Monday, May 04, 2009

Women's Co-operative Guild 1883


In 1883 Alice Acland persuaded the editor of the Co-operative News to let her have a 'Woman's Corner'. In the issue of 14th April 1883 it was announced that 'The Woman's League for the Spread of Co-operation' had formed and all interested should contact Alice Acland. Her co founder was Mary Lawrenson.

At the Edinburgh Congress of the Co-operative Union in June 1883 the Women's League For the Spread of Co-operation was formally established with fifty members and a subscription of 6d a year.

Its aims
were to spread a knowledge of co-operation, to keep alive its ideals, and to improve the conditions of women all over the country.

1. To spread a knowledge of the advantages of co-operation

2. To stimulate amongst those who know its advantages a greater interest in the principles of co-operation
3. To keep alive in ourselves, our neighbours, and especially in the rising generation, a more earnest apprec
iation of the value of Co-operation to ourselves, to our children, and to the nation
4. To improve the conditions of women all over the country.

The first branch of the Women's Co-operative Guild was formed at Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire in September 1883, followed by others in Rochdale and Woolwich before the close of 1883.

The Women's League changed its name in August 1894 to the Women's Co-operative Guild.

Margaret Llewelyn Davies
became general secretary in 1889 (MLD right) replacing Mary Lawrenson.

Margaret Llewelyn Davies held the post from 1889 until 1921.

Six years later 1892, the Scottish Women's Co-operation Guild was established and the Irish Women's co-operative Guild in 1906.

By 1910 the Women's Co-operative Guild had 32,000 members.

The National Co-operative Men's Guild was established in 1911.

In 1921 the International Women's Co-operative Guild was established.

By 1933 the Women's Co-operative Guild it had 72,000 members in 1513 branches.

In 1948 the Women's Co-operative Guild still had 62,524 members in 1,774 branches.


The Women's Co-operative Guild was strong in West London and the Uxbridge, Southall (circa 1905) and Hayes Women's co-operative Guild were still going strong into the 1980's.

In October 1912 a meeting was held in the School Room, Lawn Road, Uxbridge with Councillor F. Taylor presiding. Mrs Latham advocated the formation of a localWomen's Co-operative Guild, 19 names were handed in at it was agreed to form a branch, The first Women's Co-operative Guild meeting being held on 16th October 1912. I am not sure if this is an Uxbridge branch or a branch named after the local Co-operative Yiewsley & West Drayton which was also reported in the local newspaper