Castleford Co-operative Industrial Society

Scope and Content

This series consists of records created by Castleford Co-operative Industrial Society. Including minute books and photocopied images.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first talk of a Co-operative Society in Castleford was at a Temperance meeting in the Temperance Hotel, Castleford on Shrove Tuesday in 1865. Following this discussion, a meeting was held on Tuesday 28th March 1865, in the Temperance Hotel, and a resolution was made to form a Co-operative Society to be named "The Castleford Industrial Co-operative Flour and Provision Society." The following officers and Committee were appointed: Secretary, Mr George Dibb; Treasurer, Mr Henry Huck; Trustees, Messrs. James Hey, Charles Wright, Thomas Beedle, George Ellis, Thomas Douthwaite, Henry Briggs, Jospeh Thorp, James Sugden, and Henry Skelton. The Committee decided to meet every Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m. The first meeting was held on Saturday April 1st. On 15th May 1865 the rules were adopted.

On 19 Sep 1865 the Society began renting a shop in Carlton Street at the corner of Greaves Street. William Knowles was appointed shop keeper and the business began on 19 Oct 1865 with a membership of 78. However, they were soon low on funds. The Society considered taking a bank overdraft but fortunately were able to avoid this when they received a loan from Mr Charles Walker.

Business began to flourish and membership rose to 94 by Jan 1866. More suitable premises were taken at the corner of Florence Street. By Jun 1866 they entered into drapery and also set up a reading room and library. In 1867 Mr George Dibb addressed a meeting at nearby Kippax and convinced them to start a Co-operative Society. In 1868 it was decided that they should own their own stores. In 1870 a piece of land was purchased from Mr John Wright for 7s. 6d.per square yard. Mr Abraham Greenwood of Rochdale was invited to lay the first stone on 28 May 1870. At the end of 1872 new branches were opened at Featherstone and Methley. In 1873 a drapery and shoe shop was opened.

In 1874 the Featherstone shop was closed and sub-let. Between 1875-1879 sales went into decline and the Methley branch was also closed. At this point it was considered winding up the society. However, this idea was rejected and they kept going until the Society started to grow again. By 1888 the Society was in a healthy position. In 1898 a seperate boot store was rented opposite the central premises, and a corner shop was purchased at Mickeltown. 1902 saw the installation of electric light, the building of a new warehouse, and the extension of Normanton Common grocery and drapery stores. New branch stores were also opened at Ambler Street and Wheldon Lane. In 1905 premises were bought at the corner of Station Road with Carlton Street for the use of drapery, tailoring, boots, dressmaking, and millinery. In 1908 a bakery was opened at the back of Station Road premises and in 1909 land was purchased at Station Road, Vickers Street, and Gilcroft.

The Society continued to prosper and in 1943 merged with the Co-operative Retail Services.

Source: 'History of the Castleford Co-operative Industrial Sciety Ltd 1865-1915', by J P Jackson (1925).