Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

The Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Co-operative Society Limited

The Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Co-operative Society Limited – aka the Fustian Co-op – was a successful workers' co-operative established in September 1870 by a group of workers in the fustian industry for the production and sale of fustian. They began in a room in Crown Street, Hebden Bridge.

In 1873, they employed 24 workers and – with a loan from the Co-operative Wholesale Society – they bought and moved into larger premises at the Nutclough Estate. Profits were shared between the workers and the CWS.

In 1880, they had 260 workers, and by 1900 there were 356.

In 1882, members of the Society were active in setting up the Co-operative Productive Federation.

In 1884, members of the Society were active in setting up the Labour Co-operative Association.

The Society realised the importance of education, and in 1886, they sponsored a series of university extension courses which had begun with Cambridge University in 1873 and Oxford University in 1885; for various reasons, the response was poor.

In 1890, they were reported to be doing business of over £20,000 per year.

Directors included:

Several of the co-operative workers – including

- became nationally famous for educational work.

Others associated with the Society included James Atherton, James W. Blackburn, Crossley Greenwood, Fred Greenwood, Lloyd Greenwood, Sam Greenwood, John Hartley, William Hartley, John Hollinrake, James Johnson, Sam Moore, and Leonard Stocks

Question: The dates given by the various sources conflict. Does anyone know exactly when the Society was discontinued and what happened next?


The Society ceased operating in 1910.

The Society was badly affected in 1912 when a coal miners' strike made it impossible to drive the machinery.

Because of financial difficulties, the Society wound up on 5th April 1919, having been bought by the CWS. The newspapers reported a

Stormy meeting

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© Malcolm Bull 2017 /
Revised 14:42 on 14th May 2017 / ww_7 / 6