Greenfield Co-operative Society II.

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1901-196. — Advancement.

"What a shallow delusion is this that a man should have 'no business' with men, except a cash-account business. Men cannot live isolated; we are all bound together, for mutual good or misery, as living nerves in the same body ..... Not in having 'no business' with men, but in having no unjust business with them, and in having all manner of true and just business, can this waste world become a home and peopled garden."

—Carlyle, Past and Present.

THE Committee were busy with their important cottage building scheme, in Berry Street, for the greater part of 1901, and no events occurred to divert their attention from this interesting undertaking.

    In common with the rest of our country Greenfield district felt bound to show its loyalty on the Coronation of King Edward VII., and our members decided to mark this auspicious occasion in some suitable way.  A special general meeting, called by resolution of the Committee, was held on May 7th, 1902, when there was a good attendance.  In reply to a question, the Chairman, Mr. J. T. Bradbury, said the Committee thought that one way of celebrating the Coronation would be to take up shares in the proposed North-Western Convalescent Homes Association Limited, which was asking Societies to take up shares at the rate of £1 for every forty members.  At that rate £15 would be our quota towards this excellent Association.  Of course, these shares would bear no interest, but would confer voting power and a right to share in the benefit of the Homes when opened.  The meeting accepted this suggestion, and authorised the Committee to subscribe from £2 to £5 annually to the maintenance fund, as might be found needful.  The meeting also decided that £5 should be given by the Society to any organised effort in Greenfield Ward to celebrate the Coronation locally, and this was carried out by our Committee, who paid over the money to a committee of gentlemen representing the Sunday Schools of Greenfield district.

    A most important and interesting meeting of the Oldham District Conference Association was held under the auspices of our Society, on Saturday, May 31st, under the chairmanship of our old friend, Mr. Thos. Worth, who suitably welcomed the visitors and introduced the reader of the paper, Councillor T. E. Moorhouse.

    In his paper Mr. Moorhouse spoke of the important work being done by the International Co-operative Alliance composed of Co-operative Societies in America, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, Russia, Servia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the West Indies.  The object of the Alliance, he said, was to bring the workers in these countries into helpful relationship, to strengthen the cause of Co-operation at home and abroad, and put a check on the blatant militarism which threatens the peace of Europe.  He also went on to speak of the practice of limiting share capital, and advocated strongly the opening of share accounts to the full sum of £200 allowed by law, and suggested the payment of 3 per cent on whatever members might invest over £50.  He stated that the C.W.S. was now prepared to accept at 1% per cent all the money Societies might wish to lend, and would use the capital in Co-operative enterprises, thus finding Co-operative use for Co-operators' capital.  Speaking of the Housing Problem he said that Co-operators had put over 5½ millions into this work, and stated that in consequence of Societies during the past few years having gone largely into cottage building there had been a diversion of C.W.S. capital back to the Societies carrying on this work.  The C.W.S. Bank alone had lent £200,000 to Societies' Cottage Building Departments.  This made a suitable opening for further investment, and for some time to come the C.W.S. would be able to use all the money they could bring in.  He advised Committees to arrange to take all the money their members could bring them at 3 per cent, and hand it on to the loan account of the C.W.S. at 3½ per cent.  They would then have a slight gain to their Societies, and no risk, and keep their members' money in the movement.  Passing on to notice the great trading combines he said: "Many of the commercial syndicates with which we have to compete as Co-operators would be helpless if the bulk of Co-operators only thought more and were true to themselves.  The bulk of them are over-capitalised to a large extent, and can never truly compete with sound Co-operative trade.  It is the moral influence of such doings, however, that we have to fear most.  The aristocrat gambles on the Stock Exchange or the racecourse, and the simple-minded labourer or artisan seeks to imitate him in humbler but not less dangerous ways.  Vice of any kind is an obstacle to true Co-operative progress.  Wealth arises from honest labour, and he who seeks that to which he is not honestly entitled is an enemy to his kind.  In all our educational efforts let us then inculcate into the minds of our people the principles of honest endeavour and true commercial morality."

    A striking discussion followed, opened by Mr. F. Houghton, J.P., who urged that the time had come when Co-operators should turn their attention to the subjects dealt with in the paper, and expressed his approval of the writer's main propositions.

    Mr. George Thorpe (Dewsbury), C.W.S. Director, said it was high time something was done to check the wasteful military expenditure which was now the bane of Europe, the cost of whose standing armies was equal to the value of the labour of every man, woman, and child for an hour every day in the countries affected.  He then went on to say that when men understood as they ought that after all their interests were common to them all as men and brethren, then there would be no need for armies and navies.  The policy of forcing money back into the members' hands had always seemed to him to be a suicidal one.  They ought to take all the money their members could bring in, and fix their rate of interest low enough to enable them to invest without loss at market rates or in productive works, and so extend the movement.

    Mr. Jones (Ashton) did not quite agree with that part of the paper dealing with surplus capital.  Their committee at Ashton decided to repay share capital on the ground that to allow some members to have large sums in shares was an injustice to the poorer class of members.

    Mr. Buckley (Royton) was pleased with that part of the paper dealing with the housing question.  This was a most important part of their work, and in this way they could improve the home comfort of their members.

    Mr. J. T. Taylor (Oldham) said that he hated the excessive expenditure on war, and agreed with Mr. Moorhouse in most things.  He regarded their house building departments as a very valuable part of their movement, and thought that much useful work was being done in that way.  This could be extended by Societies having a competent staff of men to do repairs for their members.  He for one was chary of taking in more share capital unless they could be sure of having a fair return for its employment.  Thousands of families in Oldham were now living in their own houses, and their building departments encouraged thrift, and also found a safe outlet for their growing capital.

    The discussion was continued by Messrs. Smith, Walters, Taylor, and Bentley, after which a vote of thanks was carried with applause.

    After tea a considerable number of the delegates went for a ramble under the guidance of Mr. Dan Holden, the Manager of the Greenfield Society.  The route taken was past Fern Lee, Slack Head, to Kinder Intack.  From thence to the notable rocks in the Wilderness, under the crags of Alphin.  Here the party halted, and sang several suitable hymns.  After a brief rest the walk was continued to Chew Brook and back to Greenfield Road, where the party dispersed, highly delighted with their ramble through the wild and romantic scenery of Greenfield.

    We have dwelt so much on this conference because it bore immediate fruit.  For some time the receipt of loan money had been stopped by the Committee, but immediately after this conference they decided to re-open our loan account, a decision which was greatly appreciated by our members, and this account grew rapidly in consequence.

    At the October general meeting the circular from the special committee of the Co-operative Union Limited, re boycott of Co-operation and proposed fund for defensive operations, was read from the chair, and after some discussion a motion was made that we contribute at the rate of 1s. per member from the reserve fund.  This was seconded.  An amendment to give £25 was also moved and seconded, but only four hands were held up in support.  The original motion of 1s. per member, which will amount to about £30, was then put, and carried by a large majority.  In this way our members showed their determination to defend their principles.

    A deputation from the Amalgamated Union of Co-operative Employees waited upon our Committee on November 17th, respecting a proposed scheme for unifying hours and holidays for all Societies in Saddleworth; and after an agreeable interchange of views it was proposed that a joint meeting of committees and employees would be a good way of arriving at a satisfactory settlement.  A meeting of this nature was held at Delph, on December 6th, when Mr. Thomas Worth and Mr. John Hill represented our Society, and a suitable arrangement was come to.

    Early in 1903 the Committee decided to improve the flour room by putting in Messrs. Hall and Kaye's patent bins, and when this improvement was carried out it allowed more space for moving about and provided better facilities for handling grain and similar stock.

    An awakened interest in the election of Committee-men manifested itself at the annual meeting, held January 12th, 1903, when the mode of nominating candidates and electing them at the same meeting came under discussion, after which the following resolution was adopted by a good majority:—"That in future the candidates for election to the Committee shall be nominated in writing and sent in to the Society not less than 28 days before the general meeting at which the election is to take place, and their names shall appear on the agenda."  This arrangement enables the members to know beforehand who are likely to come on for election before the general meeting takes place.

