Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

100th birthday for the oldest co-op building in Wales

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Last month, the Co-op building in Maesteg celebrated its 100th birthday, and is thought to be the oldest Co-op building in Wales.

Built by Thomas and Co. from Cardiff in 1910 and opened on October 3rd, it stands proudly at the crossroads of Talbot Street and Commercial Street in Maesteg. In its first year of trading, the sales amounted to £1,165.

The Co-operation, which was the largest department store in Maesteg, sold everything from meat to boots, and many locals remember the weekly shopping trip there with their mothers.

The building that housed the Co-op for 74 years is now home to the Bowrington Arcade and seven independent retail outlets.

To celebrate this milestone birthday, traders from the Arcade have come together to provide a variety of activities for all the family to enjoy. The month-long celebrations will be formally opened by the Mayor of Maesteg on 18th October at 11am, with a week of half-term activities for families to enjoy.

On display will be historic photos spanning the centenary of the Co-operative and many of local people throughout the 100 years. The Maesteg Historic Society will be giving talks and be on hand to help you trace your ancestors. Dress up in Victorian costume for a professional photograph, sample Welsh baking through the century and, of course, there will be face painting and fun and games for the children.

For more information call the Arcade Café on 01656 734398 or pop in and speak to one of the traders.

“Co-operation is trying its utmost to improve the social conditions of the working classes.”

Source: welshcountry.co.uk

If you are thinking of taking on a similar project, or if your community group wants to take over an enterprise or building which will benefit the community, the Wales Co-operative Centre can offer a wide range of help and support.

Written by C Kenzie

October 19, 2010 at 11:12 am

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