Huddersfield Industrial Society

Scope and Content

This series consists of records created by Huddersfield Co-operative Society including records of the General Committee, Education Department, the Employees Superannuation Fund, the Society Party Council, the Hours and Wages Board, member records and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Huddersfield Industrial Society was formed in 1860 after a meeting took place at the Shears Inn, Beast Market between members of Lodge 241 of the Bolton Unity of Oddfellows and a group of men who had been meeting at the Factory Inn at Factory Lane. The two groups agreed a co-operative society should be formed and 13 members joined that evening. On 17 Aug 1860 the following officers were appointed; Mr George Holmes (President), Mr Thomas Brook (Vice President), and Mr Rochford S Walker (Secretary). On 1 Sep 1860 the first grocery store was opened in Buxton Road. The original name of the Society was The Huddersfield Co-operative Flour and Provision Society.

The Central premises at Buxton Road gradually expanded along Buxton Road and onto Princess Street. Additional branches were opened and sales began in boots and shoes, drapery, meat, tailoring, furniture, bakery and confectionary.

By 1892 there were over 10,000 members and an educational service had been established. In 1895 Huddersfield was the venue of the Co-operative Congress. By 1900 membership had risen further to 12,500. In 1905 the Divi clock was erected and in 1906 new central premises at Buxton Road and Princess Street were opened. By the time of the Society's Jubilee in 1910 membership stood at 14,500.

Over the 1920s and 1930s trade dropped and rose again. The Society managed to survive the two world wars, however, the 1950s saw keener competition and lower trading margins and the Society struggled. In 1958 the Society became part of the Co-operative Retail Services.

Sources: 'Huddersfield Centenary history', 1960.