The Barlow Moor Mixed Guild started in 1931 with meetings at the Hardy Lane store. It attracted over 100 members, and in the following season they canvassed for more.
"We are hoping to have a large influx of members when the session commences in earnest, and the committee are now actively engaged in arranging a publicity campaign which will embrace not only Barlow Moor Estate but also surrounding areas where there is not at present any guild. Our guildroom is now on a main thoroughfare and easily accessible by tram and bus..."
"The season will commence on Tuesday 6th September, when the opening social will be held. As we expect to have accomodation for at least 150 people..."
The opening social was billed as a whist drive and dance. When you look at the size of the rooms then a muster of 150 would have made it very packed. Maybe it was. The advert is from the same publication. No doubt a few would have been having a pipe. Note that the tobacco is from the Rochdale Pioneers' factory and not the C.W.S. Though the early co-operators favoured temperance over selling alcohol they never had a problem with tobacco. "In due times the husbans could get from the store the solace of tobacco and the wives the solace of tea" G.J. Holyoake: History of the Rochdale Pioneers 1893
Manchester and Salford Co-operative Herald, page 392, 1932