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Records of the Manchester and Salford Equitable Co-operative Society

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Reference M473
Covering dates 1859-1982
Held by Manchester Archives and Local Studies
Extent 142 boxes (1.278 mcu)
Creators Manchester and Salford Equitable Co-operative Society, 1858-1970, Lancashire; Norwest Regional Co-operative Society, 1970-1982

Administrative history:
The Manchester and Salford Equitable Co-operative Society was formed Christmas Eve 1858 when a group of men, from the Roby Sunday School Mutual Improvement Society, held a meeting and decided to open a co-operative store for the sale of provisions and other necessaries. Shares were one pound each, the hundred members necessary to start the venture were quickly found and the Society opened for business at 168 Great Ancoats Street on 4 June 1859. Amalgamation with the Openshaw Industrial Society led to the opening of a second store in December of that year. In 1860 a store was opened in Salford and in 1864 new central premises were opened in Downing Street, which for many years were the headquarters of the Society.
As was the case with other co-operative societies, the Manchester and Salford Society had a commitment to education, to the 'intellectual improvement of the members'. The Society's rules provided for two and a half percent of the profit to be given voluntarily by members for educational purposes and the Literary Department (later the Education Committee) was responsible for putting the funds to good use. In 1865 a library was established at the Downing Street premises and earlier, in 1860, the first issue of The Co-operator had been published. Edited by Henry Pitman, it was the first newspaper to be run on co-operative principles. When it was taken over by the newly-formed Co-operative Printing Society in 1871, it was re-named the Co-operative News. The following archive collection however contains no records from the Literary Department and only one minute book from the Education Committee (ref: M473/1/10/1).
The 1970's and 1980's saw the gradual amalgamation of fifty to sixty previously autonomous societies in the north west. In 1970 the Manchester and Salford Society merged with the Stockport and Pennine Societies to form the Norwest Regional Society. In 1982 the Norwest merged with the Pioneers Society to form the Norwest Pioneers Co-operative Society.
The following records were deposited in 1983, 1985 and 1997 by the Member Relations Department of what is now United Norwest Co-operatives Limited. Records of the Failsworth Industrial Co-operative Society, formerly numbered at M473/3, have been transferred to the Oldham Archives Service.

M473/1 Committee Minutes 1859-1963
M473/1/1/1-60 General Board 1859-1963
M473/1/2/1-28 Finance Committee 1873-1950
M473/1/3/1-11 Grocery Committee 1903-1942
M473/1/4/1-3 Bakery Committee 1873-1886
M473/1/5/1-5 Farming Committee 1884-1901
M473/1/6/1-8 Drapery Committee 1873-1920
M473/1/7/1-8 Bye Departments Committee 1936-1950
M473/1/8/1-8 Trading Committee 1918-1936
M473/1/9/1-3 Mortgage Committee 1896-1943
M473/1/10/1 Education Committee 1882-1889
M473/1/11/1 Joint Advisory Committee 1919-1946
M473/1/12/1-2 Extensions Committee 1875-1887
M473/1/13/1-3 Development Committee 1919-1956
M473/1/14/1 Central Alterations Committee 1935-1946
M473/1/15/1-2 'A' Committee 1952-1956
M473/1/16/1-2 'B' Committee 1952-1956
M473/1/17/1-2 General Purposes Committee 1957-1960
M473/1/18/1 Superannuation Committee 1923-1932
M473/1/19/1 Sundry Sub-Committees 1908-1938
M473/1/20/1 Minutes of Delegates to the Co-operative Wholesale Society Meeting 1886-1891
M473/1/21/1-2 Programme of Business for Committee 1877-1883
M473/2 Reports, Balance Sheets and Statistics 1859-1956
M473/2/1/1-7 Quarterly Reports and Balance Sheets 1859-1947
M473/2/2/1-2 Statistics 1893-1956
M473/3 Manchester Co-operative Emporium Limited 1945-1971
M473/3/1/1 Committee Minutes 1945-1971
M473/4 Manchester Co-operative Chemist Limited 1950-1965
M473/4/1/1 Board Meetings 1950-1965
M473/5 Manchester and Salford Co-operative Building Society Limited 1925-1982
M473/5/1 Annual Returns 1925-1982
M473/5/2 Notification of Death and Probate 1967-1976
M473/6 Birchfields Social Institute 1939-1949
M473/6/1/1 Committee Minutes 1939-1949
M473/7 Miscellaneous 1859
M473/7/1 Rules of the Society 1859

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