Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection is primarily comprised of financial records including report and balance sheets; committee records including minutes and rule books; members records; correspondence; and photographs. The records in this collection were created by the following societies:

  • Annan & District Co-operative Society.
  • Arbroath Co-operative Society
  • Carronbridge Co-operative Society
  • Creetown and District Co-operative Society
  • Dumfries Co-operative Society
  • Dumfries & Maxwelltown Co-operative Society
  • Dunbar and Westbarns Co-operative Society
  • East Lothian Co-operative Society
  • Galashiels Co-operative Society
  • Haddington Co-operative Society
  • Hawick Co-operative Society
  • Innerleithen Co-operative Society
  • Jedburgh Co-operative Society
  • Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society
  • Peebles Co-operative Society
  • Queen of the South Co-operative Society
  • Selkirk Co-operative Society
  • Tranent and Haddington Co-operative Society
  • Tranent Co-operative Society
  • Westbarns Co-operative Society

Administrative / Biographical History

The Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society (LBC) was formed in 1992 following the amalgamation of two Regional Societies: Border Regional and East Lothian. Upon its amalgamation, LBC was providing for 50,000 members with services including 7 superstores, 11 supermarkets and 22 grocery stores. LBC had also retained some of its means of production including a farm, a bakery and a dairy. LBC traded for only 6 years before it merged with the Angus Co-operative Society to form the Lothian, Borders, and Angus Co-operative Society.

LBC was a large Regional Society with many local branches and retail services. The history of the LBC is one of co-operative society mergers and amalgamations. Many co-operative societies in the Lothian and Scottish Borders Regions were set up in the mid to late Nineteenth Century. These were local societies such as Selkirk, Tranent, and Annan which generally ran from one or two branches. As these societies began to grow, it became increasingly common for local societies to merge. Through creating larger societies, they were able to take advantage of wholesale buying and selling techniques to enable them to provide quality products at reasonable prices.

The trend for societies to merge into increasingly large organisations continued through the Twentieth Century leading to large and powerful district co-operatives such as Tranent and Haddington, and Dumfries and Maxwelltown. Further amalgamations during the 1980s led to the number of societies in the area reduced to two, Border Regional and East Lothian. In January 1992 these regional societies merged to form LBC which was at the time, the largest retail employer in the Borders Region with a turnover of £60 million.

During the 1990s LBC enjoyed increases in profits despite little growth in the local economy, acheiving £15.7 million in gross profits for 1997/98. Chief executive Alistair Bennett explained the growth and profitability as a result of continued investment in new stores and an ongoing refurbishment programme. In July 1998 a merger was proposed between LBC and East Angus Co-operative Society which took place on the 14 September 1998. The amalgamation of the two societies into the Lothian, Borders, and Angus Society, led to a combined turnover of over £100 million, and profitability of £4 million. Former chief executive of LBC, Alistair Bennett, became the new chief executive of Lothian, Borders, and Angus Society, and former Chief executive of East Angus, Ian Anderson, became the deputy chief executive. Lothian, Borders, and Angus Co-operative Society merged with The Co-operative Group in 2008.

References:

  • Maxwell, W. M., History of Co-operation in Scotland: Its inception and its leaders, (Glasgow: Co-operative Union, 1910)
  • Kinloch, James and Butt, John, History of the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd (Glasgow: CWS Ltd, 1981)
  • Co-operative News (Manchester: Co-operative Press Ltd, 1992)
  • Co-operative News (Manchester: Co-operative Press Ltd, 1998)
  • The Co-operative Directory (Manchester: Co-operative Union Ltd, 1998)

Arrangement

The records contained in this collection are divided into four subfonds which reflect the way that the Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society was formed following the amalgamation of smaller co-operative societies. As there was no structure in place prior to the records being catalogued, the records have been arranged into their creating societies. A subfonds (LBC/4) has been created for those records whose creating society cannot be identified.

Conditions Governing Access

All open materials, can be viewed by previous arrangement, Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Contact the Archivist at:

National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS, archive@co-op.ac.uk http://archive.co-op.ac.uk,

Acquisition Information

The records in this collection were donated by The Co-operative Group, January 2010.

Archivist's Note

The collection was catalogued by Helen Donald, work placement student, January 2011.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied for research purposes, subject to the completion of a declaration form. Please consult the Archivist regarding copyright issues.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Held elsewhere:

  • Annan & District Co-operative Society Ltd, 1926-1928: minutes, Dumfries and Galloway Archives, UK.
  • Carronbridge Co-operative Society, 1916-1930: minutes, Dumfries and Galloway Archives, UK.
  • Creetown Co-operative Society Ltd, 1922-1928: minutes, Dumfries and Galloway Archives, UK.
  • Dalbeattie Co-operative Society, 1860-90: records, Dumfries and Galloway Archives, UK.
  • Dumfries & Maxwelltown Co-operative Society Ltd, 1879-c1969: minute books and 1923-1925: minutes, Dumfries and Galloway Archives, UK.
  • Galashiels United Co-operative Society, 1846-1951: minutes, balance sheets, letter books, National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections, UK.
  • Hawick Co-operative Society Ltd, 1839-1970: minutes, membership lists, Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, UK.
  • Innerleithen Co-operative Society, 1875-1971: minutes, reports, balance sheets, share and dividend records, invoice and wages books, plans, corresp and papers, National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections, UK.
  • Jedburgh Co-operative Store Co Ltd, 1942-1968: minutes, reports and balance sheets, Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, UK.
  • Kelso Co-operative Society, minute books, Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, UK.
  • Peebles Co-operative Society, 1889-1967: minute books, National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections, UK.
  • Walkerburn Co-operative Society, 1883-1966: minute books, National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections, UK.

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