    On March 5th a painful shock of surprise was felt in our little community by the death of Mrs. Dan Holden, after a very short illness.  For nearly 25 years she proved herself an able helpmeet to our manager, and directed the social amenities of our Society with a care and tact which left nothing to be desired, and her removal hence was keenly felt by all who came into personal contact with her.  As a small token of respect the Committee, Officials, and Employees commissioned the C.W.S. to prepare a beautiful wreath of white and coloured flowers, which was duly placed at the foot of the coffin.  The inscription was as follows: — "From the Committee, Officials, and Employees of the Greenfield Co-operative Society Limited.  A token of affectionate regard and esteem won by long and devoted service."  The funeral took place on Saturday, March 7th, and was largely attended by representatives of the movement and personal friends, and we noticed that nearly all through the village the blinds were drawn as the mournful procession passed on its way to St. Chad's, where Mrs. Holden was laid in her final resting place.

    After nearly 31 years' honourable service Miss Holden severed her connection with us as drapery manageress, leaving the position on March 28th.

    Miss Annie Blea, the drapery saleswoman of Diggle Society, was appointed drapery manageress on March 25th, and still retains the position.

    Mr. Frank Lees, who came to us in 1894, was made first counter-man in place of Mr. Mills, and Mr. S. Butterworth, who entered the Society's service on April 26th, 1900, was put in Mr. Frank Lees's place.  This left the situation of porter open, and on the 9th July Mr. G. H. Brown received this appointment, and still holds his place.

    The July general meeting had the question of taking up shares in the North Wales Quarries Society Limited before it, and decided to take up 25 shares.

    Miss Mary Fogg was appointed assistant in the drapery department on August 24th.

    The Committee, after careful consideration, decided on November 23rd to take £200. 8s. 11d. from reserve fund and wipe out the balance in fixed stock account.

    The appeal from the Co-operative Union Limited for support to the British Cotton-Growing Association met with a hearty response from the annual meeting, held January 11th, 1904, and the sum of £20 was voted to this deserving attempt to deliver the cotton industry from the machinations of Yankee speculators.

    A great public improvement, as well as an improvement of our own property, was secured by an arrangement made in February with the local authority, when the flagging in front of our hall and cottages was re-laid in such a way as to ensure greater safety to the public and a better appearance to our property as well.

    The question of the rate of depreciation on our grocery premises was fully gone into in May, and the rate increased to 4% per cent.

    In view of the near approach of the Jubilee of the Society, it was decided by the July general meeting to dispense with our annual parties, and set aside their cost towards the celebration expenses.

    In consequence of the Secretary having been appointed a member of the Saddleworth Educational Sub-Committee of the W. R. Council, the Committee, by resolution, granted him leave of absence to attend the meetings of that body.

    The growth of the loan account above its ratio to share capital led the Committee to decide upon an alteration of rules, and their reasons for so doing were put before the members in the July number of the "Wheatsheaf" in a short article, part of which we subjoin.

    Two years ago it was decided to re-open the loan account, so as to afford our members and friends better facilities for making investments.  The fact that since then the loan account has more than doubled in amount proves that we were right in assuming that such a medium for making investments was greatly needed, and has been much appreciated.  But this large increase has carried the amount of loan considerably above the two-thirds ratio between share and loan capital fixed by Rule 9.  After carefully considering the matter, we decided not to advise the repayment of the excess of loan money, as it is now quite easy to find safe and remunerative investments for surplus capital.  Members are therefore being asked to sanction alterations in Rules 7, 11, 17, and 18, the effect of which will be to throw open the share account to the full legal limit of £200, and to fix the interest up to £40 at four and one sixth per cent, as at present.  All shares above £40 to receive 3 per cent.

    The present rules greatly cripple the power of the Society to serve its members in the matter of investing money, and lead to a needless multiplication of accounts.  As the rules now stand, if a member wishes to invest more than £40 he has to resort to the penny bank, or the loan account, or both, and is thus put to the trouble and expense of opening two or three accounts, where in most cases the share account alone would answer his purpose it the proposed amendments were adopted.

    The special meeting adopted the Committee's suggestions, and in due time the amended rules were registered.  Commenting on this matter in the August "Wheatsheaf," under the head of "A Change of Policy," the local editor wrote as follows: ―

The special general meeting of our Society was significant of much.  The resolution to throw open the share account to the full legal limit of £200 indicates an entire change of Co-operative policy which cannot fail to have far-reaching effects.  Hitherto the idea of taking in the members' money for investment purposes has been regarded with extreme suspicion, and the practice has been to repress rather than to encourage the accumulation of capital not needed in the Society's business.  Now all that is being changed, and, we think, being changed for the better.  There is now no ground whatever for the plea that the poorer members with no money to invest are finding a high rate of interest for those members who can invest to the full limit, as the Society's investments are now yielding more interest in return than the Society pays out.  Such being the case the non-investing members, instead of finding interest for the investing members, are really sharing in the interest earned by other people's money.  But we do not like this pitting one class against another in Co-operation.  It is foreign to the true spirit of the movement, and it is high time all such short-sighted and selfish views were discarded.

    "Wisdom is justified of her children," and the wisdom of this move has been proved by the growth of the share capital from £10,760 at the beginning of 1904, to over £15,000 in April, 1906.

    On December 28th, our youngest recruit, Miss Jane Wrigley, was appointed assistant in the drapery department in the room of Miss M. Fogg, resigned.

    Following out the idea of making municipal investments, on January 10th, 1905, the Committee decided to place £1,000 with Manchester Corporation, and later on in the year they invested £500 with Liverpool City.

    On Thursday, May 11th, Mr. George Hirst died at his residence, Wesley Terrace, aged 65 years.  Mr. Hirst had been a member of our Committee for over 15 years, having Joined the Board on January 13th, 1890, and was a genial and willing worker.  He was also a well-known figure in friendly society circles, and had been treasurer of one of the local Shepherds' Lodges for many years.  At the funeral on Saturday, May 13th, representatives of the friendly and Co-operative Societies were present, and a beautiful wreath, supplied by the C.W.S., was placed on the coffin with the following inscription: —"With deep sympathy, and as a token of respect for a co-worker for over 15 years, from the Committee and Officials of the Greenfield Society."

    For over 33 years no member of our Committee died in harness, but shortly after Mr. Hirst's decease, death again broke into our little circle of officials, and removed another familiar face from our Board in the person of Mr. John Hill, who died on Tuesday morning, July 11th, at his residence, Spring Grove, aged 61 years.  For 13 years Mr. Hill was a willing and active member on our Committee, and, on the retirement of the Rev. E. Powell, M.A., from the Chairmanship of the Educational Committee, Mr. Hill was appointed to fill his place, and held the position up to his death.  The funeral took place on Thursday, July 13th, and was attended by our President, Mr. J. T. Bradbury, our Manager, Mr. D. Holden, and members of the General and Educational Committees.  A beautiful wreath, supplied by the C.W.S., was placed on the coffin, with a card bearing the following inscription: —"With deepest sympathy, and as a token of respect for a 13 years' colleague, from the Committee and Officials of the Greenfield Co-operative Society Limited."  Everyone who has had any experience in butchering knows the difficulty of keeping flesh meat in a saleable condition in the summer months, and the Committee decided in the autumn of this year to put down one of Messrs. Hall and Crabtree's Vertical Refrigerators, and so far the experiment has proved a success.

    It is sometimes stated that Co-operators care for nothing but "divi."  "Divi." is said by our detractors to absorb all our thoughts.  How far this is from being true every one knows who is acquainted with the real heart of our movement.  The quarterly meeting held on October 9th certainly showed our members in a better light.  The appeal to replace worn out Co-operative Lifeboats was met with a donation of £2, and an appeal by Dr. Alfred St. Bruzaud on behalf of Huddersfield Infirmary led to an annual subscription of £2. 2s. being voted to this institution, making the sixth charity of this nature on the Society's list.

