Swindon marks 150 years of co-operation

Celebrating 150 years of co-operation in Swindon, Midcounties Co-operative hosted a number of celebrations across the town.

Memorabilia, songs and food tastings were all part of a special day to mark 150 years of co-operative trading in Swindon. The society’s Old Town store hosted the celebrations, which included performances from the Swindon Co-operative Ladies Choir, face painting, a bouncy castle and a DJ playing hits from the past.

People could also step back in time with the help of a nostalgic display by retired David Macey, aged 67, who brought along some of his Co-operative memorabilia. He started amassing it when he worked for Co-operative Funeralcare and it has continued to grow.

Shabaz Hussain, Membership Development Officer at Midcounties, said: “It was an amazing day and I would like to thank everyone who supported it. There was a real buzz in store and people enjoyed the various activities we had organised. We wanted to do something special because we are proud of our 150 year history in Swindon. We continue to be a locally-owned retailer which shares profits with our members, supports Fairtrade and local producers and gives back to the community where we trade.”

Midcounties Board Member Steve Allsopp unveiled a commemorative plaque at the store. Among those present was Roy Grubb, aged 86, a former Co-operative store manager, who worked for the society for nearly 50 years.

Customers could also enjoy tastings courtesy of local suppliers Arkells Brewery, Sugar and Spice Cakes and Drycott Bakery. 

The anniversary celebrations continued with displays of memorabilia at the Midcounties stores in Brewery Street, Highworth, and at the Cavendish Square supermarket in Park North, Swindon.

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