Leicester Co-operative Printing Society Limited

Scope and Content

Records of the Leicester Co-operative Printing Society Limited, including financial records, legal agreements, property and premises records and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Leicester Co-operative Printing Society was formed on 23 July 1892. The creation of a printing co-operative was initially considered by a Joint Committee made up of representative from the Leicester Co-operative Society and from the Trade Union Council. At their first meeting on 23 January 1892, the Joint Committee decided to formulate a scheme for starting a co-operative printing society. A general meeting of all those who were interested in the scheme was held on 7 May 1892, in Co-operative Hall, High Street. Leicester. The Society’s rules were agreed by the attendees, and the first meeting was scheduled for July.

Thirty people attended the first meeting of the Leicester Co-operative Printing Society on 23 July 1892. Mr George Evans was appointed Chairman and S Drinkwater became Secretary. S Drinkwater, along with F Thomas, F Sutton, J Potter, LW Kent, C Stevens, JT Taylor and J Collingwood were elected to the management committee. Premises were secured on Vauxhall Street and the first manager, Mr WS Wallin was appointed on 17 December 1892. Printing orders were taken from the beginning of 1893. In 1894 the Society enlarged their premises and purchased more machinery to meet the growing requirements of trade. In 1896 a further extension was added by securing a new frontage on East Bond Street and linking this to the existing premises on the rear adjoining street.

The Society continued to grow and in 1901 a purpose built property was erected at 99 Church Gate. The building, designed by Mr AH Hind, included a room specifically designed for education and social uses. In 1901 the business included letter printing, lithographic printing, bookbinding, packing, a stereotyping foundry and a composing room. In 1909 the adjoining premises, 101 Church Gate was taken over by the Society and a new department of box making was introduced. The department was outputting over 30,000 boxes a week by 1913 and was moved to larger premises in the centre of the town. In the same year, negotiations were undertaken to acquire more land on Church Gate to further expand the premises. In 1940, the Society was still operating from Church Gate.


Arranged by function.

Access Information

All open materials can be viewed by prior arrangement, Monday- Friday, 10 am- 5pm. Contact the Archivist at: National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS. Email: archive@co-op.ac.uk. www.co-op.ac.uk/our-heritage/national-co-operative-archive

Acquisition Information

Deposited with the Co-operative College by the Green Shires Group Limited. Transferred to the National Co-operative Archive in 2001.

Archivist's Note

Cataloged by Nicola Hilton, University of Liverpool, Student work placement, 16 January 2012.


None expected

Related Material

  • The National Co-operative Archive holds the records of the Leicester Co-operative Society in the Midlands Co-operative Society Collection. Reference: MID/2
  • The National Co-operative Archive holds the records of the Co-operative Press. Reference: PRES

Geographical Names