Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Captions by Eric Fowell, typed by Geoff Wiggins, 2007

Rushden Co-operative Society Ltd.


100 slides of the Co-op in Rushden, collected together by Eric Fowell.

This collection of pictures was amassed by Eric Fowell with help acknowledged from Mr & Mrs Carter of Weston Favell,
the late Joe Freer collection, Geoff Wiggins & David Hudson.
Corner of High Street South and Wymington Road (in the area known as Top End) circa 1904.
The house belonged to David Darnell Snr., father of Rushden Co-op's first manager. The Co-op was founded in 6th June 1877 and traded from this property before they owned their first shop.

The National Registration number was 2050.

David Darnell's house - he was the first manager of the Co-op
1
First Rushden Co-op Society shop at 19, High Street in 1878.
In the bay-windowed house next door lived Mr. Wilkins who was the first Chairman of Rushden U.D.C. Miss Fossket lived next door to him.
The first manager was David Darnell Jnr. who had to provide a bond of £40 together with 2 bonds of £25 from other persons. He was paid £1 per week plus 6d in the pound commission.
Opening times were 8am to 8pm in the week and 8am to 10pm on Saturday. The shop was closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday and special days.
Shares were £10 per new member. In 1 883 there were 210 members, the capital was £673, sales were £3,758.
The first shop in the High Street
2
The first Public Tea was held on 20th November 1877 at the Temperance Hall in Newton Road. The entrance fee was one shilling.
no picture
2a
The Co-operative Slaughter House was opened in 1887
The first Bakery was opened in 1879
In 1890 the membership was 400
The capital was £2,925
Sales were £9,231
Coal was first sold in 1892
no picture
2b
David Darnell Jnr. In later life, when he retired from the Co-op, he returned to his first occupation in the shoe trade.

David Darnell - the first manager
3
A Co-op Shop in Queen Street ( Dept No.2) opened in 1896.

G. Culpin, H. King, unknown, Joe Freer, and H. Addison

Photograph by C. F. Chapman, 1926

Queen Street shop in 1926
4
1960's photograph of the Queen Street Grocery Shop ( Dept. No.2)
Queen Street butcher's shop in 1926
5
Queen Street Butcher's Shop ( Dept No. 2) in 1896.

Horace Charles

The shop was built on land owned by Lawton's Farm which was next to The Independent Wesleyan Chapel. Lawton Road was named after the farm and its land.

Photograph by C. F. Chapman, 1926

6
Corner of Rectory Road and Queen Street during the blizzard of 1916.

In the background is Woburn Place and the long building which is the Salvation Army Citadel.

Rectory Road & Queen Street junction in 1916 when the blizzard caused havoc with telegraph poles & wires
7
Opening of the Hove Road shop (Dept. No. 7) in 1924 by G. W. Coles, President of the society.

In the crowd, looking at the camera, Mr. Waring, freelance reporter.

Opening in 1924 of the Hove Road store
8
Hove Road Grocery (Dept No.7) opened in 1924
Another picture at the opening in 1924 of the Hove Road shop
9
Hove Road Butcher's Shop opened in 1929, a separate shop to the Grocery shop.
no picture
9a
Hove Road Grocery Shop, Mr. A. E. Clarke Manager.
Hove Road grocery and staff
10
Newton Road Grocery Shop, prior to alterations in 1962.
The Newton Road Shop
11
Park Road Grocery Shop (Dept No. 4) opened in 1894, the Butcher's shop was at the rear, also the stables and Slaughter House built in 1887.

H. Cox, E. G. Strudwick, and A. Bradshaw.

The attached houses, named "Industrial Cottages" were built in 1892.

The floor above the shop was the site of the Co-op's "Penny Bank"

Photograph by C.F.Chapman, 1926

Park Road store opened in 1894, pictured in 1926
12
Inside Park Road Grocery shop; note the fluorescent lighting which could date the photograph around the 1940's.

The interior of Park Road grocery c1940
13
Park Road shop.
The Park Road grocery store
14
The retirement of Mr. E. G. Strudwick, manager of the Park Road shop in 1953. The presentation was from the Society's President, Mr. W. Brown.

