Ripley Provident, Industrial and Co-operative Society Limited

Scope and Content

Records of Ripley Provident Industrial and Co-operative Society and records of Codnor Park and Ironville Society which merged to become part of Ripley Society in 1961. The records consist of minute books of the General Committees.

Administrative / Biographical History

The idea of co-operation in Ripley was first broached in 1860 by George Atkin. He suggested to his colleagues at Butterley Works the idea of starting their own shop. Thirty of the workmen met at the home of Patrick Parkin in early 1860 and drew up rules for the society. The first store was opened in two rooms of Patrick Parkin's house. At this point the society was known as Butterley Co-operative Society. Despite early difficulties the society made good progress and moved into larger premises at Park Corner in 1870. It became clear that the centre of operations would be Ripley and so in December 1872 the society changed its name to Ripley Provident Industrial and Co-operative Society.

The first branch store was opened in 1873 at Mill Lane, Codnor. From 1880 expansion was rapid with the society diversifying into butchery, tailoring, drapery and boot and shoe. New branches were also opened at Alfreton, Westwood, Heanor and Kilburn, Somercotes, Swanwick and Riddings. A reading room was also opened with a lending library. By 1900 membership was 7,359 and there were 23 branches. The central premises were opened in 1903. When the society celebrated its fifty year jubilee in 1910 membership was 8,062 by 1920 this had almost doubled to 14,933.

In 1927 Lea and Holloway Co-operative Society merged with Ripley. In 1928 a dairy plant with delivery service was opened, in 1930 they began selling coal and in 1934 an optical service was started. In 1948 the society began selling electrical, radio and TV goods; and started a funeral service fleet, garage and petrol station.

In 1960 when the society celebrated its 100 year jubilee membership stood at 32,865. In 1961 Codnor Park and Ironville Equitable Industrial and Co-operative Society merged with Ripley.

In Feb 1968 Ripley Society merged with Langley Mill & Aldercar Co-operative Society and Selston Co-operative Society to form North East Midlands Co-operative Society.

Source: Ripley Co-operative Society Limited Centenary 1860-1960. 100 years of progress (1960).

Geographical Names