Historic sign to return to Toad Lane

The historic Toad Lane street sign which was in place when the Rochdale Pioneers founded their co-operative shop on the street in 1844 is to return to the town after nearly twenty years.

The sign spent almost two decades in the garage of former Chair of Rochdale Co-operative Party David Williams, who is now a councillor in Oxford, after it was left anonymously at the Party’s headquarters and forgotten amidst the excitement of election campaigning.

The cast iron sign was presented to the Mayor and Council Leader of Rochdale, and will go on display in the Rochdale Pioneers Museum when it reopens in spring 2012. The Museum, which is currently closed for refurbishment, is housed in the original Store where the Pioneers opened shop for the first time on 21 December 1844, and the building is widely regarded as the birthplace of modern co-operation, attracting visitors from all over the world.

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