Mr. Strudwick was also chief instructor of the Co-op Education Committee

Mr Strudwick's retirement, 1953
15
The High Street South shop (Dept No 1), opened in 1894 as a Drapery and Grocery shop.

D. Shouler, F. Langley and O. Clayson.

Staff outside the High StreetSouth store
16
Co-op Row formerly known as Brawn's Cottages or Row. The lower section was known as Sunny Banks.
no picture
16a
High Street South (Dept No.l).

Butcher, C. Hanger.

High Street South butchery department
17
A Dog Show at Jubilee Park, Bedford Road in 1926. The park was presented to the town by the society to mark its 50th anniversary.

In the background the "8 houses".

1926 dog show at the Jubilee park - gifted to the town on the Society's 50th anniversary
18
Riseley Co-op, Mr. Don Cumberpatch manager.

The first manager was Geoffrey Smeathers.

The manager's house was at the side of the shop.

The store at Riseley
19
Podington Grocery (Dept. No. 6) with the Bakery at the rear, opened in 1910.

Mr. R. Brooks was the manager with Charles Spencer, assistant.

The house dates from 1775 and was part of the Orlebar's Estate.

The Co-op store at Podington
20
Co-op Wet Fish shop, in Newton Road, in 1947, manager Harry Jordan. The shop on the right was formerly a privately owned Fish & Chip shop belonging to Mr. Charles Foreman.

The painters are Alan Clarke and Ashley Matthew from the Co-op's own Paint department.

The wet fish shop being painted
21
Wellingborough Road Fish & Chip shop opened in 1922. Proprietors are Mr. & Mrs. Judge

It's still a Fish & Chip shop today.

The fish & chip shop in Wellingborough Road
22
Rushden Bakery in Newton Road, manager Mr. Chapman.

The ovens made by Perkins of Peterborough were installed in 1913.

The bakery in Newton Road
23
W. Ambrose turning out the bread dough.
Turning out the bread dough is W Ambrose
24
Portion of supplies for the Sunday School Treat, July 1916.
Some of the supplies for the Sunday school treat in 1916
25
Rushden Co-op's first van in 1919, a Thornycroft number RP 5050

Photograph taken in the Co-op yard opposite Ebenezer Terrace with A. E. Kettle and Mr. Pettitt from Podington. Not in the photograph, but there was a garage on this site.

The first Co-op van
26
The Co-op's No. 2 Milk Float with Miss V. Reed in Crabb Street, 1920.
Miss Reed delivering milk
27
Co-op milk float with the first pint milk bottles, circa 1929.

The float was made by Wadsworth's Coach Builders in Newton Road and was on display at the County Agricultural Show held in Rushden which was opened by Prince Henry.

W. Stocker, A. Gell, R. Waller and G. Dodd.

The new milk float when  bottles were first introduced
28
The Dairy Yard in Newton Road.

Buildings seen in the background are the Echo & Argus Print works on the left and the British Woman's Temperance Hall on the right.

A. Underwood and Claude Anderson.

In the Co-op dairy yard
29
Mr. C. Joyce, Milk Foreman, outside 'The Whitehouse' in Grove Road in 1968.
Delivery was by an electric float in the 1960s
30
Casket and contents as presented to all C.W.S. employees plus 107 - in England to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Society in 1913.
CWS Jubilee gift to employees 1913
31
Dial Farm in Bedford Road bought by the Co-op in 1910.

The Gordon Highlanders, who were based in Bedford, camped here overnight whilst on manoeuvres in 1914.

Geese at Dial Farm
32
Dial Farm, Mr. Nibbs, manager of the poultry farm, with the geese.
The geese and Mr Nibbs
33
Dial Farm in Bedford Road, Mr. Nibbs with the pigs.

In the background Scroxton's Barn and Willmott's Fields.

Mr Nibbs with the pigs
34
Sanders' Lodge Farm owned by the Co-op. They also owned Knuston Lodge Farm.

Sanders' farm
35
Funeral Department in the High Street. Orchard Place can be seen in the background.

Co-op Funeral department next to Dewhurst's butchery
36
100, High Street, The Paint Dept, originally Wright's the Chemist was located here.

