Co-op Shop

In the spring of 1890 a certain number of householders and members at Far Cotton asked the Committee to call a meeting in that district to ascertain if there were a sufficient number willing to trade, to justify them in opening a branch there. This meeting was held, and the following resolution passed :-

" That this meeting of members and friends respectfully ask the Committee of the Northampton West End Co-operative Society to open a store at Far Cotton, and pledge themselves, should the Society do so, to make the store a success by being loyal to it."

In response to this resolution the Committee set to work and procured a shop (rented) and opened the branch on Thursday in Whit-week, on which day the opening was celebrated by a tea and entertainment there.

In 1895 the Committee also recommended the members in quarterly meeting to close all the branches, with the exception of Kettering Road, and to sell the land at Far Cotton which had been bought some time previously for the purpose of erecting a store there. The members were not willing that these branches should be closed and accordingly defeated the Committee's proposals. They, however, sanctioned the sale of the Far Cotton property, which was situated in Abbey Road, and it was sold to the Trustees of the Baptist Chapel there for 70.

With the return of prosperity branches in these districts were again to be opened, and in February, 1902, we witness the first step in that direction, when the premises in St. Leonard's Road were bought for the sum of 220. This building, which had been intended for a mission hall, was never completed, and after purchase by the Society and an additional 160 had been spent upon it, was opened the following May as the first branch grocery Store.

In the year 1913, the Midland Section of the Co-operative Union formed a convalescent fund, and at the annual meeting in January, 1914, this Society became a member. By paying the sum of one penny per year per member it is entitled to recommend members for convalescent treatment on very advantageous terms, and it is pleasing to know that this fund has been instrumental in providing the means for recuperation in many cases amongst our own members.

When the Semilong grocery branch was built, sufficient land was left for another shop, and intended at a future date for a drapery branch. This branch having been built to requirements, was opened in February, 1914, followed the next month by the purchase of 41, Henley Street, Far Cotton, for a relief grocery branch, and in a fortnight later by the purchase of 123, St. Leonard's Road, to be adapted for the purpose of a drapery branch for the Far Cotton district After alterations both these premises were opened during the summer of the same year.

Although the year 1919 was marked by purchases outside the town, there were four sites acquired in different parts of the borough. These were at 125 and 127, St. Leonard's Road, which comprise the buildings between our drapery and grocery branches there

Bottom Row-Mrs. WOOTTON, Mrs. BICKERSTAFF (Treasurer), Mrs. HALL (President), Mrs. NICHOI.LS (Vice-president), Mrs. BERWICK (Secretary), Mrs. LUCAS.