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Thread: CWS the Co-op

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    Default CWS the Co-op

    I have been reading the history of the CWS Cooperative Wholesale Society ( co- op).
    Although certainly not as big as it once was it is still a major player in the British foods and wholesale business. Food wise they are a big player in shop local convenience. Also big in the funeral business.

    I was not aware that they also had their own shipping company. The first ship they had was the (Rochdale) Pioneer. I have tried to find photos of this ship but no luck. Can anyone post a photo of the ship?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-ope...lesale_society

    https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Co-ope..._Society_(CWS)

    By the end of the 1930s, co-op factories were making wagons, barrels, furniture, bottles and jars, shoes, leather goods, caps, hats, shirts hosiery, ties and other garments, cattle feed for co-op cows, seeds for co-op farms, radios, rope and twine, cigarettes, candies, drugs, beef and poultry from co-op slaughterhouses, cutlery, biscuits and bread, jams and jellies, margarine and butter, and tea. The CWS milled the wool and cotton fabric that went into the clothing it manufactured. The CWS also ran a steamship line, and a print shop that produced a daily newspaper and labels for CWS merchandise. It operated a coal mine as well as an engineering department that designed and built the CWSs facilities. Life insurance and banking services were provided to members as well.

    I am sure most members that live or lived in the UK will likely have been a member of the Co-op and had a Divi number. I know my mum was.
    When I was growing up it was always the place to go to for school uniforms, now it is likely the place a few of us will go to to get boxed and dispatched.

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    Quote Originally Posted by James Curry View Post
    I have been reading the history of the CWS Cooperative Wholesale Society ( co- op).
    Although certainly not as big as it once was it is still a major player in the British foods and wholesale business. Food wise they are a big player in shop local convenience. Also big in the funeral business.

    I was not aware that they also had their own shipping company. The first ship they had was the (Rochdale) Pioneer. I have tried to find photos of this ship but no luck. Can anyone post a photo of the ship?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-ope...lesale_society

    https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Co-ope..._Society_(CWS)

    By the end of the 1930s, co-op factories were making wagons, barrels, furniture, bottles and jars, shoes, leather goods, caps, hats, shirts hosiery, ties and other garments, cattle feed for co-op cows, seeds for co-op farms, radios, rope and twine, cigarettes, candies, drugs, beef and poultry from co-op slaughterhouses, cutlery, biscuits and bread, jams and jellies, margarine and butter, and tea. The CWS milled the wool and cotton fabric that went into the clothing it manufactured. The CWS also ran a steamship line, and a print shop that produced a daily newspaper and labels for CWS merchandise. It operated a coal mine as well as an engineering department that designed and built the CWS’s facilities. Life insurance and banking services were provided to members as well.

    I am sure most members that live or lived in the UK will likely have been a member of the Co-op and had a Divi number. I know my mum was.
    When I was growing up it was always the place to go to for school uniforms, now it is likely the place a few of us will go to to get boxed and dispatched.
    The Co-op was also very big in various parts of what was the British Empire.
    A good pal of my father's - a Geordie - ended up in Fiji running the Co-op business there before moving on to other things. He was only supposed to go there for 6 months but was still there 55 years later!
    The Co-op had a training college for it's managers near Loughborough and all the management trainees from the Co-ops worldwide were sent there to learn their trade i.e. basically how to run a business.

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    The ship that ran out of Manchester to Paris was the `CWS PROGRESS` Capt. Hollingsworth
    well known in Liverpool and Manchester in the 50s and 60s

    Brian

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    Thanks for that Brian. Found her after you posted and gave me a name.

    Here she is here. CWS_Progress-1931.jpg

    CWS Progress 1931

    Name: C W S PROGRESS
    Type: Cargo Ship
    Launched: 05/01/1931
    Completed: 02/1931
    Builder: Armstrong, Whitworth & Co (Shipbuilders) Ltd
    Yard: Willington Quay
    Yard Number: 1070
    Dimensions: 967grt, 514nrt, 213.2 x 32.3 x 12.5ft
    Engines: T3cyl (16.5, 28 & 47 x 33ins), 174nhp; (1958: Oil engine, 4SA, 6cyl (350 x 500mm))
    Engines by: Armstrong, Whitworth & Co (Engineers) Ltd; (1958: Skoda, Prague)
    Propulsion: 1 x Screw
    Construction: Steel
    Reg Number: 147425
    History:
    19/02/1931 Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd, Manchester
    1957 NG Lampiris, Piraeus; renamed GEORGIOS L
    1962 DN Levantakis & Co, Piraeus; renamed POLA II
    1966 DN Levantakis & Co, Piraeus; renamed KASTRIANI
    1969 Michel Corm, Beirut; renamed MABROUK
    23/11/1969 Sank
    Comments: 1958: Re-engined
    23/11/1969: Sank after an explosion 20nm SW of Cape Gata, Cyprus
    On a voyage from Beirut to Trieste carrying fruit juice & general cargo
    Last edited by James Curry; 28th March 2023 at 01:15 PM.

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Kong View Post
    The ship that ran out of Manchester to Paris was the `CWS PROGRESS` Capt. Hollingsworth
    well known in Liverpool and Manchester in the 50s and 60s

    Brian
    Brian just wondering Manchester to (Paris?) could she drop her masts and funnel, I am thinking about the bridge at Rouen. I have been up to Paris on a low air draft coaster in the 90's. Perhaps that bridge there now replaced one that was possible to be swung or raised? I think Rouen took a bit of a pounding during the war.
    Last edited by James Curry; 28th March 2023 at 01:43 PM.

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    I still remember our co-op number, never forgotten it.

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    Hi James
    ,It may not have been Paris but up the riverr near there, I was offered the job a few times in the Pool but I do not like the French or France
    Brian

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    #6, Johnny the co-op number is like your discharge number, never forgotten. 16960 was ours and woe betide you if you didn't come back from the shop without the stub so your mother could reckon up her divi.
    Regards Michael

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    The co-op we used to go to, would put your money in a kind of tiny cable car, and send it up to the office. Then it would be sent back down with you're change with a "ding". Eggs would come in a paper bag, I don't remember "not" breaking some. When I think about it, how did we do that? "A dozen eggs please" I don't remember seeing those egg holder things that we have now, or have I just got it wrong?

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    Default Re: CWS the Co-op

    My Mums divi number was 2798 never forgot it.
    Senior Member

    UK003715

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