Toad Lane museum to mark Rochdale Pioneers anniversary with candle lighting

Co-operators around the world are invited to join in by lighting their own candle as they watch on livestream

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum will host a commemorative event on 21 December to mark the 176th anniversary of the co-operative store set up by the Rochdale pioneers.

The commemoration will be live-streamed by the Co-operative Heritage Trust, which runs the museum. The trust is asking co-operators from the UK and across the world to join in the celebration by lighting their own candles as they watch a livestream.

The event will feature the reading a passage from George Jacob Holyoake’s description of the original opening night, followed by a ceremonial lighting of a candle in the front shop window at 8pm.

Currently seen as the birthplace of the modern day co-operative movement, Rochdale welcomed its first co-operative store in 1844 when a group of 28 locals set up Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers.

Since then their model has inspired groups all over the world, who set up their own co-operatives.

More information about the event is available at