Huddersfield Central Co-operative Store, New Street
The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.
The Huddersfield Industrial Society was founded in 1860 and began by opening a small grocery store in part of an old building in Buxton Road. From these early beginnings the Society acquired several shop premises in outlying districts before finally deciding to enlarge their town centre store which eventually became the Central Departmental Co-operative Store.
The property consists of four main sections incorporating two very contrasting styles. The first block situated at the corner of Princess Street and New Street (which was known at that time as Buxton road) was built during 1886-1887. It was designed by Abbey & Hanson (See collections B/AHR & KC353 available at WYAS: Kirklees office)
Plans for the next section of a similar architectural design, but by Joshua Berry ( See collection WYK1305 available at WYAS: Kirklees office) and to be added to the original corner block were drawn up in 1892. At the same time tenders were being submitted for the demolition of the old buildings in Buxton Road known as Johnson's Buildings to make way for the proposed extensions to the store.
The third section of the store was built in 1903 and is typical of many late nineteenth century buildingoriel windows, clock tower and foliate decoration. An official opening of these three sections of the Co-operative store took place on 8th September by Mr James Broadbent, President of the Industrial Society.
In comparison, the extension in 1936 by W A Johnson and J W Cooper is the best early example of a modern town centre building. When this extension was finally completed, the store ran almost the entire length of the section of Buxton Road between Princess Street and Chapel Hill. Sir William Bradshaw, President of the Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd officially opened this additional section on 29th May 1937.
The store acquired several more buildings in the vicinity of Buxton Road during the 1930s-1940s. During its heyday, the Co-operative store housed several departments including ladies outfitters and hall of fashion, gentlemans outfitters, haberdashery, drapery, millinery , chemist, druggist, shoe department, food hall, ladies hairdressing salon, furniture hall and a restaurant. A milk dairy also operated from the rear of the building in Alfred Street.
Renovation of the interior was carried out in 1993. The Co-op moved out after the sale of the building in 1999 and the premises were left to stand empty.
Plans relating to this building can be found at WYAS: Kirklees office under the following reference numbers Central 1240, 2200, 965