Remember When? Co-op in Oldham

At the moment our corner shops and food stores are working hard to make sure we can buy the essentials that we need. Take a moment with us to look back at the Co-op… one of our most familiar and oldest established retailers.


The Co-operative movement started way back in 1844 in Rochdale. A few local people got together to start a society that would treat the local people with respect and provide affordable food for all. You can still see the original shop on Toad Lane in Rochdale which is now the Rochdale Pioneers Museum.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum recently invited people to submit a photograph of their favourite co-operative building on #Coopgraphy. This project highlighted how fond many people were of their local Co-operative buildings. Oldham Local Studies and Archives has a large collection of photographs of Co-operative buildings including the photograph shown here. It was taken on 12 July 1970 and shows the Co-op Shop at 161 Ashton Road, Copster Hill, Oldham.



The Co-operative was formed in Oldham in 1850. It eventually developed into two Societies: The Oldham Equitable Co-operative Society and the Oldham Industrial Co-operative Society. The shop at 161 Ashton Road was part of a complex of shops stretching from number 155 to 161. They were built in 1869 by the Oldham Industrial Co-operative Society. 155 was the butcher’s shop with a drapery department next door, while 161 was the grocer’s shop.

Have you got memories of shopping at a Co-op, or is there a local Co-op that you are still buying your milk from?

If you would like to share your photograph of a local Co-operative building please e-mail your picture to