Kettering Industrial Co-operative Society

Scope and Content

Records of Kettering Industrial Co-operative Society and Thrapston Co-operative Society which transferred its engagements to Kettering in 1925.

Administrative / Biographical History

Kettering Co-operative Society was formed in 1865 following several meetings between a group of working men at the old Police Station, Workhouse Lane. The society was registered in 1866 with Mr John Mason the first secretary, Mr Tomas Goode Treasurer, and Edmund Ballard, Joseph Fellows, Charles Chater, Jospeh Cheaney, Samual Towell and George Bailey the first committee. When the first shop was opened at no.44 High Street on 29 March 1866 the society had 60 members. The shop was in the front room of the house of the first storekeeper, Mr Thomas Briggs.

Following a difficult first two years the society began to progress and in 1868 they purchased their first property at Bakehouse Hill and moved from no.44 High Street. Soon after they added another storey to the building. In 1872 the society purchased a branch grocery store and bakehouse in Buccleuch Street. The society progressed- in 1873 a Penny Bank was opened, in 1874 a Coal Department, in 1875 a Butchery Department, in 1876 a further branch store at Victoria Street, in 1880 a central warehouse, store, Bakehouse and offices at King Street and in 1882 Central Premises were purchased in Newland Street. Between 1883 and 1890 grocery branches were opened in Thorngate Street, Broadway and Wellington Street. Further branch stores continued to be opened and in 1895 a block of premises were opened in Newland Street for the sale of furniture, crockery, cutlery, and boots and shoes. In 1898 the first village store was opened at Corby.

Throughout the twentieth century further branch stores continued to be opened. In 1908 Woodford Society transferred to Kettering Society. By the outbreak of the 1914-18 War, the Society's membership stood at 8,060. In 1899 the society had purchased an estate of land to build co-operative housing on, between 1906 and 1914 rapid progress was made with 200 houses been built. The houses were purchased and let by members.

In July 1925 the decision was taken by Thrapston Industrial Co-operative Society to transfer engagements to Kettering.

The society continued to open new departments and in February 1927 opened a new modern dairy. In 1930 the Central Emporium and Arcade was opened in Newland Street. In 1934 Walgrave Society transferred engagements to kettering. In 1946 a Pharmacy Department was opened and in 1950 the first self service store. When the society celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1966 membership was over 39,000. In 1978 the society merged to become part of Leicestershire Co-operative Society.

Source: KICS 1866- 1966. 100 Years of Progress. A centenary souvenir of the Kettering Industrial Co-operative Society

Geographical Names