    The year 1906 opened with a record attendance at the quarterly meeting and a good deal of interest being shown in the election of Committee-men to fill the three vacant seats.  Messrs Thos. Worth and C. Taylor were the retiring members, and the vacancy caused by Mr. Hill's death had to be filled.  Six gentlemen were nominated, and the ballot resulted in the re-election of Mr. Worth, who received 75 votes; Mr. Hallsworth, our latest recruit, 65, and Mr. Taylor 54. Mr. W. H. Winterbottom joined the Board the July previous.

    The celebration of the Society's Jubilee was discussed at this meeting for a short time, and then the members decided to leave the whole matter in the hands of the Committee.

    Towards the end of March the Committee decided to take £1,000 worth of W. R. County Council bonds, 1906-8, and on April 2nd they made arrangements through the Co-operative Insurance Society Limited with the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Limited for the insurance of all the Society's employees against all accidents, whether legal liability exists or not.

    On April 30th Mr. William Hall, the esteemed secretary of the Oldham District Conference Association, waited upon the Committee with respect to the summer conference of that body, when they readily agreed to its being held on our premises on July 28th, and to entertain the delegates.

    This brings our historical sketch to a suitable close, and the narrator's reflections on the Society's story will be found in Chapter XII.


Our Notables.

"The only conclusive evidence of a man's sincerity is that he gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else, are comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that the truth, whatever it may be, has taken possession of him. From that sincerity his words gain the force and pertinency of deeds."

— James Russell Lowell.

TO deal out indiscriminate praise or blame is not the object of the writer in this chapter.  His aim is rather to set down the deeds of our notables in the belief that their work will be their best praise.  Few, if any, Societies have so many pioneer members alive at their Jubilee as ours.  These old and tried veterans are justly entitled to our first notice.  Eleven in number, they make a striking group, and well represent the tough stuff out of which many of our fore-fathers were made.  Some of them are still hale and strong in spite of their tale of years.  Others, alas! are failing in health, and will ere long pass to the Great Beyond.  But all of them have creditably borne the heat and burden of the day, and are now passing the evening of life in quiet comfort.


BOTTOMLEY, JAMES (Heytop). — This gentleman is justly entitled to the first place among our living pioneers.  From the inception of our Society to the present time he has shown a keen interest in its work.  The historical Press Shop, where the first experimental sales of goods took place, was his daily workshop.  Here the operatives of Greenfield Mills frequently debated the Society's business at meal times, and settled many of its problems to their own satisfaction.  What a tale its old walls could unfold if gifted with speech!



 Mr. Bottomley served in the shop in Piccadilly along with Mr. Joseph Hall, stepping aside for the first salesman appointed to devote his whole time to the work.  When this experiment failed, he again took up the work along with Mr. Hall and Mr. Heywood Holden, and carried the Store on at nights till the appointment of Mr. James Schofield as salesman, in October, 1858.  Often in those early days he must have worked till nearly midnight, and would be at his regular employment before 6 the following morning.  He served on the Committee in 1857, and again from 1870 to 1872, but whether in office or out, he has always been willing to help the Society so far as lay in his power.

HEAP, EDWARD. — Mr. Heap was one of the first Committee-men, and was deputed to keep Mr. James Wrigley company at night in Piccadilly.  His connection with the Society was cut short by removal, but he is still alive, and recalls with zest the pleasant, though arduous, hours spent in the Society's service.

MELLOR, ROBERT.—Mr. Mellor was one of those who participated in the sales in the old Press Shop, and was on the first Committee.  He was often in evidence at night in Piccadilly, and was entrusted with the conveyance of the cash to Mr. Byrom, Treasurer.

PLATT, WM. (Bradbury's). — Mr. Platt, like the rest of this group, joined at the starting of our Society.  He served on the Committee, 1879-80, and was a useful worker.

SMITH, ISAAC. — Mr. Smith came from Halifax to Greenfield Mills as foreman dyer in February, 1853.  He assisted Mr. Joseph Wood in preparing the rules, was Chairman of the Committee in 1863, and was first delegate to represent our Society at the formation meetings held in Manchester in 1863, prior to the commencement of the C.W.S.  He assisted at the revision of rules in May, 1864, and was a zealous worker in many ways.  Since leaving Greenfield he has taken an active part in the civic life of both Dewsbury and Batley, and is now living in honourable retirement at the former town.

WORTH, THOMAS. —This gentleman is not only a pioneer, but a present day worker as well.  He often helped at night in the shop in Piccadilly, and on one occasion when he balanced his book the cash he had was 2d. over, and his colleagues insisted on his keeping it as his wages — all the pay he got then for what he did!  His early connection with our Society ceased through removal.  He returned in 1891, and was put on the Committee, January 11th, 1892, and on the first Educational Committee in August the same year.  He was made Treasurer to that body in March, 1899, a position he still holds; and was re-elected on the General Committee in January last by a record vote.

WRIGLEY, JOSEPH. — This gentleman was one of our pioneers, and worked hard at the start to get the Society going.  On one occasion, at the close of the night's work in Piccadilly, he was without can to carry home the usual supply of treacle; nothing daunted, he had it weighed out, and took it home wrapped in strong paper, and thus overcame the difficulty.  We could wish for more of this kind of loyalty to-day.

WRIGLEY, JAMES, was a member of the first Committee appointed under the rules, and took an active part in its early work.  He was one of those appointed to sleep on the shop premises at Road End, and he served on the Committee in 1859-60, and probably 1861.  He is still a member, and watches with great interest the work of the Society.

WORTH, DANIEL. — This gentleman began at the beginning and was one of the first Committee-men.  He does not appear to have kept his official post for any length of time, but has retained his membership and is still living to rejoice in the Society's progress.

WOOD, JOHN (Andrew Mill). — It was the lot of this gentleman to labour at Greenfield Mills as a fuller, when work began at midnight on Sundays and lasted till the Saturday evening, for 17s. 6d. per week.  Removal to another district cut short his connection with us, but he takes a pleasure to-day in recalling the Press Shop sales, and the meetings held for the formation of our Society.

WINTERBOTTOM, JOHN (White Lee). — Mr. Winterbottom has had an unbroken connection with our Society from its inception.  He served on the Committee 1859-60, and he frequently undertook various commissions for the Society from time to time as required by the Committee, thus serving the Society when service was needed to the best of his ability.




BYROM, JOHN — Mr. Abraham Whitworth was chosen as Treasurer at the formation meeting of the Society, but he withdrew from the office before the month was out, and Mr. John Byrom, of Waterside, was appointed to fill his place.  Mr. Byrom was a typical British workman, and with the assistance of his good wife he worthily discharged the duties of his office till July, 1860, when he was succeeded by Mr. Wm. Shelmerdine.

BRADBURY, CHARLES. — Mr. Charles Bradbury became a member of the Committee late in 1857, and was an enthusiastic worker.  He was made a Trustee, and his name appears on the first deed conveying land for our Stores.  In season and out he took a delight in advocating Co-operation, and did his part in advancing the best interests of our Society.

BUCKLEY, WM. — This gentleman began to take a leading part in 1863, serving on the Committee then and in 1869-71.  He was Chairman in 1863, and in 1870 filled that position for a second time.  A steady and careful worker.

BYRAM, JAMES. — The third gentleman to take the office of Treasurer was Mr. James Byram, and he also was Chairman in 1864, and again in 1877.  No less than three times he was elected to the Committee, coming on in 1864, in 1867, and again in 1875.  He was made Treasurer in January, 1870, and held this office till it was merged in the managership on July 14th, 1873, and passed into the hands of Mr. Dan Holden.  He was an occasional speaker at the Society's parties, and an earnest advocate of Co-operation.

BOOTH, NATHANIEL AKED. — Owing to one of the minute books being lost, the date of Mr. Booth's appointment to the Committee is uncertain.  That he was in office at the beginning of 1867 is certain, and that he was appointed again in 1869 is also evident.  In 1876, he received his third appointment, but it is as Secretary that he is best remembered.  He succeeded Mr. Jonathan Winterbottom, whose death left the office vacant.  He was appointed on May 5th, 1879, and held the office with great acceptance till his retirement on January 20th, 1887, after nearly eight years' faithful service.

