Monday, May 14, 2012
Membership still a quid
It costs just £1 (1 GBP) to join a consumer co-op. Unchanged for nearly 170 years. By today's values the original 28 Rochdale Pioneers (1844), or the 100 members to form the Manchester & Salford Equitable (1859) would have had to find £78 (78 GBP) to join their Society. Joining in 1929, when the Hardy Lane Co-Op store opened, the cost in today's money would be a little over £49 (49 GBP).
Then, as now the money can be withdrawn. Well it used to be but I've not checked recently. It also entitled you to a dividend on purchases. The M&SE in its early years also used to pay a dividend to non-members but at half the rate of members.
In the photographs is the application form to join the Norwest Co-Operative from around the mid-1980's. There was no dividend after the dividend stamps scheme ceased. The value of £1 then is equivalent to £2.37 in 2012.
You can join The Co-Operative online and you don't even have to send off £1 for it is deducted from your first dividend.