Glossop Heritage Trust

The Glossopdale New Industrial Co-operative Society

After several failed attempts to form a co-operative society in Glossop, a society was finally established in 1866. The first provisions shop was opened in premises at 39 High Street West, later occupied by Oliver’s, Ironmongers and Plumbers; and in 1904 by Fielding’s the Jewellers. As business increased negotiations were entered into for the acquisition of shops in Norfolk Square, these evolving into the spacious headquarters of the Glossopdale New Industrial Co-operative Society. Various branches were opened in different parts of the town, but in the early years dividends could also be obtained from purchases at private shops such as William Smith (shoemaker), John Stafford (bootmaker), J Paulden (shoemaker), J Wilson (shoemaker), J Hall (tailor) G Woolley (butcher) G Wolfenden (draper) J Arrowsmith (clogger), G Lee (clogger), J Swire (clogger), W Hill (shoemaker), J Marriott (clogger), J Thornley (shoemaker) and G Cockcroft (clogger).

A branch at Dinting, near to the Junction Inn, was opened in 1877 and the branch at Freetown opened in 1881 soon became too small and was moved to 20 Charlestown Road, in 1884. The Hall Street branch, now Manor Park Road, was opened in 1886. Branches at Gamesley, Church St South, Old Glossop, Pikes Lane and Gladstone Street were opened in 1904. The last branch to be opened in Glossop was on Arundel Street around 1908.

At the end of the first seven years (1873) the Glossop Co-op had 707 members and the cash received for goods amounted to £20,000. Seven years later, in 1880, the membership had risen to 1,100 and total cash received was over £33,000. After 20 years (1886) membership was 1,704 and cash receipts over £48,000. This shows the diligence and initiative the early Co-operative movement possessed. At the time of the Centenary Jubilee in 1966, membership was in excess of 8,000.


The early pioneers did not neglect educational needs and at the Norfolk Square premises there was a library with nearly 2,000 books, which was open to the public. Later, Scholarships were awarded for the Grammar School.

In 1932, the society incorporated the branch of the Hollingworth Co-operative Society and a couple of years later expanded further with the acquisition of the Mottram, Charlesworth and Chisworth Co-operative Society branches; all under the new title of Glossop and District Co-operative Society Ltd.

In 1951 the Co-operative Society had departments for grocery, butchery, greengrocery, wet fish, tailoring, shoes, drapery and furnishing, confectionery and Café and painting & decorating. There was also a Slaughterhouse and Bakery at Ashton Street, Stables on Oak Street, a Garage on Edward Street and the main warehouse on Railway Street; to the rear of the Central Store at Norfolk Square. The Society also owned land and built houses; some examples are Fauvel Road, North Road and Sheffield Road

The Glossop Society also acted as Agent for Hyde & District Co-operative Laundries, United Co-operative Dairies Ltd, Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd., Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd. Banking Department, Co-operative Permanent Building Society and Co-operative Funeral Undertakers Ltd.

These photographs of the main Glossop Co-op building, thought to date from about the time the building was modernised in 1930, were discovered in 2003. The originals were somewhat damaged but it was possible to scan and digitally restore them.
Glossop Co-operative Society
Glossop Co-operative Society Glossop Co-operative Society Glossop Co-operative Society
Glossop Co-operative Society Glossop Co-operative Society Glossop Co-operative Society


In 1955 the central premises in Norfolk Square were reconstructed to provide its members with handsome and convenient shops and more easily accessible offices. The committee placed in the offices a memorial tablet to those of the society’s staff who lost their lives in the 1914-18 war. The grocery shop was reconstructed as a self service shop. This was the first major constructional alteration since the society bought the premises in 1869. The reason for the reconstruction was the expansion of the Society’s trading and “times have changed” attitude, the committee realised that it must change to be in harmony with the times.

Glossop Co-operative Society Committee, undated
Group of members of Glossop Detachment 4th Bn [Volunteer].Cheshire Regt outside Glossop Co-op, Norfolk Square, during World War 1
Glossop Co-operative Society Committee, undated
Group of members of Glossop Detachment 4th Bn [Volunteer].Cheshire Regt outside Glossop Co-op, Norfolk Square, during World War 1.

Button image Glossop Co-operative Society Branches. Button image Hadfield Equitable Co-operative Society. Button image The Co-op career of William Broadley. Button image The career of Mr William Ellis Goldthorp. Button image Co-op Cart Photos.

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Page last updated: 21 March 2017.