Great Grimsby Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This series consists of records created by Great Grimsby Co-operative Society including records of the General Committee, the Education Committee, the Choral Society, Grimsby Co-operative Party, the Political Council, employee records, members' records, records of William Atkinson and Son, photographs, and pamphlets and magazines.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first meeting of The Great Grimsby Co-operative Company was on 27 Mar 1873 at the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company's premises, Royal Dock. The Society registered as The Great Grimsby Co-operative Company on 21 May 1873. Mr W H Watkinson was the first President of the Society. They aimed to establish a branch of the Co-operative Movement in Grimsby, support the Co-operative Wholesale Society, and encourage members to read the Co-operative News. Business began on 3 Sep 1873 in Flower Square, Grimsby. The Society had a membership of 272. The premises at Flower Square had previously been a Shop, Beerhouse, Warehouse, Coach-house and stables. These were purchased for £915 and it was intended that the shop and warehouses would be used and the remaining buildings let out.

By 1893 the Company had a membership of 1,989 and they decided to reconstruct and register as a Co-operative Society. At this point they had 7 grocery branches, a bakery, shop, warehouse, boot shop, and stables.

In 1898 an education committee was elected and a reading room was established. In 1900 the Society expanded into the district of Barnetby, in 1901 New Holland, in 1907 Immingham , and in 1905 took over the Louth Co-operative Society. 1909 saw the closing of the Flower Square premises which were superseded by those at Freeman Street. In 1917 a dairy department was established at Thesiger Street. This was moved to Holyoake Road 2 years later. In 1920 a branch was opened at Alford, in 1929 Brigg, and in 1939 Mablethorpe.

In 1962 the Society changed its name to Grimsby Co-operative Society. In 1966 Grimsby Co-operative Society transferred its engagments to Scunthorpe Co-operative Society. This became part of the Co-operative Retail Services in 1973.

Source: 'Co-operative Centenary Souvenir [Rochdale 1844]', (1944).