BOOTH, Councillor GEORGE. — This gentleman is suitably referred to in the story of the Society and the Educational Department, q.v.

BOTTOMLEY, CHARLES. — Mr. Charles Bottomley joined the Committee in 1869, and filled the chair in 1870, a period of change and difficulty, when a steady hand at the helm was needed.  Mr. Bottomley is still a member, but advancing age prevents him from further participation in the Society's work.

BOTTOMLEY, JAMES, Junr. — This gentleman was appointed to the Committee in January, 1893, and served till the end of 1902, and so has put in ten years of useful work.

BRADBURY, THOMAS, was made President of the Society on July 20th, 1868, and from the minutes he appears to have been the first to be elected to fill the office continuously.  He was engaged as a joiner under the contractor who erected our grocery stores in 1861, and narrowly escaped being killed when the roof beams were being laid, through the crane giving way, but fortunately he perceived his danger in time.  During his long connection with the Society, he has always been willing to place the benefit of his knowledge and experience at the service of the members.

BRAY, ANTHONY. — Along with Mr. J. T. Bradbury, Mr. Bray took an active part in the introduction of the book system.  He sat on the Board continuously from 1883 to 1893.

BUTTERWORTH, GEORGE. — The year 1868 brought Mr. Butterworth on the scene, when he served till 1869.  He was again elected in 1872, and served till 1875, and occupied the chair for a good portion of that period.

BUCKLEY, JOHN. — Mr. Buckley was first elected to the Committee in 1883 and served till 1888.  He was again appointed in 1889 and remained in office till 1893.  He is now a familiar figure as hall keeper.

BRADBURY, JOHN THOS. — Our President was elected on the Committee on July 14th, 1884.  He took an active part in the introduction of the book check system in 1885, and succeeded Mr. William Lees as President on February 14th, 1887.  In July this year, if spared, he will complete 22 years' service.  During this long period his wide and intimate knowledge of building and kindred matters has been of great use to the Society.  In these things he takes a deep interest and brings to their consideration a ripe experience, acquired by many years' service as sanitary officer to the local authority and foreman of his father's works.

DRANSFIELD, EDMUND. — Mr. Dransfield was an early worker, for he came on the Board in 1859 and served till 1863.  He often assisted in the Stores at busy times and at night.

GODLEY, JOHN. — Mr. Godley found his way on to the Committee at the same time as Mr. Dransfield, and he, too, made himself useful in the shop when extra help was needed.

HALL, JOSEPH. — Mr. Joseph Hall shares the honour of being first salesman with Mr. James Bottomley, and seems to have been of the same mind, ever ready to go on, or give up, as suited the Society's interest.  He was also one of the first Committee-men and served the Society faithfully in its days of difficulty.

HIRST, JONATHAN. — Mr. Hirst, so far as is known, was first Chairman of the Society.  He was an earnest Co-operator and a fearless champion of its principles.  He was appointed on the Committee in 1857, and kept on till 1864.  He was again appointed in 1867 and served till 1870, and so put in two fair spells of hard work for the Society, and took a keen interest in its doings till his death.

HILL, JOHN, and HIRST, GEORGE, both died in harness in 1905, and are suitably noticed in the narrative elsewhere.

HAWKYARD, RALPH. — Mr. Hawyard was the last to hold the office of constable before the establishment of a regular police force.  He served on the Committee 1868-1870, and was Chairman in the latter year.  During his term a good deal of uneasiness and turmoil made the office of Chairman anything but a sinecure.  The staff at that time did not work together very smoothly.

HOBSON, JOSIAH. — Mr. Joseph Wood left the secretariat in the beginning of 1866, when Mr. Hobson took his place, and held the office till January, 1870.  During his term more attention was paid to questions of depreciation and classification of expenses than previously.  He was a clever penman, had some knowledge of accounts, and was well able to hold his own when under quarterly-meeting criticism.

HOLDEN, HEYWOOD. — Mr. H. Holden assisted Messrs. Bottomley and Hall with their evening sales, and was a quiet, willing worker, when work was heavy, pay light, and honour nil.

HOLDEN, DAN, Manager. — Mr. Holden began his Co-operative career as a grocery assistant at Greenacres Stores.  From there he went to Hyde Society where he remained for three years.  His next move was to take over the management of Bradshaw Society, near Bolton, in 1871, and it was from this place he came to Greenfield Society the last week in April, 1872.  From that time to the present "This one thing I do" seems to have been his motto, and his sole aim in life to make the Co-operative Society in his native village into one of the most successful of village Societies.  Let the reader look at the tables at the end of this book, and note the Society's position in 1872, and compare the totals with those for 1905, when he will see at a glance how well he has succeeded.  Thirty-four years' service does not seem to have damped his zeal.  He is as anxious as ever to promote the welfare of the Society in whose service he has spent the best years of his life.

HAILSWORTH, WM. SEVILLE. —This gentleman is our youngest official recruit.  He was appointed Jubilee Secretary by the Committee, and as such has an opportunity of serving the Society, of which he will no doubt avail himself to the full.

LEES, JOHN BRADBURY. — Men of the type of Mr. J. B. Lees are not too common in any district.  A strong, self-reliant man himself, he worked to secure a chance for the development of similar characteristics in others.  He joined the Board in 1859, and at the annual meeting held January 6th, 1862, a new Committee was appointed, of whom Mr. Lees was one.  Also, he occupied the chair in 1862.

LEES, WILLIAM. — Mr. William Lees was the son of Mr. J. B. Lees, and joined the Board in 1874, and served with only one short break until he retired in 1887.  During this long period he proved himself a painstaking and capable worker, and worthily filled the chair for a considerable part of that time.

LAWTON, EDWIN. — No movement could succeed without its quiet workers.  Mr. Lawton was one of these.  He filled the chair in 1864, and took an active and intelligent interest in the revision of rules made in that year, and was often "told off" to take stock and to do other work of a like nature.

LAWTON, DAVID. — Mr. David Lawton, son of the fore-going, received his baptism of Co-operative fire as a pioneer member and Secretary of the Newtown Co-operative Society Limited, which was formed in 1876 by a band of Yorkshiremen, who introduced Co-operation into the town where its founder was born and is buried.  On Mr. Lawton's return to his native place he joined Greenfield Society on July 1st, 1878.  In the May following he was appointed by general meeting one of the Hall and Shops Building Committee, and in July was made a member of the General Committee, serving two years.  On January 20th, 1887, he was appointed permanent Secretary and Cashier, the first to hold that office; and he still retains it.  At the May Conference of the Oldham District Conference at Grasscroft in 1895 he was appointed a member of the Executive of that body, and has read no less than ten papers at its Conferences.  He is also an occasional contributor to the Co-operative News and the local press.

MATTHEWS, ABSOLEM. — In 1867 Mr. Matthews came to the fore, and was Chairman at many of its meetings.  He was Secretary of the Hall and Shops Building Committee in 1879, and has always taken a keen interest in the work of the Society.

MALLALIEU, DAVID. — This gentleman served on the Committee in 1876-7; also on the Cottage Building and Hall Building Committees in 1876 and 1879 — periods of anxious work.

MOORE, WALTER. — Mr. Walter Moore joined the Board in 1903, is still in harness, and doing useful service.

PLATT, THOS. — Mr. Thos. Platt was appointed to share Mr. Wood's work as Secretary, on April 6th, 1857, and for a time it is not easy to trace their respective work.  Doubtless they each took their own line and divided the task to suit themselves.  Being a man of some social standing and education, his connection with the Society would be of great use in many ways to the members.

PRIESTLEY, SOLOMON. — In the beginning of 1893 Mr. Priestley was appointed a member of the Committee and still holds his position.  He represented our Society at the Huddersfield Congress and at the meetings of the International Alliance in Manchester.

RUSHWORTH, JONAS. — The first sign erected over the old shop bore the name of Mr. Rushworth.  He was one of the first Trustees, and he, along with Mr. Ralph Schofield and Mr. Thomas Platt, duly discharged their office by re-conveying the land in their names to the Society by a deed executed April 15th, 1876.

