Saturday 26th November 2022 - 31st January 2023
Co-operation St. Heritage Exhibition and The Art of Co-operation
The last 6 months have seen a new wave of co-operation unfold in Morecambe as we have worked together to research and discover more about the heritage of the West End, and the Co-operative Movement. We have become increasingly aware of the parallels between our journey today, as a grassroots community organisation, and the ideas of the Rochdale pioneers and others in the first co-operative movements. Those early struggles are as relevant today as they were almost 200 years ago and have become a source of inspiration and hope for us and our community as we form new connections, plans and possibilities for the future.
This heritage display and the art exhibition several doors down next to Body Care at our Good Things Studio have been put together to reflect our learning and response to the stories we’ve heard, the things we’ve seen and the books and documents we’ve read. Some of these you will find here, others were made available by the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, and the Cooperative Archives in Manchester. In undertaking this project, we’ve had the privilege of working with young people from Bay Leadership Academy, Morecambe Heritage Centre and many members of our local Morecambe community.
Some highlights have included: meeting people connected to the history of Centenary House and hearing and recording their stories, learning and experiencing the Co-operative archives, standing in the original Co-op store in Rochdale, seeing 150 year old banners being carefully unravelled before our excited gaze, and discovering the background to heritage artefacts such as the ‘Defiant’ Radios. In keeping with the early Co-op members, we’ve enjoyed creating artworks of our own informed by the project. We hope you enjoy having a good look and learning a little more about it too.