Marking 200 years of the Co-op in Lennoxtown

Lennoxtown. Main St. Friendly Victualling Society Shoe Shop.
Lennoxtown. Main St. Friendly Victualling Society Shoe Shop.

CAN you help to mark the 200th anniversary of what could be the oldest Co-operative Society in the world?

That is the challenge to Herald readers.

The Lennoxtown Friendly Victualling Society was set up in the village in 1812 and later expanded into several shops across the district.

This was more than 30 years before the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers - often credited as being the oldest co-operative - was formed.

Members paid 1s6d to join and, in return, were given access to essential goods at the cheapest price possible.

Everybody who signed up was given a personal number and could claim their share of any profits made by way of a dividend.

The business was wound up in 1965, but continued under the banner of the Kirkintilloch Equitable Society and now, in the present day, as the Co-operative.

Campsie Local History Group is planning a range of events to mark the bicentenary - including producing a souvenir book containing photographs and people’s memories of the Co-op down the years.

A spokesperson for the group said: “It really was very much part of the community and sold everything you could need - even shoes and clothes.

“Everybody has a connection of some kind or other with the Co-op down the years and that is what we want to celebrate.”

They are keen to hear from people about the Co-op and from those who may have pictures of memorabilia which could be used in the book.

The spokesperson explained: “Perhaps you worked in one of the many stores or do you have any photos or memorabilia the group could incorporate in the publication?

“We would like to hear from you especially if you have a fond memory or a tale which involves the Co-op. If you have a story and would like it to be included in the book please put it in writing.”

If you can help, e-mail the group at campsielhg@gmail.com

Items can also be handed in at the Lennoxtown Co-operative shop for the attention of Neil.

Please be sure to put your name and a contact phone number on your items so that they can be returned safely.

* Have you got a story, picture or comment? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

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