ROBINSON, WILLIAM, and ROBINSON, SAMUEL. — The first-named of these two brothers served on the Committee in 1862-4, and the second in 1867-8, and again from 1872 to 1880.  Both of them were earnest and active Co-operators.

SCHOFIELD, RALPH. — "It is required of stewards that they be found faithful."  Mr. Ralph Schofield, chosen as Trustee at the first general meeting, was certainly faithful in the discharge of his duties.  He sat on the Committee in 1864, and, along with Messrs. Rushworth and Platt, brought his trusteeship to an honourable close by joining in the execution of a deed of conveyance to the Society, April 15th, 1876.

SCHOFIELD, ISAAC. — This Mr. Schofield sat on the Committee in 1858, and took an active interest in the erection and completion of our first premises in 1861-2.

SCHOFIELD, JAMES (Fern Lee). — This gentleman, brother-in-law of the living pioneers, Messrs. Joseph and James Wrigley, was a most estimable and enthusiastic pioneer, and often paid visits to our Piccadilly shop at the commencement of our Society's career.

SHELMERDINE, WILLIAM. — Mr. Shelmerdine was the second to hold the office of Treasurer, and he discharged its duties for 9% years; his successor, Mr. James Byram, taking it from his hands in January, 1870.

SCHOFIELD, JOHN (New Barn). — Among the early Auditors Mr. John Schofield held a place, as he was known to be fairly well up in figures, and of upright character.



SWALLOW, JAMES. — Mr. Swallow was an enthusiast in Co-operative work, and was chosen as one of the first Trustees, but removal from the district cut short his career as a worker here.

SCHOFIELD, JOHN (Lanehead). — Mr. Schofield was one of the Trustees to whom the land for our grocery premises was conveyed April 5th, 1860.  He was a diligent worker, and did a good deal of purchasing and other business for the Society before marketing was handed over to a permanent manager.  He served on the Committee in 1859-60, and again in 1862; but whether in or out of office he was a most active and useful member.  He died March 1st, 1863.

SCHOFIELD, JAMES (Salesman, 1858-70). — This gentleman was the son of the foregoing, and during his connection with the Society he was ably seconded by his wife, Mrs. Jane Schofield, who is still living, and retains a vivid recollection of the days and nights of toil and struggle shared with her husband during nearly 12 years' service.  In this period the sales rose from about £1,000 to over £12,000 per annum.  Mr. and Mrs. Schofield left the Society in June, 1870, to begin business elsewhere on their own account.

SCHOFIELD, EDWIN (Tang). — It is not those who make the biggest show who do the world's work.  The mightiest forces of nature are silent, but all potent, and the silent plodding workers are the sure upbuilders of any movement.  Mr. E. Schofield assisted his brother James in the shop at that period of the Society's history when 3d. per hour, and nothing per hour with plenty of ill-natured criticism, was all the pay that was accorded; but, like many others, he was ever willing to put his hand to anything he thought likely to further the Society's interests.

SHAW, JOSEPH. — Among those who have a long record of service Mr. Joseph Shaw holds a high place.  He joined the Committee in 1880, and went on till 1892.  He has also put in a long spell of work on the Educational Committee, and is still an active member of that body to-day.

SHAW, JAS. EDWARD. —For a period of three months in 1868 this Mr. Shaw served as a temporary assistant in the grocery department.  He became a member of the Board in 1885, and has served ever since, with the exception of a short break in 1893.  He has served on the Educational Committee from its commencement, and is still a member of both General and Educational Boards, and an active present day worker.

TAYLOR, CHAS. — When our penny bank opened, Mr. Taylor, then a boy, was amongst the first who entered.  He became a member of the Board in 1903, and he filled the office of Secretary to the Educational Committee for a time.  He is still a member of that body as well as of the General Committee.

WOOD, JOSEPH. — Perhaps no man did more to get and keep our Society going during the first chequered years of its existence than Mr. Wood.  Much clerical work would have to be done by him of which the members would see little, and know less.  Certain it is that the salary voted to him was no adequate payment for his work.  But he was a good man, of clear perception and sound judgment, and he saw in Co-operation a way whereby he could help his less-fortunate neighbours, and gave without stint his best thought and unceasing labour to found our Society, and lived to see much good as the result of his work.

WINTERBOTTOM, JONATHAN. — In the early days of the Society a change of Auditors was a common thing, such a thing as holding an office of this sort for 25 years was unthinkable.  The first to be chosen for this office was Mr. Jonathan Winterbottom, and after him quite an array of names.  In February, 1870, he was made Secretary, and he held the office over nine years.  It was something of an inspiration to hear him read out the motto, "United you stand, divided you fall," which at that time occupied a prominent place on the balance sheet over the Committee's report, whenever he rose in the quarterly meetings to read that document to the members.

WINTERBOTTOM, GEORGE. — This gentleman's labours have been recorded in the early history of the Society, Chapter 11.

WALTON, GEORGE. — Little is recorded of this gentleman beyond the fact of his being one of the first Committee-men, though he kept up his membership till 1863.

WOOD, WILLIAM. — Mr. Wood was elected to the Committee in April, 1872, and assisted at the revision of rules in 1873.  He also presided over some of the Society's meetings and took an active part in its work during his period of office.

WALTON, CHARLES ROBERT. — Mr. C. R. Walton was appointed to the Board in July, 1897, and served till 1902.  He was made Secretary to the Educational Department in July, 1897, and still holds that office.

WHITEHEAD, RALPH. — Perhaps few people know of all that this gentleman did to get our Society going.  He was a man of some means, and he often lent sums of money to assist those of his neighbours who were anxious to get free from their thraldom of debt and join the Society, giving them plenty of time to repay him as they could from their dividends.  He was also a Trustee and served on the Committee in 1857-8.

WALKER, JAMES. — Mr. Walker came to the fore in 1862, and was Chairman part of that year.  It was during this year that the business was removed into the present grocery premises, and the minutes of this period are full of details as to the arrangement of the new Stores.

WINTERBOTTOM, WILLIAM HOWARD. — The vacancies caused by death in 1905 left openings for new men.  Mr. W. H. Winterbottom was appointed in July, and is addressing himself to the problems of the Society as they arise from time to time.  The office of a Committee-man is not the comfortable sinecure some people think.  Time and experience are both needed to fully equip a man for such a position.

    Many others deserve recognition but space forbids.  But mention must be made of such workers as Messrs. Isaac Bottomley, Thos. Crowther, Jas. Fielding, I. Haytack, Thos. Lord, Geo. Mellor, John Rhodes, and Robert Whitehead, all of whom have served on the Committee for longer or shorter terms and done useful work.

    Amongst our Auditors Councillor Charles Priest holds the record with 25 years unbroken service; Messrs. B. B. Bradshaw, Thos. Evans, W. F. Holroyd, and H. Hudson have also gone into double figures, and deserve honourable mention for long and capable service.  Mr. Joseph Hamer Taylor has served eight years, and he, too, has carefully and intelligently watched over the members' interests during his term of office.


Cottage Building.

Home is the nursery of a nation's might,
    The source from whence her purity must flow;
The place from which must shine her future light,
    The soil in which her future fame must grow.

IN pre-co-operative days the credit system was not the only evil thing from which Greenfield people suffered.  Their dwellings, in the majority of cases, were unsuitable, and in far too many instances they were positively bad.

    The following may be taken as a fair description of the home of a temperate and thrifty artizan so late as 1860.  The house consisted of one sleeping-room upstairs, one room on the ground floor, in which all the domestic operations had to be carried on as best they could.  In one corner of this room, under the stairs, the coals were kept; in another, there was a slopstone, over which a few shelves held the crockery.  A recess at the bottom of the stairs formed a pantry, where the food was kept, and where the wash tubs and other utensils were stored when not in use.  The furniture consisted of a chest of drawers, a table, and a few chairs.  Carpets, curtains, and pictures were luxuries possible only to the few.  Sometimes a piece of wool sacking would be made to serve as a floor covering, and some clever housewives contrived to make rugs out of cast-off clothing, which often proved warm and serviceable.  The flagged floor scrubbed clean was whitened with rubbing-stone, or chalk.  The walls, white-washed with lime, were often destitute of pictures.  In dwellings such as these, large families of sons and daughters were born and reared.  But what chance was there under such conditions of family comfort and decency?

