Huddersfield Industrial Society (Huddersfield Co-Operative)

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

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 It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date.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.


Central Co-Operative Store, New Street, Huddersfield

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 became the Central Departmental Co-Operative Store.

The property consists of four main sections, incorporating two very contrasting styles. The first block, situated on the corner of Princess Street and New Street (which was known at that time as Buxton Road) was built during 1886-7. It was designed by Abbey and Hanson. Plans for the next section, of a similar architectural design, but by Joseph Berry, 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 buildings - oriel windows, clock tower and foliate decoration. An official opening of these three sections of the Co-Operative store took place on 8 September 1906, by Mr. James Broadbent, the President of the Industrial Society.

In comparison, the extension of 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 Limited, officially opened this additional section of 29 May 1937.

The store acquired several more buildings in the vicinity of Buxton Road during the 1930's and 1940's. During its heyday, the Co-Operative store housed several departments, including ladies' outfitters and hall of fashion, gentlemans' outfitters, haberdashery, drapery, millinery, chemist and druggist, shoe department, food hall, ladies' haridressing salon, furniture hall and a restaurant. A milk dairy also operated from the rear of the building in Alfred Street.

Renovation of the interior of the store was carried out during 1993, however the Co-Op later moved out and the building was sold in 1999.