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Rochdale Pioneers Museum
The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is widely regarded as the home of the worldwide Co-operative movement. It's the perfect place to come and see how your ancestors did their shopping. Here in Toad Lane on December 21 1844, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society opened their first little store selling pure, unadulerated food at fair prices and honest weights and measures.
The Pioneers started a revolution in retailing which has played a significant part in our lives ever since. The ground floor faithfully recreates the original shop together with its rudimentary furniture and scales. Here the basic needs of daily life such as butter, sugar, flour and oatmeal first went on sale over 150 years ago.
In the display and exhibition area you can learn of the inspiration the Pioneers received from visionaries such as the great social reformer Robert Owen; see how the profits from the shop were returned to the members in the form of a 'dividend'; and watch the story unfold of the Co-op's subsequent success. The Pioneers used the room upstairs to provide members with further education. Now you can journey back in time as you view examples of early advertising, packaging and retailing artefacts. Special displays feature a unique collection of Co-operative postage stamps, commemorative china and plateware and rare dividend coins and commodity tokens.
Group bookings & school trips are welcome.
For more information about the museum and the programme of events see the Rochdale Pioneers Museum website.