    Compare this picture of things as they were with the cottages which the Society has supplied to its members, with their two, three, and four comfortable bedrooms, according to size of the house; kitchen, pantry, living-room, and front room, all tastefully painted and papered, and arranged for the comfort, health, and convenience of the inmates.  Nor is this all by a long way.  Each house has its own spacious yard, with wash house, coal place, and closet enclosed.  If we could look inside we should find all the rooms well furnished, and the floors carpeted; the windows adorned with curtains; tasteful pictures on the walls, and in many cases pianos, organs, or harmoniums, on which the sons and daughters discourse excellent music, thus adding greatly to the brightness of the home life.  Most of these improved conditions have been brought about by the work of our Society, and in helping on these beneficent changes the Society has more than justified its existence.




    Early in 1875 the idea of taking up cottage building came before the members, and in April the matter had so far advanced that the Committee were empowered to purchase a plot of land at Spring Grove for building purposes.  On June 28th, it was decided to acquire a second plot, on the same conditions if possible, and on December 7th, a conveyance was executed of two plots of land at Spring Grove, containing 4,302 square yards, at 2d. per yard, from Mrs. Brideoake to the Society for ever.  On December 13th, a special meeting of members was held in Boarshurst School, which adopted a code of building rules containing the usual equitable provisions, and these were signed by the following persons: —


These rules were duly registered 23rd February, 1876, and the Society was now in a position to carry out its purpose.

    On January 10th, 1876, the general meeting appointed the following gentlemen as a Building Committee: — William Sharpe Gartside, James Byram, Ralph Schofield, John Schofield, Edwin Bottomley, N. A. Booth, David Mallalieu.  This Committee met on February 2nd, and appointed Mr. James Byram as its President, and Mr. Nathaniel Aked Booth, Secretary, and on the 4th of February it decided to erect thirteen cottages on the plot directly opposite the grocery stores, and engaged Mr. James Lawton, architect, of Uppermill, to draw plans.  On March 24th, tenders were let to the following contractors: —

                                                                     £ s. d.
Masonry, Mr. Joel Byram .................   1300 0 0
Joinery, Messrs. Hewkin Bros. .. . ....     576 0 0
Plastering, Mr. J. Cudworth ...... . ......   150 0 0
Plumbing, &c., Mr. J. Hudson .........      61 10 0
                           Total ......................   £208710 0

    This site gave the Committee a good deal of anxiety, and unfortunately the type of house chosen and the manner of erection rendered the whole of this block unsuitable for the separate conveyance of houses to members.  The high cost of material and labour at the time also proved a drawback, and this first venture of the Society in cottage building was most discouraging in its results.  But in spite of many difficulties and much hostile criticism the Committee carried their scheme through, and added thirteen good comfortable cottages to the district.

    "Once bitten, twice shy," is an old adage that was exemplified in the Society's cottage building, for it was not until 1886 that any attempt was made to utilise the second plot at Spring Grove.  A special meeting, held February 24th, 1886, decided to build cottages on the vacant land, and appointed the following gentlemen as Building Committee: — Messrs. James Kershaw, John Shaw, Fred Armitage, Isaac Whitehead, Joseph Shaw, and John Buckley.  It is somewhat significant that two of the above-named Committee-men were joiners and two were masons, so that four out of the six had a practical knowledge of the work in hand.  In the interim a better idea of what kind of houses should be erected had been arrived at in the district, so that this second venture had a better start.



    They met for the first time on March 5th, and appointed Mr. Joseph Shaw, of Arthurs, Chairman; and Mr. John Buckley, of Spring Grove, Secretary.  Like sensible men, the first thing they did was to see that proper drainage was provided for the site.  Mr. James Hinchliffe, of Uppermill, was instructed to prepare plans.  Mr. Hinchliffe submitted plans for four houses, and the arrangement of the rooms and the style of the building at once commended itself to the Committee.  On April 26th and 27th, the principal tenders were let as follows: — Masonry, Mr. James Bourne, £391. 9s.; joinery, Mr. Thomas Bradbury, £140; plastering, Mr. Thomas Whitehead, £28; plumbing, Mr. John Whitehead, £31. 10s.; total, £590. 19s.  This venture turned out much more satisfactory than the first.  By the end of December the houses were finished and tenanted.

    On May 12th, 1888, Mr. Wm. Greenhough bought the one he occupied in this first block; Mr. Ralph Schofield the second in April, 1890; the third was taken over under building rules in August, 1891, by Mr. T. Hopkinson, and in September Mr. Thos. Worth bought the fourth and last of the first block.

    Thus encouraged the Society decided in January, 1892, to fill up the remainder of the plot, and Mr. John Thomas Bradbury was appointed architect, and he adopted the model of the first four with improvements.  Almost immediately applicants were forthcoming for every cottage, so that the whole of the houses were arranged for by their prospective owners before the foundations were put in.  This enabled each owner to have his house fitted to his own ideas as the construction proceeded.

    On February 8th the tenders were let to Mr. Ernest Whitehead for masonry work, Mr. Thos. Bradbury joinery, Mr. S. Hill plumbing, and Mr. Thos. Whitehead plastering, and by the end of the year most of, if not all, the families interested had taken possession of their new dwellings.

    This block of cottages aroused a good deal of interest.  Their pleasing appearance outside is well shown in the accompanying engraving, Spring Grove Terrace, and the interior arrangements are a constant source of comfort to the possessors.  Under these circumstances it is not surprising that a demand should arise for more cottages to be erected under the building rules.

    In June, 1897, the Committee began to look around for more land, and ultimately it was decided to approach Mrs. E. A. Berry, with a view to securing a plot in Boarshurst Lane, now known as Berry Street.  This was done, and a plot containing 1,510 square yards, at l½d., on lease for 9,999 years, was obtained, on which eight cottages of a still further improved type could be erected.  Again Mr. J. T. Bradbury was asked to prepare plans, and on April 18th tenders were let as follows: Masonry work, Mr. James Bourne; joiner's and slater's work, Mr. Thomas Bradbury; plastering, Mr. Thomas Whitehead; plumbing, Mr. W. Hudson.  Though late at starting, by the end of September the main buildings were roofed in.  Four were taken up under the building rules before completion, and by the end of April, 1899, most of the houses were tenanted.

    Before the end of March, 1901, the four remaining cottages were taken up under the building rules, and several applicants were disappointed because they could not be served.  Steps were at once taken to secure a second plot in Berry Street, containing 1,695 square yards, which was taken on the same terms as the first.  Mrs. Berry undertook to cut out Hill Street at the same time so as to make the latter plot more accessible.  On June 10th the tenders were let, and Mr. James Bourne secured the masons' work, Mr. Thos. Bradbury the joinery, Mr. S. Hill the plumbing, Mr. Thos. Whitehead the plastering, and Mr. James Shaw the slaters' work.

