East Lothian Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This subfonds consists of records created by the East Lothian Co-operative Society. These include minutes of meetings, financial records, buildings records, Women's Guild records, correspondence, press cuttings, and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

The East Lothian Co-operative Society was formed in 1940 after a merger of three smaller societies: Tranent and Haddington; Dunbar and Westbarns; and Duns and District. The Tranent and Haddington Co-operative Society was already one of the largest and most powerful in the area and by 1945 almost 12000 of East Lothian’s population were members of the Co-operative at the Tranent store.

Membership continued to grow through the 1960s and the society contained 16,839 members in 1966. By the 1970s however, the way the public shopped had started to change and this was not beneficial to the Society with membership dropping to 14,490. The Society had branched out by this point however, and owned premises including 6 supermarkets, 3 pharmacies, 4 clothing stores, 2 farms, and 2 food factories. This diversity allowed the Society to keep earning profit despite the drop in members.

The East Lothian Co-operative Society was amalgamated with the Border Regional Co-operative Society in 1992 to form the Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society.

Sources: The Co-operative Directory, Co-operative Union Ltd, 1957; Co-operative Directory, Co-operative Union Ltd, 1966; The Co-operative Directory, Co-operative Union Ltd, 1979; and History of the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd, James Kinloch and John Butt, Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited, 1981.

Geographical Names