughtfully facili- tated the prompt withdrawal of members' capital by passing a general resolution on April 3rd to allow members who applied, to withdraw down to 2s. during the strike without the usual notice. Unfortunately, during the long struggle many members were compelled to draw out their carefully saved capital in order to " keep the wolf from the Probably, had it not been for the existence of the Society, this capital would not have been available to fall back upon. Many times during great labour troubles, especially in the mining districts, have the Co-operative Societies been the salvation of the working classes. In consequence of these withdrawals the Society's capital during this half year, instead of show- ing the usual increase of about £7,000, suffered a reduction of £3,000. But the reduction was only temporary, and quickly recovered itself. The July report says :-

We have also made arrangements by which our members may purchase clothing of Messrs. H. Bowker and Co., King Street, and Messrs. Culley and Sons, Cross Church Street, in addition to Messrs. Bairstow, Sons, and Co.

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IT2 CO-OPERATION IN HUDDERSFIELD.

Surely the time was approaching for the Society to supply the clothing itself ! At the members' meeting in September the annual subscription to the Askern Bath Charity was increased from £1 to £5. In the latter part of the year another Butchering Branch was opened at Lockwood, and arrangements were made to supply the Milnsbridge members with meat at the Grocery Store. In November the Central Butcher's shop was removed to the corner of Princess Street. On December 6th the newly-erected Store at Aspley was opened, the stock having been transferred from the old shop. During all this year the Committee continued their active building operations. - Eight houses were built at Lindley and seven at Oakes. New Stores were also erected at Aspley and Cliffe End. Messrs. Knight and Jackson, a firm of painters occupying a portion of the Central premises, were notified to terminate their tenancy at the expira- tion of their lease, and in December tenders were accepted amounting to nearly £5,000 for the extension of the Buxton Road property into Princess Street. - Messrs. Abbey and Hanson were the architects for the Cliffe End Store and the Princess Street extension.

The report for January, 1884, announces the final payment from reserve fund for wiping out the loss of {£1,030 in the Union Land and Building Company, and a payment of £200 from the same fund to cover the loss in the Batley Manufacturing Company, which had just gone into liquidation also. The year following, a dividend of £79 was received from the former company. The Kirk- heaton Town Top Co-operative Society having requested us to purchase their freehold property and stock, it was agreed to do so, and a Branch of our Society was opened there in January, 1884. The Cliffe End Branch was opened in February. Mr. G. W. Spofforth was appointed storekeeper at the former Branch and Mr. S. Sandwell at the latter. On January 22nd the present engineman at the Central premises (Mr. Jonathan Hirst) was appointed. On February Iqth tenders were accepted

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