    Again the Society went one better in the type of house selected.  The site lent itself to the ideas of the architect, Mr. J. T. Bradbury, and of the Committee, by its natural conformation.  So it was decided, after carefully considering several outline plans, to erect eight superior cottages with every needful convenience.  The following article taken from the local pages of the "Wheatsheaf" for June, 1901, will not be out of place here, as it gives not only a clear description of the arrangement of the rooms, but also indicates the spirit in which this work has been approached :—


So far as Greenfield Society is concerned this problem is gradually being tackled with a caution which may be regarded by some ardent spirits as being superfluous, but which is nevertheless wise under the circumstances.  Good houses to live in are a necessity of family life.  A small increase of rent may lead to a great decrease in such disagreeable items as doctors' bills and loss of work through sickness.  The two-roomed cottage, one up and one down, with the coals in one corner and the domestic washing tubs in another, ought very soon to be a thing of the past.  How much of present-day rheumatism and consumption are fairly traceable to the bad housing which the very poor of the last generation had to put up with in this district it would be instructive to learn if we could only get the needful data.  Certain it is that a healthy, sturdy race can never be reared under unhealthy conditions, and in order to ensure having sound minds in sound bodies we must have suitable dwellings to live in.  Acting on instructions from quarterly meeting the Committee have again turned their attention to the matter of taking land and building another block of good-sized houses, suitable for large families — or small if desired — to live in.  A good deal of careful thought has been spent upon the internal arrangements, and judging from the outline plans we should say that they will be an improvement in several respects upon what the Society has put up before.  Roughly speaking, the following is the general idea of the architect: — Front entrance, stairs facing the door with suitable handrail.  Passage opening into front room and leading into good-sized living room at the back, on the right hand side of which will be a suitable kitchen or scullery, with the usual slopstone.  Cellar pantry under the stairway with door leading into the passage.  Upstairs, two capital bedrooms and bathroom, or box-room as desired, and a good roomy attic chamber, with round dormer light.  In front a good-sized flower plot with steps up from the footpath.  In the back a good-sized yard, flagged from back door to W.C., wash kitchen and coal house, with opening into Back Berry Street, all enclosed, each yard being separated by stone fencing.  Not an inch of space seems to be left unutilised, and the good housewife will find that she will have all the main housekeeping paraphernalia on the same level as the living room, a matter of the greatest importance to her comfort and convenience.  We hope the day is not far distant when every working family where there are sons and daughters may be able to live in such well-ordered homes.

    No time was lost in getting the work forward, and by the end of November the roof was on, and early in July, 1902, two of the houses were inhabited by their prospective owners, Mrs. F. H. Hirst and Mr. J. Hirst, and by October 5th the whole were tenanted.  The total cost of this venture was £2,953. 15s. 10d. when finished.  The engraving of these two blocks in Berry Street gives a fair idea of their outward appearance, and the comfort and convenience of the interiors is well in keeping therewith.

    The following summary of the Society's cottage building operations up to March 24th, 1906, will show the extent of its operations:—

                                                                                £ s. d.
23 Cottages, held by Society, cost .........       5,825  7 1
23 ,, built and sold to members ......            5,340 11 2
20 ,, on which Society has found mem-
            bers money to buy or build for
                                 themselves ................     2,383 0 0
Total 66 Cottages. Total expended....      £13,548 18 3

    Not a had record, surely, for a village Society.


Educational Department.

Hold up the light, illume the night,
And earth shall blossom fair and bright;
For knowledge from all hindrance freed
Will raise and bless our race indeed,
And usher in the happy reign
Of joy and peace unmixed with pain;
Lift up mankind to heaven's pure height
Of liberty, and love, and light.

A NATION'S greatest possessions do not consist in square miles of territory, but in the brains and energies of its rising youth.  Let these be rightly trained and wisely directed to useful and noble ends, and then we need have no fear of England's decadence.  In the struggle of life it is the fit who survive not the fitness of mere brute force, but the resourcefulness and capacity which have been created by careful training.  Co-operation would have done little for its votaries if it had failed to cultivate character and develop their mental as well as their material wealth.  No prophetic vision is needed to foresee that the growing wealth of our movement will be a source of danger if it passes into untrained hands, and so, almost from the first, wise leaders in our councils have insisted on education as being of vital importance to our future advancement.

    Greenfield Society, it must be confessed, was late in taking up educational work.  It was often in the thoughts of members who had an eye to future developments, but nothing tangible was attempted till the revision of rules on April 11th, 1892, when Rule 17 was so drawn as to allow of 1 per cent of net profit being set aside for educational work.  The first £5 was thus set aside in the June balance sheet of that year, and on August 29th the following gentlemen were appointed as Educational Committee: — Mr. Dan Holden, Mr. David Lawton, Joseph Shaw, Mr. J. E. Shaw, and Mr. Thomas Worth.  These gentlemen met in the boardroom on August 31st, when Mr. Joseph Shaw was appointed President of the Education Committee; Mr. Dan Holden, Treasurer; and Mr. David Lawton, Secretary.  At this meeting it was decided to inaugurate the department by giving a magic lantern entertainment on September 15th, and to invite the Rev. Edwin Powell, M.A., to preside.



    On September 7th, the Committee met again, and Mr. W. P. Holroyd, the head master of St. Mary's National School, was present, and gave the Committee a good deal of useful information as to evening classes and Government grants.  Steps were at once taken to get the grants obtainable at the time from the various educational authorities then in existence.  Shortly after the opening entertainment an evening continuation school was formed, and Mr. Milton Hirst, the head master of Boarshurst School, took charge of this work.  Classes were formed in steam and applied mechanics, under Mr. F. Hawkyard; sound, light, and heat, and electricity, under Mr. James Healey; and physiology, under Mr. W. P. Holroyd, who had a fairly numerous and successful class.  Mr. David Lawton, assisted by Mr. Herbert Shaw, conducted a very large shorthand class.

    Early in October, in order to comply with the requirements of the educational authorities, a Committee was formed to supervise the science classes, of which the Rev. Edwin Powell, MA., was President, and on which the following gentlemen consented to act: — J. P. Buckley, Esq., J.P., Messrs. C. Radcliffe, James Radcliffe, and Joseph Shaw, and after the close of the session the grants came to hand in due course.

    The foregoing sketch is intended to show the nature and scope of the scheme undertaken by the Educational Committee, and indicates pretty clearly that they accomplished a good deal of really useful work.  Fifty-nine of the evening scholars passed the examination at the close.  The science students also did fairly well at the May examinations, and the first educational year closed with a balance in hand.

    The second year, Mr. John Hill was appointed Chairman, which position he held up to his death in 1905, and Messrs. C. Taylor and George Booth were Secretaries.  Science classes and evening school work were again set on foot, and a cookery class, under Miss Stanley, attracted 150 lady students.  Book-keeping was added to the list of subjects taught, and a series of interesting lectures were given on various subjects.

    During 1894-5-6 Mr. Geo. Booth acted as Secretary.  In this period, in addition to evening school work, an ambulance class, under Dr. Aspinwall, was much appreciated, and 26 students obtained certificates.  Sick-nursing classes under Miss Harbottle, and dressmaking classes under Mrs. Poynton and other lady teachers were well attended.

    In 1897 Mr. C. R. Walton succeeded Mr. George Booth as Secretary; in 1898 Councillor W. A. Clare joined the Committee as County Council Representative; in 1899 Mr. Thos. Worth took over the treasurership from Mr. Holden, and in 1902 Messrs. J. Hirst and J. Shaw were elected on the Committee.  All these gentlemen hold their respective positions at present.

    In January, 1901, the Rev. E. Rowell retired from the Committee in consequence of ill-health.  It would take up too much space to give even an outline of all that the Educational Committee has done since the department started, but one or two other items of special interest must be recorded.  In 1897 they organised a trip to Irlam Soap Works, via. train and ship canal, when 220 persons visited these celebrated works.

    On August 24th, 1898, 236 persons visited Crumpsall Biscuit Works, and on July 29th, 1899, 250 persons were conveyed to Middleton Jam Works in 'buses and carriages, and finished up by taking tea at Balloon Street, Manchester.

    Longsight Printing Works was visited on August 29th, 1900, and this time 220 persons went on this pleasant drive, tea being served at Belle Vue Gardens.

    Bradford Exhibition of Co-operative Productions in 1904 was the next place visited.  On October 1st our Society, in conjunction with neighbouring Societies in Saddleworth, engaged a special train, when over 400 persons were conveyed to the exhibition, 109 of whom went from our Society.  The educational effect of such trips is undoubted.  The more Co-operators can be brought to see the ramifications of the movement, the more likely are they to understand and appreciate its work.

