Remember the Co-op?

with regards to your article in Those Were The Days on 14th December about Worksop Co-operative Society, I was an employee of theirs and worked there for a number of years.

Worksop Co-op was started by four gentlemen who were having a drink around a table on Church Walk and it was suggested they start up a business. They all put half crown on the table and with that they opened a small shop on Church Walk. As the shop got busier they managed to open another shop on the corner of Watson Road which was a haberdashery shop. It remained there until around 1960 before a new shop was built on the site which remained until MacDonalds moved in.

Worksop Co-op owned a lot of property in Worksop including Edward Street and Albert Street off Sherwood Road. In 1910, they decided to build houses for the staff called Garden City, now known as Kilton Road. Some of the houses were sold off to the staff and some were rented. The site on Eastgate used to be their field where they kept the horses.

They opened various branches for grocery and or butchers including shops on Sandy Lane and Mill Street in Worksop, in Langold and Whitwell and on Station Road in Kiveton Park. On the photo that was printed there were entrances on either side of the property and on the other end there were shops and a bottling plant for the milk. There was also an abattoir next to Smith’s Mills which is where the works department operated from.

The policy of the Co-op was ‘not to buy anything until you could pay for it!’ They paid out a dividend in the shop on a Monday and a Tuesday and had to have a policeman present due to the amount of money paid out!

I do believe there was a book published about the Worksop Co-op but unfortunately I have never been able to get hold of a copy.