The origins of the Co-operative Movement date back to the start of the 19th century and the ideals of the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen. He developed a model factory complex at New Lanark which included a store which sold at cost prices.
In 1838, Owen lectured in Hyde where co-op stores known as union or Brighton shops were already in existence. Hyde, Mottram and Mossley had opened in 1830, followed by Broadbottom in 1831 and Ashton in 1838.(Thanks to TMBC website)
Surplus money from the non-profit making businesses was distributed among the members of the co-operative and they were encouraged to save by leaving their dividend in the businesses as shares on which interest would be paid.
Hyde’s own Co-operative Society was established in 1862 as a result of the Cotton Famine caused by the US Civil War. At the time, out of 51,600 people in the Hyde, Staley and Longdendale district, only 3,782 were in full-time employment.
The people of Hyde found the trip to the Dukinfield stores too long so, in local parlance, they decided not to wait for the Co-op but to fetch it. The new society quickly expanded and the Corner of Queen Street and Market Street, Hyde branches were opened on Market Street, Stockport Road, Commercial Street, Furnace Street and Queen Street.
Alongside these there were stables, a laundry, warehouses, an abattoir, houses and even a farm. By 1912, yearly trade was valued at £87,000 and membership had increased to 3,700.
A prestige store was opened at the corner of Greenfield Street and Market Street in the 1930s but it is now run by Wilkinsons.
The building hasn't changed much over the years!
A great view of the "Co-op" from the mid 1970's taken from the bottom of Dowson Road.
Thanks to my very good friend, Nick, for this great photo!
Nancy I'll add these to above here of the busy Dowson Road junction, I've seen these before somewhere but was sent them by an old Hydonian from Sweden who really enjoys the blog.