Mr. Higham (Manager of the Co-op), Jean Dickens (nee Rice)

Tom Wall (Manager of the Paint Dept), Ted Jolley (Rushden's Fire Chief in the 1940's), Fred Bellamy, Bruce Vendy, David Harlow, Richard Clarke.

The paint department
37
Building and Hardware Dept, formerly Hedley's the chemist.

Manager Derrick Pack and Jean Dickens (nee Rice)

Building & Hardware shop
38
Banner of Rushden Women's Co-operative Guild
The Women's Guild banner
39
Annual Tea of the Co-operative Women's Guild at the Windmill Hall. It was a very popular and well attended organisation in the 1930's

The Annual Tea
40
Annual Tea of the Co-operative Women's Guild at the Windmill Hall.
The Annual Tea
41
At the corner of Higham Road and North Street was a Butchers owned by John Thomas Coulson and built In 1894. He was a School Attendance Officer and a Baptist Church Deacon. He ceased business in 1917.

The Co-op took over the shop as a Grocery Shop (Dept No. 3a) and later it became a Butcher's Shop.

This 1926 slide shows Miss M. Perkins. Later Horace "Dick" Waller became the Butcher/Manager and he worked for the Co-op for 50 years before retiring in 1973, along with Harold Bradshaw (47 years), George Pogson (45 years), and Bill King (51 years).

Higham Hill store in 1926
42
The new Department Store in Higham Road prior to its opening in 1927.
New Store in 1927
43
The new Department Store (Dept 8) "up and running".

The Grocery Dept. No.8 in Higham Road. One of its managers was Joe Freer.

Department No 8 - grocery & furniture upstairs
44
The Furniture Department Manager was Mr. Hanniford. Higham Road grocery, electrical & funishing store 45
The Department Store in 1960 with a new Self-Service Grocery Department.
No 8 store in new livery 1960
46
The Rushden Co-op Darts Team in 1960

C. Culpin, R. Darlow, A. Clayton, G. Pogson, L. Morgan, C. Hannaford, D. Ekins and F. Chambers.

Darts team in 1960
47
Mr. Griffiths, Rushden - C.W.S.'s Secretary/Manager.
Mr Griffiths - manager of the company
48
Plaque marking £3,000,000 sales for East Northants C.W.S.
plaque marking three million pounds sales for East Northants Co-op Society Ltd in 1976
49
Horse drawn carnival float advertising Co-op tea.
Float advertising varieties of tea
50
No. 44 High Street, the Drapery Dept. was opened by the society's President Joseph Hornsby on 6 August 1903.
No. 46 High Street was owned by Percy Button, a draper in 1912.
No. 48 was owned by George Denton, a boot retailer.
No. 50 was owned by George Willmott, a greengrocer.
No. 52 belonged to Mrs. Everingham, a Milliner but was burnt down as a result of John Cave's fire in 1901.
No. 56 was owned by S. Grout.
No. 58 was Burton's Grocery Stores. The next two shops were Hooton's Bazzar.
No. 64 The Louvre Drapery
No. 62A was Mobbs' confectioners
No. 68. G. W. Battersbys, Grocer and No. 66 The Star Tea Co.
View of High Street from the drapery in about 1930
51
A 1926 photograph of the Drapery Department.

The property had been purchased from the Natrass family.

Note the entrance on the left of the store that led to an entry to the offices at the rear in Succoth Place and Milton Place.

The old drapery store in 1926
52
Four ladies who worked in the Drapery Dept. thought to be in the 1930's.

Audrey Saint, Edna Button, Eve Lincoln and Edith Allen.

The ladies of the drapery in about 1930
53
The Drapery shop about 1960.
The old hall and drapery in about 1960
54
The Department Store on the right was built on the site of the Succoth Chapel. The land was purchased in 1958 but it was some 11 years later before the store was built.
The old hall and new store on the site of the Succoth Church
55
The new Departmental Store in the High Street.
The new store in the High Street built 1969
56
The Greengrocery shop at No.72 High Street. For a number of years it was managed by Hugh Willmott.

The Chemist shop at No.74 managed by Mr. Wilfred Haigh and assisted by Ben Perkins.

