Selkirk Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This file consists of records created by the Selkirk Co-operative Society including report and balance sheets, and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Selkirk Co-operative Society was set up in 1846 by a group of Selkirk shoemakers or Souters as they were known and their first branch was located in Market Place near the Kirk Wind.

Unfortunately the decision for the Society to become a member of the Co-operative Wholesale Society led to internal disagreements and eventually resulted in a section of the committee forming a second co-operative society called the Selkirk Provident. The unrest continued within the new society and some of its members broke away to form a third co-operative in Selkirk called the Selkirk Equitable. The town of Selkirk did not have the population to meet the needs of three co-operative societies and the Selkirk Provident soon closed. Soon after, the members of the Selkirk Equitable decided to rejoin the original Selkirk Co-operative Society.

The Selkirk Co-operative Society traded for 127 years, during which time it grew from one branch in 1846, to 5 branches and a coal depot in 1922. The production side of the Society continued to grow and by 1966 it owned a bakery, fuel and milk depots, and shoe repair premises. In 1973, the Society underwent a merger with the Kelso Co-operative Society to form the Selkirk and Kelso Co-operative Society. This society was relatively short lived and within 11 years it had merged with other societies to form the Central Borders Co-operative Society.

Sources: The Co-operative Directory, Co-operative Union Ltd, 1922; Co-operative Directory, Co-operative Union Ltd, 1966; and History of Co-operation in Scotland: Its inception and its leaders, W. M. Maxwell, Co-operative Union, 1910.