    Lantern lectures on Co-operative subjects have been given on several occasions by Councillor T. E. Moorhouse, C.W.S. Director.  Lectures on "Nansen and the North Pole," by Mr. Warren, of Manchester; on travel and pleasure at home and abroad, by Messrs. Felix Mills, W. Diggle, J. Hutchinson, R. Firth, and others; and lectures on scientific and general subjects by lecturers from the Working Men's Clubs' Association Limited.  Cinematograph entertainments, recitals by eminent elocutionists, concerts, and social parties have been held at intervals, and so the dark winter months have been brightened and improved for our members and their families by these agencies.

    In September, 1904, the Committee took a new departure, and started an evening school garden.  Arrangements were made by the General Committee with the owner of the field in the occupation of the Society, Mr. J. F. Buckley, J.P., who courteously granted a ten years' lease, with power to sub-let for gardening purposes on suitable terms.

    On Wednesday, September 28th, the 1904-5 session was opened with a prize distribution and a lecture given on "Gardening and its Good Effects as a Pursuit or Hobby in forming Character and improving the Physique of Students," by Mr. Thomas Reddington, of the West Riding County Council.  A class in horticulture was formed with 25 students, to each of whom a plot was apportioned of 50 square yards.  Mr. Joseph Hamer Taylor was appointed teacher, and the class was well attended through the session.  Commencing on November 15th, Mr. Thos. Reddington gave a series of live instructive and interesting lectures on "Soils;" "Plants, how they grow;" "Green Crops;" "Plant Pests and how to deal with them;" "Window Plants and Flowers;" all of which were well attended and greatly appreciated.  On November 12th Mr. Frank Reddington paid a visit to the plots and gave a demonstration in practical work, and the pupils made a good start in breaking up the ground.

    On February 18th, 1905, the teacher, Mr. Taylor, planted a number of fruit trees of various kinds, and at suitable intervals all the 20 vegetables in the course were duly sown or planted.  In the summer and autumn the garden was a pleasing sight, and Mr. F. Reddington of the W.R.C.C. declared that it was one of the best first-year evening class gardens he had seen.

    Science classes were discontinued in 1898, students in science and art subjects being able by means of County Council Exhibitions to attend classes at Oldham and Mossley Technical Schools.

    Evening continuation classes have been maintained with only one session's break from the first.  During recent sessions Mr. J. H. Taylor and Mr. Henry Hudson have had charge of this work, and these classes form a useful link between the day school and the technical instruction obtainable in neighbouring towns.

    In September, 1905, Councillor George Booth was appointed President in the room of Mr. John Hill, deceased, and now occupies that position.  Taken as a whole this department is doing a most useful work in the district.

    One other matter must be put on record before closing this chapter, in justice to the Society.  Early in 1900 a movement was on foot for providing a Technical Institute for Saddleworth.  The Rev. Edwin Powell, MA., was chairman; Councillor Priest was honorary secretary, and seven influential gentlemen formed the committee who issued circulars asking for public support.  Uppermill Society promised £100, and the circular was laid before our quarterly meeting held April 9th, 1900, when after careful consideration it was decided that our Society should promise to contribute £60 in five yearly instalments of £12, on the condition that the proposed Technical Institution was under popular control.  This promising scheme fell through for lack of general support at the time, and Saddleworth students are still dependent on the Technical Schools of Oldham and Mossley.  It is to be hoped that in the near future some better provision for higher education will be the outcome of the great educational changes now being made by Imperial Parliament.


The Penny Bank.

"Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost."
                                                           — Jesus Christ.

THE teachings of the Master combine the highest ethics and the sanest business principles, and thoughtful Co-operators see in their system of business the ethics of the New Testament translated into the common business of every-day life.  This being so, when men have learned how to apply Co-operation to every department of human activity, then, most of the problems which now vex the souls of humanitarian philosophers, and baffle the efforts of earnest social reformers, will disappear of themselves.

    The practice of thrift must have been ingrained in the very nature of many of our older generation of members, and so they were not slow to recognise the value of an institution like the penny bank as a means of developing this virtue in their children.

    On May 6th, 1873, it was decided to start a penny bank.  Suitable rules were drawn up and pass books obtained, and the bank was started on the 5th of July.  By the end of the December quarter 56 depositors had joined, and the sum of £26. 0s. 4d. stood to their credit.

    In March, 1906, the depositors numbered 460, and the sum standing to their credit was £3,234. 2s. 3d., or just over £7 each.  This branch of the Society's work has grown quietly and steadily from the first, and has done much towards bringing in, and keeping the children in touch with the Society.  The lad whose name appears fourth on the first list of depositors, is now Mr. Chas. Taylor, an active member of both the General Committee and the Educational Committee, and many of the girls who joined about the same time are now wives and mothers, and wielding a good portion of the "basket power" of the Society.



    The legal restrictions imposed upon penny banks connected with Co-operative Societies are a great hindrance to their growth and usefulness, and cause a good deal of needless trouble to both depositors and officials.  If Co-operators were only half as wise as they sometimes think themselves, they would insist on the removal of such trammels.  Why should 10s. be the limit of one deposit?  And why in the name of common sense should £20 be the most that a depositor can invest in this way?  Such enactments are an unwarrantable interference with the liberty of the subject.  They have been imposed in the interest of the great banking corporations, and ought to be swept out of our way.  Surely it is high time that working men were free to work out their social salvation in their own way, without being hampered with such irritating restrictions as these.


At the End of the Years.

"Bygone events suggest a tone of manly cheerfulness and confidence in the future ..... Though there is yet much to be done — more liberty to win, more improvements to attain — despair, and the counsels which spring from it, are unseemly, unnecessary,, and ungrateful . . . . So much has been accomplished in half a century — what may not be gained in the next fifty years!"

— G. J. Holyoake.

IN the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to set forth the origin and growth of our Society since 1856.  But, before closing our story, we think it will be well to pause as we stand at the end of the years and take a brief survey of the present position of Co-operation in Saddleworth district, in order to see what has been achieved during their flight.  The matter may be summed up briefly as follows: — In June, 1856, nothing tangible existed; Co-operation was when a dream in the minds of a few enthusiasts.  In 1906 seven Societies are in evidence, with a total membership of 3,303, or nearly 27 per cent of the population in the District Council area.  Their sales for 1905 amounted to £107,555; their profit and interest to £18,162; their share capital to £61,050; their loan capital to £15,864; their total assets to £85,942 — all this out of a population of 12,319.

    These Societies have also built, and assisted their members to build or acquire, no less than 150 cottages; many of which are models of comfort and convenience.  Most of the Societies, too, have educational departments, which are doing useful work.  They also subscribe freely to various charitable and other institutions.

    From these facts it will be seen that the dreams of 1856 have materialised, and the seed sown then has brought forth a rich harvest.  But much yet remains to be done before the industrial millennium becomes an accomplished fact.  What will the Co-operative chronicler of 1956 have to record of the workers of to-day, and their immediate successors?  And what will be the position generally of our movement as a whole at that time?  Well, no one can foresee.  But this we know, that if the present and succeeding generation of Co-operators are true to their great principles, true to their best traditions, and to themselves. before that time arrives the workers will be able to emancipate themselves from the thraldom of capital, and by associated effort supply themselves with everything necessary for a full and happy existence.

"O, sometimes gleams upon our sight,
 Through present wrong, the eternal right;
 And step by step since time began
 We see the steady gain of man.
Through the harsh noises of our day
 A low, sweet prelude finds its way;
 Through clouds of doubt and creeds of fear,
 A light is breaking, calm and clear.
 Look back! how much there has been won;
 Look round! how much there is to win.
 The watches of the night are done,
 The watches of the day begin."


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Jubilee Ode.

Great God, who rules all human things;
The peasant’s lot, the thrones of kings;
This joyful day to Thee we raise,
With grateful hearts our song of praise.

’Tis all of Thee that with our years,
Our cause has grown, despite our fears,
Till now it spreads from sea to sea,
Knits man to man, mankind to Thee.

Our fathers, guided by Thy hand,
Have made for us this glorious land
An heritage so large and free —
Received from them —'twas given by Thee.

Thy hand in all our life we trace,
And grateful bow before Thy face;
With reverence own Thy care, and sing
High praise to Thee, our God and King.


Co-operative Wholesale Society's Printing Works, Longsight.



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