National Co-operative Archive gains 19th century Co-op Group minute books

The National Co-operative Archive has recently received a fascinating set of minute books from the Co-operative Group comprising a set of nine volumes of the CWS grocery committee covering 1875- 1890. The books show how the CWS developed and some of the early decisions they had to make. They also include some interesting stories, such as the interview process for a Tea Buyer:

“Mr Fred Carter Age 50 asks £600p[er] an[num] salary and said there is not a living man knows more about tea than I do having tasted 500 cups of tea every day of his life. He has not done much in coffee.”

The books had been found in storage in Trafford many years ago and have since been kept in Dantzic Building for a number of years. It is anticipated many other such treasures will be found as the Co-operative Group moves out of its current premises. The National Co-operative Archive will be working very closely with the Group over the period of movement to ensure that none of the treasures are lost.

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