The chemist and greengrocery in High Street
57
Dorothy Ainge, assistant in the Chemist shop.
Inside the Chemist shop
58
Betty Abbott and Dawn Heatherington; assistants in the Chemist's.
Chemist shop assistancts
59
Rushden Photographic Club were allowed to use the rooms above the Chemist's shop for their meetings.

Kneeling on the front row is Vic Childs a keen Rushden photographer.

On the 2nd row, 4th from the right, Mr. Hill a teacher at the Girls' Secondary Modern School.

3rd from the right, back row Mr. Cecil Thomas

4th from the right, back row Mr. Waring.

The photographic club who used the rooms above the chemist shop
60
The Grocery shop in the High Street, managed by Mr. Langley. Above the shop was the "Rochdale Rooms" used for lectures to trainees .
Inside the grocery department
61
Inside the grocery shop a presentation of £100 to Jean Rice who had taken part in a promotional competition for Spell washing powder. Jean suggested that each customer who spent a certain amount of money in the store should be given a free box of Spell.

Left to Right; Mr.Griffiths (secondary/manager of Rushden Co-op), Jean Rice, the Managing Director of Manchester CWS, and Harry Bailey.

Inside the grocery store
62
A Co-op parade in the 1930's. which were usually held on a Thursday afternoon. The children were dressed in fancy dress made from advertisements from the Co-op shops. After the parade the children were given a tea at the Co-op Hall. This became so popular that an overflow venue was made at Alfred Street School.

A parade in the 1930's
63
The Co-op General Offices on the site that is now a car park to the rear of Bee Wise. [now QS - 2008]

To right of the main door was a plaque to commemorate those former employees who were killed in WWII.

The office building behind the High Street stores
64
The Co-op Offices after an extra floor had been added to the original building.

The offices after the third floor was added
65
Mr. W. S. Bayes, Society President, unfurls the Co-operative International Rainbow Flag on top of the office building.

L to R - Miss R. Malloney, Miss M. Nichols, Mr. P. Elkington, Mr. C. Hannaford, Secretary/Manager Mr. Higham.

Raising the flag on the Office building
66
A view of the rear of the Co-op Hall showing the entry leading to High Street. This was traditionally closed for one day each year to allow the Co-op to claim the right of way. This always caused a great deal of ill feeling amongst the townsfolk who used the short cut into the High Street.
In the centre of the picture is the alley way through to the High Street
67
Inside the Co-op Hall. It was used, among other activities, for exhibitions to promote the Co-op's products. These became so popular that the venue was moved to the Windmill Hall.
An exhibition of goods in the Co-op Hall
68
Inside the general office.
Inside the offices
69
Mr. Ted Maddams was in charge of the offices. In later life he became somewhat forgetful and was well known for getting halfway home at lunch time only to turn around and return to the office to check if he had locked the door. He was the uncle of two well known Rushden men, Dennis and Arnold Maddams.
Mr Ted Maddams - office manager
70
Some of the Co-op's office staff.

Extreme left on the back row Jim Richardson.
3rd from right - Pat Storey

Staff at the main office
71
The Secretary/Manager's Office.
The Secretary's office
72
Service counter in the office building.
Inside the main office where banking and payments were made for coal and milk cheques were bought
73
Mr. Griffiths , who was elected chairman of Rushden U.D.C. in 1964,

Presents his wife with her chain of office. The chain was given to the Council by Rushden Co-operative Society and presented by their President Mr. W. Bayes.

Mr Griffiths becomes Chairman of the Council & presents his wife with her chain of office
74
An inspection of W.V.S.'s Meals on Wheels at Rushden Hall on the 22nd April 1964 by the Duchess of Gloucester on the left, Lady Hesketh in the centre and Councillor Griffiths. Also present were Audrey Perkins, Mrs. Muxlow and Mrs Frankland. The cook was Mrs. Rickard whose family once kept the Airflow Cafe next to Birch's Bus Garage.

Mr Griffiths of the Co-op greets Lady Hesketh & the Duchess of Gloucester
75
Wellingborough Road Grocery and Butchers Shop which was built in 1895 and opened 4th December 1895.

It also had a Bakery, a Furniture department, a warehouse and around the Corner in Windmill Road were offices and stables.

