CUMBRIAN Co-op activist and historian Keith Hood has published his second book on co-operative trading in and around Penrith.
Lazonby & District Co-operative Society ? An Illustrated Chronicle, 1887-1990, takes a loving and nostalgic look at a retail co-op which survived independently until almost the end of the 20th century.
Keith acknowledges that Lazonby Co-op, now part of the nearby Penrith Society, was similar in character and history to the hundreds of local societies that came into being around Britain in the late 19th century.
The author, who published his first book ? Co-operative Societies of the Northern Pennines ? three years ago says his latest co-operative saga is really "just a history lesson of ordinary folk as they cope with the times they live in: social anthropology, pure and simple".
Adds Keith: "The researcher and reader looks through the keyhole at snapshots of co-operation reflected in a small retailing store. You are looking at a diary, privileged in as much as the minute books have not been looked at for a while ? some, in fact, not since they were recorded.
"Here are generations of co-operators, not rich or famous. Just a local community, but famous however for having been customers at the Co-op; members who owned their own shop. Ordinary folk, maybe ? but extraordinary because of it."
Lazonby & District Co-operative Society ? An Illustrated Chronicle, 1887-1990, is profusely illustrated and is a must read for students of the Co-op Movement and local Cumbrian history. Copies are available from Penrith Society for £ 9.95 plus post and packing, email the society for further information.