That’s a wrap: Rochdale Pioneers film finishes shooting

Filming has wrapped on the Rochdale Pioneers film, which tells the story of the 28 working men who helped found the modern-day co-operative movement.

Filming has wrapped on the Rochdale Pioneers film, which tells the story of the 28 working men who helped found the modern-day co-operative movement.

The film tells the ‘inspirational’ story of the 28 Pioneers whose vision for a better social order inspired them to form the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in 1844 — recognised as the birth of the co-operative movement. Opposed by private traders, the Rochdale Pioneers walked from Rochdale to the markets of Manchester to buy the four key items; butter, sugar, flour and oatmeal, for sale in their Toad Lane store when it opened in December 1844.

Produced by the Co-operative Group sponsored British Youth Film Academy, cast and crew finalised their final scenes last week on location at Watergrove Reservoir (near Rochdale), Littleborough and Heptonstall where actors Andrew London, who plays William Cooper, Jordan Dawes, who plays Samuel Ashworth and, John Henshaw, who plays John Holt, recreated the 'legendary' wheelbarrow journey.

Legend says that the Pioneers travelled 14km with just a wheelbarrow to buy wholesale goods, since local grocers refused to sell to them. This led to the birth of the 31 Toad Lane store.

The film now enters post-production in the editing suite for the next two months. Details of the film’s release is still to be finalised but it is expected to include cinema screenings across the UK, international distribution and, a screening at the co-operative world festival and expo at Manchester Central in autumn 2012.

• An official website for the film has been launched this week: www.therochdalepioneers.co.uk

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