Aberdare and District Co-operative Society Limited

Scope and Content

Minute Books, 1929-1986.

Administrative / Biographical History

TheAberdare and District Co-operative Society was an amalgamation of several societies in the Aberdare (Aberdr) Valley. These societies had originally been in competition with one another. Cwmbach Co-operative Society in 1860 was the first co-operative society to be set up in Wales; Trecynon Co-operative Society was established in 1865 followed by the Aberdare Co-operative Society in 1869. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was Cwmbach which was the dominant society in the valley, however the larger societies in South Wales were particularly badly hit by the depression of 1921 and suffered huge reductions in trade and losses in member numbers. Cwmbach society was greatly affected and matters were made worse for it with the amalgamation of the Aberdare and Trecynon societies in 1924. The end result was the amalgamation ofthe Aberdare and Cwmbach societies in 1927. Annual sales for the amalgamated society later became higher than for any other Welsh co-operative society and in1929 Aneurin Davies the Secretary and Executive Officer of the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society was elected as a Director of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, a national body.

The threat of the trend from the 1960sfor out-of-town superstores led to the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society transfering its engagements to Co-operative Retail Services Limited in 1988. The CRS reduced the number of local autonomous societies and concentratedon forming large regional societies to cope with the threat.