Hull and East Riding Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This series consists of records created by Hull and East Riding Co-operative Society including records of the General Committee, the Property Committee, members records, the Joint Consultative Committee, the Employees' Superannuation Fund, and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first attempts of Co-operation in Hull were the Hull Anti Mill Industrial Society in 1775 and the Hull Subscription Mill in 1800. However, both these societies went into decline and folded by 1897 due to technological advancements. The Hull Co-operative Provident Company was also formed in 1857 along the lines of the Rochdale Pioneers, however, this had also folded by 1882. On 19 Dec 1889 the idea of forming another Co-operative Society in Hull was mentioned at a meeting by Mr Ballan Stead, Secretary of the Foresters Friendly Society. Following further meetings in the districts of Hull the Hull Co-operative Society was formed and the first meeting took place in Apr 1890. The first officers were; Councillor W G Millington, President; Mr W H Taylor, Secretary; Mr Thomas Seymour, Treasurer; and Messrs T B Stead, T C Taylor, C Moulds, J M James, W J Payling, M Taylor, W H Butterfield and J Fulcher.

The first store was opened 14 Jun 1890 at 201 Hessle Road and on 14 Sep 1890 a second shop was opened at 11 Wilton Terrace, Holderness Road. By 9 May 1891 the store at Hessle Road was closed. In 1895 a branch of the Co-operative Women's Guild was formed and an Education Committee was established. A further store was also opened at Waterloo Street Estate. By 1899 the Society had branches at Hessle Road, Anlaby Road and Jarratt Street and by 1900 the Society had 2000 members. In 1902 new Central Premises were opened at the corner of Jarratt Street and Kingston Square.

The years 1900-1920 saw rapid expansion with 43 grocery branches opening and the society also establishing a slaughterhouse, fruit warehouse and 2 farms. The 1920s-1940 were difficult times but the Society managed to keep the dividend at 6d by using the reserves. In 1929 Beverly Co-operative Society merged with Hull Co-operative Society.

During the Second World War Hull was heavily blitzed and nearly all the Society premises were damaged. The Central Premises were completely destroyed. A total of 40 Society employees did not return from the front. Following the War the Society began rebuilding, however, the new Central Premises were not complete until 1965. In 1962 the Society changed its name to Hull and East Riding Co-operative Society to reflect its expansion. In 1963 Market Weighton Co-operative Society merged with the Society.

Due to the emergence of new discount stores, trade declined over the 1960s-1980s. Co-operative Societies began merging more frequently. In 1981 Hull and East Riding Co-operative Society transferred its engagements to the Co-operative Retail Services.

Sources: 'The Shop for the People. Two Centuries of Co-operative Enterprise in Hull and East Yorkshire', by John E Smith (1998).

Geographical Names