Blue plaques to remember Co-operative

Nutclough Mill. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Nutclough Mill. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Hebden Bridge will be remembering the story of one of the country’s most famous worker-run co-operatives when blue plaques are unveiled in the town centre on International Co-operatives Day, Saturday July 6 at 11am.

Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Co-operative Society traded highly successfully from 1870 until 1918 when it was acquired by another co-operative organisation the CWS.

During its time the society received a stream of national and international visitors, keen to see for themselves how ordinary workers ran their own mill.

A blue plaque commemorating the co-operative will be unveiled by the Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun Carole Stow, on the wall of the mill where it operated, Nutclough Mill in Keighley Road.

A second blue plaque will be unveiled across the road to remember the co-operative’s inspirational leader Joseph Greenwood, at the house where he lived for many years.

The plaque will be unveiled by Joseph Greenwood’s great great-grandson, who has contributed to the cost of the plaques.

All are welcome to participate, and to foregather on July 6 at 11am outside Hebden Bridge Visitor Centre, for the short walk to the Nutclough Mill.

Thereafter, flowers will be laid at the graves of Joseph Greenwood and Jesse Gray, another Hebden Bridge co-operator who achieved national renown, in Sandy Gate burial ground.

The morning’s activities will be rounded off for those who wish with drinks in the town’s co-operative pub, the Fox and Goose.

The event is organised by local Calderdale co-operatives, and the plaques have been produced jointly through the efforts of Hebden Bridge Local History Society and Calder Civic Trust.