Midlands Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

Consisting of records of Midlands Co-operative Society and the societies that merged to form it. The societies covered in the collection are Dudley, Birmingham, Alcester, Halesowen & Hasbury, Soho, Ten Acres & Stirchley, Birmingham Co-operative Chemists, Edwin Fletcher and Company, Stafford & Stone, Derby & Burton, Derby, Mayfield, Burton on Trent, Langley Mill & Aldercar, Ripley, Codnor Park & Ironville, Associated Beverage Manufacturers, North East Midlands, Leicestershire, Kettering, Thrapston, Leicester, Whetstone, Kirkby Muxhoe, Cosby, Mountsorrel, Rothley, Quordon, Oadby, Burbage, Loughborough, Glenfield, Croft, Ratby, Coalville, Markfield, Ashby de la Zouch, South Leicestershire, Huncote, Enderby, Wigston, Great Glen, Broughton Astely, Fleckney, Shepshed & Hathern, Shepshed, Hathern, Rothwell, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Leicester Carriage Builders, Chesterfield, Eckington, Oxcroft, Staveley Town, Heath Williamthorpe, Pilsley Hand and Heart and Whittington.

The records include minute books of committees and sub-committees, reports and balance sheets and some photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Midlands Co-operative Society was formed in April 1995 following the merger of Central Midlands Co-operative Society and Leicestershire Co-operative Society. The aim was to create a nucleus for the consolidation of Co-operative trading across the Midlands. The society was headed by Len Fyfe who, at the time of merger, was the Leicestershire Co-operative Society's Chief Executive and CWS chairman. His deputy was the Central Midlands Chief Executive Willie Tucker. The society traded in Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire and in 1985 had 8,000 employees and 180 food stores. Following the merger, the Society rebranded itself under the Co-op Extra Superstores signage.

Central Midlands Co-operative Society had been formed in 1985 as a result of the merger of Greater Midlands Co-operative Society and East Midlands Co-operative Society. These societies themselves were formed as a result of mergers and transfer of engagements of other societies including Dudley; Birmingham and its subsidiaries Alcester, Halesowen and Hasbury, Soho and Ten Acres and Stirchley; Stafford and Stone; Derby; Burton on Trent; Mayfield; and North East Midlands and its subsidiaries Langley Mill and Aldercar, Ripley, Selston and Codnor Park and Ironville.

Leicestershire Co-operative Society was formed in 1968 as a result of the merger of several smaller societies including Kettering and its subsidiaries Walgrave and Thrapston; Leicester and its subsidiaries Whetstone, Kirkby Muxloe, Cosby, Mount Sorrell, Rothley, Quordon, Oadby, Burbage, Croft, Loughborough, Ratby, Glenfield and Groby; Coalville and its subsidiaries Markfield and Ashby de la Zouch; South Leicestershire and its subsidiaries Broughton Astley, Huncote, Fleckney, Enderby, Wigston and Great Glen; Shepshed and Hathern; Rothwell; Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough.

In 2001 Chesterfield and District Co-operative Society merged to become part of Midlands Co-operative Society. Chesterfield itself had been formed through the merger of Chesterfield, Eckington, Oxcroft, Staveley Town, Heath Williamthorpe, Pilsley and Whittington co-operative societies.

In 2006 Desborough Industrial Society and Ilkeston Consumer Co-operative became part of Midlands Co-operative Society.

In 2010 Midlands Co-operative Society claimed to be the largest independent retail society in the U.K with gross sales in excess of £918 million and employing 8000 people.

Sources: Co-operative News (1995); The Co-op in Birmingham and the Black Country, by Ned Williams (1993); Midlands Co-operative Society website- www.midlandsco-op.com


Arranged by provenance.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader, subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Some files in this collection are subject to Data Protection legislation as they contain sensitive information and material under 30 years old is closed to access. It is advised that you contact the Archivist before visiting.

Acquisition Information

MID/1 and MID/2 was donated to the Co-operative College by Midland Co-operative Society in 1997. This was transferred to the National Co-operative Archive in 2000.

MID/3 was donated by Chesterfield Co-operative Society in 2001.

MID/1/2/2/3/6 donated 15/12/2008 by T Ranieri (Accession 271).

MID/2/2/8/4 donated 6 Sep 2006 by John McNaughton.

MID/2/1/1/8 donated by Rebecca Livesley via The John Rylands University Library (Jan 2004).

MID/4 was donated by Midlands Co-operative Society 2012.

Other Finding Aids

A deposit list of the Central Midlands (MID/1) and Leicestershire Co-operative Society (MID/2) records was supplied by the depositors. This list is available for consultation.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Adam Shaw, Archivist 2010-2011.

Appraisal Information

Duplicate items were not retained.


Additions of new records created by Midlands Co-operative Society are expected, most notably annual reports.

Related Material

Records of Desborough Co-operative Society are held at Northamptonshire Record Office. Email: archivist@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Midland Co-operative Society have retained the society's photographic collection.