Crumpsall Biscuit Works (CWS)

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of catalogues and pamphlets which give information about the biscuit works and its products, and general information about the Co-operative movement.

Administrative / Biographical History

Crumpsall Biscuit Works opened in Lower Crumpsall, near Manchester, in around 1873. The factory was subject to numerous alterations and expansions between around 1896 and the 1920s, including plans for a new cake bakery which were laid down in 1896, there was a new biscuit portion added in 1896, and in 1921 additional land was purchased to accommodate extensions such as new offices, a despatch room and a garage.

The factory created numerous products and had four departments, these were the biscuit factory; the cake factory; the sweets and toffee department; and the drugs and sundries section.

The works at Crumpsall boasted being "the only 8 hour day biscuit works in England" and had numerous facilities for its employees including a cricket club; football club; tennis courts; a bowling green; a recreation ground; a dining room for over 600 people with discounted refreshments and free warming of packed dinners; a library; and board and card games. The works put on numerous social events through the year including sports days, and dances and whist drives nearly every week during the winter. The works also stated that girls, however young, were started at no less than 6 shillings a week, and that they were only employed to do girls work and not to save the expense of employing men. There was also a Sick Benefit Society.

The above history summarised from information within the collection.


The collection has been arranged in chronological order.

Access Information

National Co-operative Archive Co-operative College Holyoake House Hanover Street Manchester M60 0AS

All open materials, can be viewed by previous arrangement, Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Contact the Archivist at:

Acquisition Information

The records were deposited with the National Co-operative Archive in April 2009 by a former employee of Crumpsall Biscuit Works.

Other Finding Aids

No other finding aids available.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled September 2009 by Martin Helliwell, volunteer at National Co-operative Archive.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied for research purposes, subject to the completion of a declaration form. Please consult the Archivist regarding copyright issues.


None expected.