sketch of our Society makes no attempt to record all its doings.
Many things are left unrecorded which some of our friends may think
ought to have found a place in these pages; and, doubtless, some
things are included which others will think might have been left
out. The writer’s difficulty has not been to find material,
but rather to select what seemed most appropriate. His aim has
been to perpetuate in particular the memory of those early workers
who gave so freely of their best thought and effort to establish our
Society on a firm and lasting basis. How long and arduously
they toiled he has tried to portray; how well they succeeded is
proved by the Society's existence and position to-day.
Co-operation is a unifying force in a community. Under
its beneficent sway all the usual dividing lines of creed and party
seem to disappear, and men of all creeds and parties, and of no
creed or party in particular, are drawn together by a common
interest and work together for the common good.
This truth is well exemplified in the following pages, as
those who know personally the leading characters herein portrayed
will readily see at a glance themselves.
One of the minute books is lost, and several of the books
extant contain but a broken and imperfect record of the doings of
the Committee during the periods they are supposed to cover.
It was soon discovered that no complete tables of sales and
membership, or lists of Committee-men and officials were possible.
Those given at the end of this sketch are as near to fact as patient
and careful research can make them. Not every Society is
fortunate enough to have eleven of its originators alive at its
Jubilee. What a contrast the Greenfield of to-day must be to
the Greenfield of 1856 as it lives in their memories! Let us
be thankful to the Great Giver of all good for all the blessings
that have come to the dwellers in our "Beautiful Greenfield" through
our Society and other beneficent agencies, and turn our faces
hopefully to the future, confident that a movement that has
accomplished so much in the past will accomplish much more in the
near future for the uplifting of our fellow-men.
The writer’s thanks are due to Mr. Dan Holden, Manager, Mr.
Thomas Worth, and members of the General and Educational Committees
for willing help in various ways in the work of compiling these
pages; also to Mr. W. S. Hallsworth, the Jubilee Secretary, and to
my son, Mr. Edwin Lawton, for assistance in preparing copy for the
press, and in revision of proofs.
Special thanks are also tendered to the families of our
notable friends who have readily responded to our requests for
photos, and supplied other matter of great use to the writer in his
I. ACROSS THE YEARS
II. ORGANISATION — 1857-60
III. DEVELOPMENT — 1861-70
IV. CHANGES AND DIFFICULTIES
V. EXTENSIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS
VI. CONSOLIDATION — 1881-1900
VII. ADVANCEMENT — 1901-06
VIII. OUR NOTABLES
IX. COTTAGE BUILDING
XI. PENNY BANK
XII. AT THE END
OF THE YEARS
LIST OF OFFICIALS
CHART OF COMMITTEE
(A. & H. Hanson, Photo., Greenfield)
HEYTOP, PRESS SHOP, PICCADILLY, SPRING GROVE,
HALL AND SHOPS
PRESIDENT, MANAGER, SECRETARY, AUDITORS
PORTRAITS ― ELEVEN PIONEERS
TERRACE, SPRING GROVE
not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor."
The following book was kindly contributed
by Eddie Shaw
of Crewe, Cheshire.
Printed and Bound by
C.W.S. Printing Works
Mr. Sydney Smith
I regard it as a very great honour and privilege to be the President
of the Greenfield Society during its centenary year, and it is with
the greatest pleasure that I write this foreword to this short
history of the Society.
We are deeply indebted to our Secretary, Mr. Hobson, for having
written it, and I feel sure it will be read by our members with
great pleasure and interest.
The Society began in a very humble way and with few resources.
Those who established it had perhaps little idea that they were
laying the foundations of an organisation which would continue for
100 years to exercise such a beneficial influence among the people
of our village.
During the past century I believe the Society has played a great
part in the lives of its members not only in supplying them with the
goods they need but also in rendering them the many and various
services which are described in this booklet.
So far as I can see there is no reason why we should not continue to
meet the needs of our members for many years to come providing we
all remain loyal to the principles underlying our great movement.
S. SMITH, President.
STORY OF GRASSCROFT
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Old Press Shop
Officers of the Society
Manager and Secretary
Employees of the Society
Present Central Premises
Thirty Years' Service
Ed. ― The
Greenfield Co-operative Society merged with the Oldham Society in
1969, which is now part of the Co-operative Group.