This collection contains material created for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in 1844, which is known as the first modern co-operative society. Various events took place in and around the town of Rochdale. The collection comprises correspondence, photographs, financial information and printed material.
The National Co-operative Archive holds collections that cover a wide range of activities of the co-operative movement. Some of these collections include the papers of the Co-operative Independent Commission, the Co-operative Commission 2000, the Co-operative Poster collection, the papers of the Centre for Alternative, Industrial and Technological Systems, minute books of the Dyke Acland Scholarship Fund and papers relating to the Rochdale Pioneers 150th Anniversary celebrations.
CAITS was set up in 1978 in the Polytechnic of North London. It was established out of work done by shop stewards in Lucas Aerospace. The stewards were concerned by job losses within Lucas Aerospace and they therefore drew up a detailed Alternative Corporate Plan. During this process, they became convinced that other Trade Unions would benefit from a similar, analytical, research based approach to industrial problems if the resources could be made available. They therefore set up CAITS, a non profit making organisation to supply information and analysis to Trade Unions, Local Authorities, community groups and students.
The collection consists of the organisation’s work files.
The Co-operative Commission was set up in February 2000, with the backing of the government, following a call by leaders of the co-operative movement. The aim was to take an independent look at the co-operative sector. The members of the Commission comprised business leaders, politicians, trade unionists and co-operators, under the Chairmanship of John Monks, General Secretary of the TUC. The launch of the Commission was publicly announced on 24 February 2000, and the Commission met for the first time on 29 February 2000.
The findings were published in the document The Co-operative Advantage: Creating a successful family of Co-operative businesses in January 2001.
The collection consists of the working papers of the commission.
The Co-operative Independent Commission was set up in 1955 due to the decline in the growth of the co-operative movement. The aim of the Commission was to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of co-operative production and marketing in wholesale and retail. The Commission was to present a report of recommendations to the Central Executive, designed to secure the greatest possible advantage to the movement from its manufacturing, wholesale and retail resources. The chair of the Committee was deputy leader, and later leader, of the Labour Party Hugh Gaitskell, CBE, MP. The secretary was ex Labour MP Mr CAR Crosland. The other original members of the Commission were Miss Margaret Digby, OBE; Professor DT Jack, CBE, JP; Dr JB Jefferys; Colonel SJL Hardie, DSO, LLD; Mr JT Murray; and Alderman F Pette, JP. Also at the request of the Commission, Lady Hall became a member in December 1956. The report was conducted between 1955 and 1958.
The collection includes minutes and agendas for the 35 Independent Commission’s meetings; minutes for sub-committee meetings; reports on visits to various societies; research documents; the Commission’s internal memoranda; evidence presented by retail societies, private individuals and other sections of the Co-operative movement; draft copies of the final report; papers of a special investigation into the sources and uses of Co-operative capital; photographs; and rough notes and working papers.
The Archive holds a variety of posters relating to various aspects of the co-operative movement. The collection covers the period 1894-1994. The posters were produced by the Co-operative Union Education department, the Co-operative Party, the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the Co-operative Union. They include adverts, commemorative posters, architectural drawings and banners.
Sir Arthur Dyke Acland, who died in 1926, left instructions in his Will that a fund be established to award scholarships for “young men and women” to travel and study in Europe. The successful applicants were required to produce a piece of research for publication on subjects that would be “useful to the Co-operative and Labour movements”.
The Trustees met for the first time in December 1927 at the House of Commons and consisted of four Trustees, appointed by the Labour Party and the Co-operative Union. According to the terms of Sir Arthur’s Will, two of the Trustees had to be female. Meetings were held at different venues in London, but mostly took place at the Labour Party offices in Smith Square. Between one and three “Dyke Acland Travelling Scholarships” (later renamed “Acland Scholarships”) were awarded each year depending on the Trust’s financial situation.
The collection consists of two hardback minute books (1927-1947) containing handwritten minutes of Trustees’ meetings, which dealt with the recruitment, interviewing and progress of Scholars.