Galashiels Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

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

Administrative / Biographical History

Galashiels Co-operative Society was formed in 1863 from the existent Galashiels Provision Store Company. This company had been formed in 1939 by the same number of founding shareholders as the Rochdale Pioneers, namely 28. Many of the founding members were Chartists and had previously been members of the Weavers Corporation, an earlier form of co-operative, which supplied its members with equipment to manufacture woollen cloth. The Weavers Corporation had existed from as early as 1666, and upon it dissolving in 1875, much of its surplus funds were put into the new co-operative.

There was early dispute within the society in 1867 when a breakaway group split from the Galashiels Co-operative Society to form the Waverly Co-operative Society which went on to open 3 branches. The Galashiels and Waverly Societies eventually came together in 1909 to form the Galashiels United Co-operative Society.

The Society grew from its initial 28 members to approximately 6,000 members in the late 1960s and by this point was supplying customers from over 15 stores as well as opening a restaurant on Channel Street.

The Galashiels Society merged with the Peebles Co-operative Society in 1968 to create the Border Society, at which time it had grown from its humble 28 founder members to a large society with 6,036 members

Sources: The Co-operative Directory, Central Co-operative Board, 1887; 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.