Stockport Great Moor Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

This collection consists of early records of the Stockport Great Moor Co-operative Society. The records include Managing Committee minute books, general purposes minute books, receipts, stock lists, account books, rule books and some miscellaneous items.

Administrative / Biographical History

As early as 1831 a group of men in Stockport were working together in a co-operative enterprise. They had grouped together to buy items in bulk, such as meat, flour, butter, treacle and sugar, and then divided the items out amongst themselves. Two groups like this developed. One of the groups became so large that they began renting the front room of a cottage on Buxton Road to use as a shop. Shortly afterwards in 1844, the other group joined up with them. The group was then named Stockport Great Moor Co-operative Society and Thomas Smith was made the first President of the society.

The members of the first committee were Henry Oldham, William Bowden, Peter Oldham, Peter Hewitt, John Smith, Samuel Smith, Isaac Williamson, Robert Wrigley, Thomas Hallworth and Samuel Williamson. The first Managing Committee was made up of Henry Oldham, William Bowden and Peter Hewitt. The first Treasurer was Henry Oldham and the storekeeper was Charles Smith. Henry Oldham remained Treasurer until 1885.

By July 1844 the society was renting the back kitchen and upstairs rooms in the cottage. In Nov 1845 the society accepted further men as members; James Hallworth, John Williamson, Samuel Williamson, William Bowden, James Wrigley, Henry Bruckshaw, and James Smith. The society continued to grow with new members added and greater stock bought and sold. At a meeting 8 Feb 1873 it was decided that the society amend the rules and send them to the Registrar of Industrial and Friendly Societies for certification. By 1874 the society was buying goods from the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the stock and fixtures were insured for £120 with the Co-operative Insurance Society .

In December 1876 a plot of land was purchased at the corner of Cherry Tree Lane and Buxton Road to build a new grocery store and cottage upon. In 1884 a butcher's shop was opened and in 1886 the grocery store was extended. By 1900 the society was operating in drapery, boot and shoe repairs, had acquired a watch dog and had become a member of the Co-operative Union.

The society continued to develop and began trading in coal in 1907, acquired further land in 1908 and in 1927 there was a complete reconstruction of the premises. When the society celebrated its centenary in 1931 they had over 1000 members.

The twentieth century saw many mergers amongst co-operative societies and in 1982 Stockport Great Moor merged to become part of Norwest Pioneers Co-operative Society. In 1991 this became United Norwest and in 2002 United Co-operatives. This became part of the Co-operative Group in 2007.

Source: Stockport Great Moor Co-operative Society Ltd. 1831-1931 Centenary History, by T W Gough (1931)

Access Information

This collection is very fragile and will be closed until conservation work has been carried out on it. For further information contact the Archivist at: National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Manchester, M60 0AS.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the National Co-operative Archive from the Co-operative Union Archive, 2000.

Other Finding Aids

No other finding aids exist

Archivist's Note

Catalogue compiled by Adam Shaw, Assistant Archivist at the National Co-operative Archive, March 2010.


Stockport Great Moor Co-operative Society Ltd. 1831-1931 Centenary History, by T W Gough (1931).