Meltham and Meltham Mills Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This series consists of records created by Meltham Mills Co-operative Society, Meltham Industrial Co-operative Trading Society and Meltham and Meltham Mills Co-operative Society. The records include reports and balance sheets, photographs, accounts books, members registers, and a register of life assurance claims.

Administrative / Biographical History

Co-operation in Meltham began in 1827 when a group of men including Messrs David Redfearn, James Taylor and Joseph Woodcock got together and formed a group with the aim of cutting out the middleman and distributing the profit amongst its members. They set the price of shares at £1 and distributed the profits relative to the number of goods purchased. The society became known as the Meltham Mills Co-operative Society. The first premises were at Shady Row and the first manager was James Brook. By 1839 the Society had 94 members and by 1850 it had risen further to 107. However, the Society fell into hard times and by 1860 the membership had fallen to 90.

In 1861 a second Co-operative Society was started in Meltham, the Meltham Industrial Co-operative Trading Society. In 1928 the two Society's merged to form the Meltham and Meltham Mills Co-operative Society. In 1969 this society transferred its engagments to the Co-operative Retail Services.

Source: 'Handbook of the 27th Co-operative Congress, Huddersfield', (1895)