Former employees included Manager John Cook, Herbert Cox, O. Clayson in charge of Butchery Dept. and Jack Hills and Mr. Layram in the stores.

Photograph by C. F. Chapman in 1925.

Opened 1895 in Wellingborough Road
76
View from Brookfield Road in 1895 before the Mission Chapel, houses in Wellingborough Road and Windmill Road were built.
Wellingborough Road Co-op before the Mission Church was built
77
January 1959, loading Christmas parcels for some 210 members of the Society who had joined over 50 years ago.

The group includes H. Bailey, F. Marriott, A. Green, W. S. Bayes, A. Watts, L. Parkinson and C. Ginns.

Xmas parcels 1959 - for members who had joined 50 years ago
78
Tom Richardson, a society committee member, in 1936 wearing the Chairman of Rushden U.D.C.'s chain of office which was presented to the council by Mr. A. Allebone, who in that same year sailed on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary to New York.

Tom Richardson - Chairman of the Urban Dictrict Council and a member of the Co-op
79
Rushden Co-op's brand new coal lorry.
The new coal lorry
80
A Co-op coalman unloading coal at Rushden Station.

Mr. Bill King was in charge of the coal office and yard for 51 years.

Delivering the coal
81
Rose Avenue Supermarket.
Rose Avenue Store
82
Birchall Road Co-op opened in 1932.
Birchall Road was built in 1932
83
Inside Birchall Road Co-op and Post Office.

L to R - Phyllis Fensome, Pam Lumbers, Edith Dunmore, Elizabeth Barnes, Betty Coleman, Dennis Shouler, John Brawn, Morris Slater.

Inside Birchall Road there was also a Post Office
84
Birchall Road Staff - Phyllis Fensome, Dorothy Hooton, Pam Lumbers and Betty Coleman.

Birchall Road Staff
85
Rushden Co-operative Society's Committee.

Back row: l-r : E. Sugars, J. Hornsby, C. Giles, J. F. Houghton, J. W. Clark

Front row: l-r : Mrs. F. Ladds, F. Berrill, G. W. Coles J.P., T. E. Wigginton, W. Bazeley J.P.

The Society's Committee
86
Co-op Butcher's Chevrolet Refrigerated Van in the Cambridge Cottages Yard, c1925.
The Chevrolet for butchery deliveries
87
The same Butcher's van.
The butcher's van
88
Rushden Co-op's Bedford Mobile Shop in 1953, purchase price £2105.

It served Newton Road and Avenue Road and many of the North Bedfordshire villages, twice weekly. The driver was Mr. A. Bradshaw.

Running costs for petrol and repairs were £ 2055 : 5s. compared with the upkeep of the society's horses in 1904 of £38 : 2 : 3d.

In 1953 a mobile shop was purchased
89
The Mobile Shop possibly in Avenue Road.
The mobile shop and customers
90
1917 Carnival Parade entry in High Street South.
Co-op float in the 1917 Carnival
91
Albert Hawes and Charlie Allen with a Co-op carriage that was still being used in WWII.
Delivery before the combustion engine
92
Co-op delivery van.
The delivery van
93
Rushden managers & committee prior to a visit to a canning works in Lowerstoft. The Society's President is in the front row.

Managers & Committee
94
Menswear shop & Freeman Hardy & Willis shoeshop & S F Webb leather goods
High Street Menswear shop.
The buildings were owned by Oxford University.
95
Possibly the first photograph of the new Drapery Shop in 1903.
The first drapery store - the bottom right is the alleyway through to Rectory Road
96





Co-op dancing group in Spencer Park. They often performed in the Co-op Hall.





A dancing group pictured in Spencer Park
97













Councillor Spencer, Co-op committee member, celebrating his Golden Wedding.














Christmas Day Golden Wedding celebrations for Councillor & Mrs Spencer in 1936
98
Parade in 1926 to Jubilee Park to celebrate the Society's 50 years.
The Co-op's Jubilee was celebrated with a parade in 1926
99
Same procession in 1926.

To see an article about the Garden on the right of this picture click here

The 1926 parade in High Street South
100


Click here to return to the Co-op Introduction page


Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the History index
Click here to e-mail us