Wax rubbings of CWS Crumpsall Biscuit Works windows

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection consists of wax rubbings of four large, elaborate windows at the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Crumpsall biscuit works. The rubbings show the art nouveau elaboration around single words. The rubbings have diagrams of where the design was located in the window.

Administrative / Biographical History

Crumpsall Biscuit Works opened in Lower Crumpsall, near Manchester, in around 1873. The factory was subject to numerous alterations and expansions between around 1896 and the 1920s, including plans for a new cake bakery which were laid down in 1896, there was a new biscuit portion added in 1896, and in 1921 additional land was purchased to accommodate extensions such as new offices, a dispatch room and a garage. The works was closed in 1985.

The factory created numerous products and had four departments, these were the biscuit factory; the cake factory; the sweets and toffee department; and the drugs and sundries section.

The works at Crumpsall boasted being "the only 8 hour day biscuit works in England" and had numerous facilities for its employees including a cricket club; football club; tennis courts; a bowling green; a recreation ground; a dining room for over 600 people with discounted refreshments and free warming of packed dinners; a library; and board and card games. The works put on numerous social events through the year including sports days, and dances and whist drives nearly every week during the winter. The works also stated that girls, however young, were started at no less than 6 shillings a week, and that they were only employed to do girls work and not to save the expense of employing men. There was also a Sick Benefit Society.

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 www.archive.coop

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Bruce Rowling, September 2010. Accession number Arc/2010/28.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Heather Roberts, Archive Assistant, September 2013.

Related Material

The National Co-operative Archive holds other material about the Crumpsall biscuit works:

  • The Crumpsall Biscuit Works collection CBW - Crumpsall Biscuit Works (CWS), catalogued here
  • Pamphlet, CWS, An Illustrated Description of a Visit to Crumpsall Works, 1909
  • Pamphlet, Gatehouse Project, CWS Crumpsall Biscuit Works, Day In, Day Out: Memories of North Manchester, 1986

Geographical Names