Children to present story of Rochdale Pioneers as part of 175th anniversary

A local drama school is presenting a new play, Together, at the Pioneers Museum, telling the story of the Toad Lane store

A children’s drama class is performing a new play about the founders of the modern co-op movement at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum this month.

The play, Together, was written about the Rochdale Pioneers by drama teacher Jules Howliston, who runs a drama class in nearby Littleborough. Her pupils will perform the play at the museum on Saturday 21 December.

This marks the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Rochdale Pioneers’ Toad Lane co-op store, which is now home to the museum.

Ms Howliston set up Two Shires Drama class for children after a career in primary schools, and Together is her first play.

She said: “It’s so important for children to learn about their local history and this is a story Rochdale can be proud of. The poor suffered immense hardships in the 1840s and faced huge challenges which makes the success of the Rochdale Pioneers even more astounding.

“We really couldn’t have a more appropriate venue to stage the play, nor a more appropriate date on which to perform it.”

Kate Woodward, visitor experience and operations coordinator at the Pioneers Museum, said: “We are celebrating a historic day for Rochdale and the co-operative movement on Saturday 21 December.

“All are welcome to celebrate this fantastic performance by local young people and join us to toast the Rochdale Pioneers on their 175th anniversary.”

The performance is at 2pm in the Museum’s Learning Loft space. Tickets are £3 and can be purchased from the museum on 01706 524920 or by emailing Kate on [email protected].

The museum also holds an event at 4pm looking at 175 years of co-operation, with a brass band, hot food and drinks.

For information about the performance please contact [email protected].