Many of the first co-operatives were set up in the Holmfirth area well before the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844.
The History of Netherthong website records: “In 1827 spinners, twisters, weavers, bleachers and farmers at Meltham Mills sold goods at the same prices as other shops and shared the profits out proportionately.
“Others were set up at Underbank 1832, New Mill 1833, Holmfirth 1833, Honley 1839 and Hepworth 1840.”
Netherthong’s Co-op came later in 1881 when the former Rose and Crown was leased for the purpose.
It was more recently used as a setting for The First Of The Summer Wine, the prequel to the long running TV series.
This trawl through co-operative history follows memories of the one at Scapegoat Hill.
Dave Whitworth, of Mount, told me about Kirkheaton Co-op (founded 1834). It gave 20% dividend to celebrate its centenary.
The picture I used in this column earlier this week was actually of the Kirkheaton branch of the Huddersfield Co-operative movement in Town Road. Jean Lawson says the Kirkheaton Co-op that started in 1834 was in Bankfield Lane.
“I can remember they had a drapery department as well as the grocery section and they made home deliveries to customers”, says Jean.
The first one at Meltham Mills that opened in 1827 moved into purpose-built premises in 1862. They are still there.
David Woodhead, well-known pub landlord (Jacob’s Well and Coach and Horses in Honley), started his working life in the family grocery business in Meltham.
“I recall the proud claim that Meltham and Meltham Mills Industrial Co-op began trading during the spring of 1827,” he says. “I left school at 15 and became ‘‘Granville’ in my father’s grocery and provision merchant’s shop in Station Street.
“The Meltham Mills Co-op was a thriving branch of the main operation at Midway in Meltham.
I seem to remember, probably during the 1950s, a commemorative plaque in the first floor pay office at Midway, celebrating the 1827 opening.
Does anyone else remember it?”